high school bowling
Quietly determined, the South Kitsap High School girls bowling team appeared to get lost in a sea of rowdier, more accomplished 4A South Puget Sound League programs Saturday.
But when the pins finally stopped crashing, it was the Wolves who were crowned Class 4A West Central District champions.
The only serious threat from the 4A Narrows League, South Kitsap emerged from a close encounter with Curtis High School to win the district title at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma.
The Wolves totaled 3,079 pins, edging the 4A SPSL regular-season champion Vikings (3,023).
Olympic League powerhouse Bremerton won the Class 3A/2A/1A district crown with a whopping 3,150 pins, just ahead of league rival Olympic (3,129).
Regular-season 3A Narrows League champion Wilson placed fourth in the 3A/2A/1A competition with 3,025 pins and will miss the state tournament for just the third time in school history. League rival Timberline (3,078) grabbed the final berth to state.
As for South Kitsap, it is a unique band of sisters — seven bowlers strong. And they come from all over Port Orchard.
Three attend the high school. Another attends Discovery Alternative School. One more comes from Olympic College as a Running Start student. The final two are ninth-graders from the local junior high schools — Whitman and Cedar Heights.
“We call ourselves the ‘Dream Team’ because we are kind of the community’s dream team by coming from all over,” South Kitsap coach Marcy Morgan said.
The real nerve-wracking moment of the 4A competition came down to the final Baker game involving SPSL schools Spanaway Lake, Emerald Ridge and Puyallup.
All three schools were vying for the final state berth, with Spanaway Lake’s 2,727 pinfall just ahead of Emerald Ridge’s 2,722 and Puyallup’s 2,721 entering that last game.
In the eighth frame, Puyallup’s Megan McChesney threw a strike. Teammate Christine Ginther rolled another strike in the ninth frame to propel the Vikings past their league counterparts and into the state tournament, which starts Friday at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place.
“I’ve always told them, ‘Just fill the frames.’ That is all I ask,” Puyallup coach Annie Carpenter said. “They did very well. I knew it was down to the wire, and I just kept thinking, ‘Please, oh please, just let us get there.’ ”
It was a tough ending during an emotional two weeks for Spanaway Lake, which finished seventh in the 4A SPSL during the regular season and had to win last week’s league postseason tournament just to get to districts.
“It has been emotional — I have been a wreck,” Sentinels coach Brooke Wilkinson said. “They worked hard. We started off slow today … and at one point, we were down 100-plus pins going into game three (of the Baker format). And we rallied back just to have a chance for fourth. And that shows the character of our girls.”
Timberline, last season’s state 3A/2A/1A runner-up to Mark Morris, bolted out to a big lead early, then held off Wilson to earn its fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament.
Brooke Collins was the Blazers’ top finisher, placing sixth Saturday with a three-game total of 531 pins. Sydney Robertson was 10th with 515, and Jamie Moss was right behind her at 505.
“What is nice is a girl can struggle, or two girls can struggle, and the others will pick it up,” Blazers co-coach John Wilson said. “They support each other. Nobody gets down on anybody else, and I love that about this team.”
Wilson sends two individuals to the state tournament — fifth-place district finisher Shannon Bailey (535 series), a student from Annie Wright Academy, and eighth-place Hunter Fruehling-Thomas (524).Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@ thenewstribune.com