Black Hills’ Mackenzie Theophilus records runner-up finish at 2A/1A state bowling championships
After what materialized Saturday, officially consider this the dynasty era of girls high school bowling in the state of Washington.
Eastmont captured its third consecutive Class 4A title, and Mark Morris rallied for back-to-back 2A/1A championships at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place.
Coupled with Evergreen of Vancouver winning the 3A crown Friday, it marked the first time defending champions of all three classifications repeated at the state tournament.
But, the way it all unfolded in both the 4A and 2A/1A races could not have been more different.
In 2A/1A, there were three overall lead changes during the Baker game format between overnight leader Black Hills and the Monarchs before the showdown was settled.
Mark Morris grabbed the advantage in the second Baker game (194-168), only to see the Wolves regain the lead in the seventh game (194-161).
And things did not look good for the Monarchs after they rolled a 114 score in the ninth game to go down by 88 pins.
“We looked at the distance we had fallen back after that, and the girls decided that they had come too far this season to go home without a fight,” Mark Morris coach Shawna Wilson said. “They put everything they had in the next Baker game.”
The Monarchs registered eight strikes in the 10th Baker game to post a tournament-best 258, while Black Hills struggled to a 147. They never trailed again, and ended up winning, 7,477-7,371.
“Typically what happens when (an opponent) throws that big game, it gets in your head, and you start self-destructing,” Wolves coach Nicole Hayes said. “That is what happened with us.”
Although the loss hurt, Hayes said the girls began immediately realizing what they had accomplished amid a few season-long obstacles.
Black Hills battled transportation issues all season. Hayes noted it was difficult just to get the girls to practice at Tumwater Lanes.
Plus, an assistant coach resigned through the season.
“The odds were stacked against us,” Hayes said.
Somehow, the Wolves rallied late to earn their school-best state finish as the 2A runners-up.
“I am really proud of finishing second,” Black Hills junior Maranda Hall said. “We went through a lot.”
In the 4A competition, it took a big opening Baker game by Eastmont to essentially end the team chase.
The Wildcats rolled a 200 to take the lead from Jefferson, then backed that up with four consecutive games with 190 or better — which came as a total surprise to their coach.
“We’ve struggled in Baker (games) all season,” Eastmont coach Christy Binge said. “It’s being at state that gave us a boost.”
It was a day-long struggle for the senior-dominated NPSL champions, who eventually fell to fourth with 7,294 pins. Eastmont won at 7,477, followed by Pasco (7,371) and Wenatchee (7,323).
“Today, it was our inability to complete frames and make our spares,” Jefferson coach Joseph Townsend said. “We are a super-rhythm team. We feed off each other. And we just weren’t able to do that.”