By Susan Harman
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – You know those Colonial Bowling Lanes commercials that are just this side of bonkers in which the “actors” always seem to be having a great time? Friday afternoon it was the bowlers from City High and West High who had the fun.
West High swept the boys and girls matches to claim the traveling Kingpin and Queenpin trophies amid much laughter and celebration. The Trojan boys won 3,018-2,918, while the girls won 2,488-1,785.
West was the favorite in both matches. The Trojan boys team (5-4) averaged 120 pins more than the Little Hawks coming in. But the Little Hawks (2-7) were in position after the singles competition to make a run at the Trojans.
It came down to the raucous Baker round in which bowlers alternate frames.
“We were down 16 pins going into Baker,” City senior Austin Young said. “They shot 200-plus for the first three games, so that’s hard to beat. We opened a lot in the first three games, and in the fourth and fifth games we turned it around. It was a little too late.”
“I thought we had a great chance honestly,” City senior Garrett Highly said. “I thought we were going to do it. But you know what? They’re a good team.”
West’s first three Baker rotations were 225-214-225 as they built a 161-pin lead going into the final two rounds.
“I think we bowl better in Baker because we’re really good as a team,” West senior Kalen Rios said. “Everybody here can go out there and do well because we’re all there together and create a lot of momentum together.”
Rios led the Trojans with a 484 series and sophomore Corey Roth had 400, but the party really began in the Baker round.
“We’re a pretty loud group,” Rios said. “It makes it all a lot of fun. We’re really close like a family. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Both boys teams exceeded their season averages, West by 125 pins and City by 145. This was West’s fifth victory in a row in the series. The West boys have won nine of the 15 meetings.
City coach Michael Degner said it was his team’s best performance on the home lanes all season.
“The boys did a great job,” Degner said. “We hadn’t shot 2,800, and today we shot 2,918. West was better today; they put up a heck of a Baker round.”
Max Eaton, a Solon senior who just started bowling a year ago, bowled 407 in the individual round, which was a big lift for City. Junior Andrew Franz led with 420 and Young had 414.
“Definitely (made progress),” Young said. “This is the first time we shot 29 (hundred) here at Colonial. West High hasn’t shot over 29 here, I don’t think, so I knew it would be a good match. I think our high here is 27, so we beat that by 200 pins. I’m proud of that. We had everybody step up. We had three guys over 400, and that’s all you can ask for.”
“We’ve struggled, but with what we shot today we would have probably beat two or three teams,” Highly said.
Senior Brittnee Price led the West girls, firing a 245 in the first game and finishing with a match-best series of 399. Senior Erica Roth was next with 375.
“That was my high game. It was great. I had my mark; I had my line. I was doing everything right,” Price said. “My second game I kept pulling it and I couldn’t find my mark. At least I could figure out what I was doing wrong, and I didn’t have that bad of a game.
“This year I’ve been working on my form to have a straight free swing, trying to get the ball through without having to power it through with my arm. So when I got that figured out yesterday I came out here and worked on it for an hour. Today it was amazing. I could tell I had a free swing. My ball was coming in; I didn’t have to work my ball. My ball was doing its job.”
Price actually played for City last year before transferring to Clear Creek Amana, which shares its program with West. The Women of Troy improved to 7-2 and City is 0-9. The girls series is tied at 7-7.
City High lost its entire team after last season and has had a tough time developing depth. Junior Emily Wilkins led the way with a 295 series for City.
“I think I bowled pretty well; in past games I haven’t bowled as well,” Wilkins said. She came in with a 134 average and eclipsed her previous high game with a 181.”
“Even though I bowled badly I still had a lot of fun because of my teammates,” freshman Cheyenne Cirillo said. “They saw me getting mad, and they were like ‘shake it off.’ They encouraged me.”
Degner said he’d like to see the team reach 1,900 in a match. Its average is 1,772 and it was 13 pins better than that Friday.
West 2,488, City High 1,785
West (1674) – Ashley Bys 134-148 – 282, Alexi Little 159-144 – 303, Chloe Beckler 139-145 –284, Kalei Strabala 164-149 – 313, Brittnee Price 245-154 – 399, Erica Roth 166-209 – 375.
Baker rotation – 159-165-185-135-170 – 814
City (1,249) – Emily Wilkins 114-181 – 295, Cheyenne Cirillo 93-122 – 215, Lindy Rublaitus 103-94 – 197, Tara Hoffman 126-152 – 278, Kasey Wieland 107-157 – 264, Tara Anderson 99-84 – 183.
Baker rotation – 113-111-113-105-94 – 536
West 3,018, City 2,918
West (1,982) – Corey Roth 199-201 – 400, Jacob Fisher 173-201 – 374, Jordan Tiegs 172-191 –
363, Brandon Berner 180-160—340, Ryan Stark 189-172—361, Kalen Rios 235-249 – 484.
Baker rotation – 225-214-225-173-199 – 1,036
City High (1,966) – Winston Lui 211-171—382, Cameron Chavez 174-59—233, Andrew Franz 205-215—420, Garrett Highly 181-162—343, Austin Young 190-224—414, Maxwell Eaton 204-203–407.
Baker rotation – 179-180-160-193-240 – 952