By AARON MANAGHAN
Despite not placing any individual bowlers in the top-10 averages at the 4A West Central District Girls Bowling Championships last weekend, Central Kitsap still punched its tickets back to state.
But rather than being discouraged at not having anyone land in the top 10, CK coach Bruce Welling is encouraged as each Cougar stepped up en route to helping CK finish in third place.
“We did well,” Welling said. “The kids have been bowling really consistently and with a lot of confidence.”
And while CK didn’t have a top-10 individual, each of his rollers held their own against a tough 4A field that included defending state and Narrows League champs Wilson.
“Melissa Beers was our most consistent,” Welling said. “Wendy Ellison did very well. And also Jordan Barland, the last two or three weeks has been very, very consistent. She’s doing very well.”
CK also will be traveling to state with Angie Holland (147 average), Becky French, Ellie Holland and Sarah Menger.
Beers averaged 168 at the tournament while Ellison was at 164. Barland was right there as well with a 158.
Wilson won the 4A championship with 3,510 pins while Jackson was second with 3,121. CK tallied 3,001. The top five teams advanced.
Cascade’s Sara Elliott led all 4A bowlers with a 248 average that included a perfect 300 game.
In 3A/2A/1A action, both Bremerton and Olympic secured their places for a run at state, as Shelton claimed the crown with 3,509 pins to the Knights’ 3,289. Oly finished third with 3,017. Klahowya was just outside as the top three teams advanced, with the Eagles taking fifth with 2,917 pins.
Fourth-place North Thurston (2,982) was actually leading the Trojans until two Baker games to go when Oly streaked ahead.
While Klahowya was unable to advance as a team, freshman Carys Bailey led the pack, finishing with the top tournament average of 206. She’ll be joined at state by senior Chelsea Schmittler, advancing for the second consecutive season. Bailey’s top effort was a 257 while Schmittler average 156.
Oly’s Jessica Sutton also finished in the top-10 averages, taking seventh overall with a 179.
Liza Ambrose (152), Alaina Howell (147), Lacee Ness (147) and Emily Sutton (141) also helped Oly advance.
The 4A and 3A/2A WIAA State Girls Bowling Championships are set to begin Friday at Narrows Lanes in Tacoma. The new location is a breath of fresh air for coaches and bowlers alike as last year’s site, Lynnwood Lanes, drew harsh reviews. Most critiques centered around lack of space and inability to move freely throughout the lanes.
“The place we had last year was poor,” Welling said. “Narrows Plaza will do a much nicer job.”
With action beginning at 10 a.m. Friday morning, each of the area teams and bowlers advancing will be working hard in preparation. But Welling pointed out that at this point in the season, there’s not much more bowlers can do.
“We’ll go back to the play room and do some more talking,” Welling said. “But you can’t teach them anything new at this point. It’s just refining a little bit.”
While regular games will take place Friday, as well as individual awards, Saturday’s Baker format kicks off at 8 a.m.