Sports

Bremerton completes sweep of Trojans

By AARON MANAGHAN

Sports editor

The third time still wasn’t the charm for the Olympic Trojans girls bowling team.

Taking on friendly rivals the Bremerton Knights for the third time this season, with hopes of strengthening an outside shot at the league crown, the Trojans did roll what may be the top game in school history. It simply wasn’t enough however as the Knights won 5-2 Tuesday at All Star Lanes & Casino.

“That wasn’t the best game we’ve ever bowled, that’s for sure,” Oly coach Dave Colby said. “We had a good second game. That was the best one we’ve done all season.”

After falling to the Knights in the opener 838-782, the Trojans rebounded with a season-best, and possibly school-best, 898 to top Bremerton’s 860 in the second game, evening the score at 2-2. The Knights (10-0) then took the first Baker 173-125. Needing the final Baker to stay alive, the Trojans hung with Bremerton, only to fall short 159-156.

“Well, we were hoping for a win,” Trojan senior Jessica Sutton said.

While it didn’t come, the 8-3 Trojans have the edge on second place. Technically, they can still finish first if Bremerton were to lose its remaining matches and Oly win, however, that scenario is highly unlikely.

But as Colby said, it’s the postseason that matters anyway.

“I told ’em, ‘There’s no shame in second place,’” he said. “Where it really matters is districts and state. That’s where it really counts.’”

Bremerton’s Ariel Wagg fueled the Knights’ win, missing just a single mark in both games and Bakers for scores of 203 and 232. The timing was great for Bremerton as well, as anchor Emmy Thomas, tied with Sutton for the league’s top average, was hindered by a strained forearm muscle.

“We can’t take anything away from Bremerton,” Colby said. “They are the better team. They deserve it.”

Liza Ambrose led the Trojans with a 200 game and a 371 series. Alaina Howell also had a strong match, rolling games of 167 and 192. Freshman Lacee Ness also was strong, increasing her score of 142 in the first game to 182 in the second.

Colby said that kind of production will be needed as Alma Levario, who had scores of 141 and 174, will miss regionals with a prior obligation.

“(Alma) has come around majorly. I’m really proud of her,” Colby said, calling her planned absence “understandable.” “So one of our freshmen is going to have to step up to the plate.”

Sutton also has been struggling of late, but Colby is confident she can emerge strong.

“Jessica’s been the rock and the soul of our team,” Colby said. “We try to encourage her and get her up. Sometimes when you’re lost, there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve just got to move on.”

While Sutton had games of 161 and 150, solid scores by many, her average is 175. She said it was great to see her teammates keeping the team’s bar high.

“I have to hand it to the other four in the last game,” she said. “They did great. They covered me, that’s for sure.”

With the season winding down, Colby also said he couldn’t be as hands-on with the bowlers if it weren’t for coach Kris Hendricks, who handles the bulk of the off-the-lanes duties.

“Thanks to Kris for the support she’s given the girls,” Colby said. “It was a lot. Kris definitely balances the team out.”

The Trojans will be off for winter break through Jan. 8, when they return to the lanes against Peninsula.

Central Kitsap

The Cougars, too, are looking forward to the postseason after improving to 9-3 with a convincing 6-1 win against Mount Tahoma Tuesday.

“It was a nice win to get,” CK coach Bruce Welling said.

Central Kitsap dominated the opening game, 757-587, before the Thunderbirds closed the gap to 783-689 in the second. In the first Baker, the T-Birds won 140-123, but CK rebounded with a strong 180-173 win in the second.

“The kids are doing well,” Welling said. “Things are going good. They’re being more focused and we’re seeing more spaces getting picked up.”

Wendy Ellison anchored the CK squad to victory, taking high game marks of 170 and 184, also finishing with the high series.

“Wendy is a very, very consistent bowler,” Welling said. “She probably picks up more spares consistently than anyone else on the team.”

Overall, Welling said group consistently is getting better and better as the season goes on.

“The consistency is starting to come,” Welling said. “And it’s nice it’s coming at the end of the season. Bowling, like any sport, it’s peaks and valleys and you want to end with a peak.”

As for the postseason, CK is the frontrunner for the No. 2 spot, vying with Bellarmine and South Kitsap for the spot behind leaders Wilson.

“We like our positioning,” Welling said. “Points-wise, we’re No. 2; wins/losses-wise, we’re No. 3.”

That positioning is important heading into the season’s stretch run.

“We come back (from break) and play Bellarmine, which is good,” Welling said. “Then Stadium, then Wilson. It doesn’t matter against Wilson. We’ll just bowl the best we’re capable of.”

Klahowya

The Eagles toppled North Mason on Tuesday, winning a close opener, 682-658, before widening the margin in the second, 721-633.

Klahowya then took the opening Baker game 141-136 before the Bulldogs got one back, 171-140.

Carys Bailey led the Eagles (5-5; third place in Olympic League play) with a high game of 197 and series of 386.

The Eagles also will return on Jan. 8, following break with a road match at Sequim.

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