Freshman powers Knights to winning ways

Bremerton sophomore Leilani Battle rolled an 81 in the opening game against King’s West on Monday at All Star Lanes.The Lady Knights downed the Lady Warriors 621-565, 649-505 for their first-ever team victory. - Photo by Sean Lamphere
Bremerton sophomore Leilani Battle rolled an 81 in the opening game against King’s West on Monday at All Star Lanes.The Lady Knights downed the Lady Warriors 621-565, 649-505 for their first-ever team victory.
— image credit: Photo by Sean Lamphere

Bremerton freshman Kayla Thomas needed a game under her belt to find her groove Monday afternoon at All Star Lanes.

But when the 14-year-old found that groove in her second game, she rode it all the way to the highest individual score in Bremerton High’s short bowling history with six strikes (including a four-bagger) and three spares for a 201.

“I bowl over a 200 about every-other week (in youth league),” said Thomas, who has been in bowling alleys since the tender age of 3. “My high game so far has been a 222.”

“That was impressive, incredible,” KW coach Dan Dittmer said of Thomas’s performance. “She did a great job and you have to hand it to her.”

Thomas also got the Knights (1-3) over the win hump for the first time this season as they beat King’s West 621-564, 649-505 in a non-league game.

“They were having fun and they started to relax,” BHS coach Denise Rosendale said of the reason behind the Knights’ success. “We’re a brand-new team and a lot of these teams have been around a few years. So they had to get together and recognize each other.”

The teams played close for much of the first game until the Bremerton girls began to pull away in the seventh frame. The second game saw the Knights lead wire-to-wire.

Fate smiled upon the Knights in their opening frame of the second game when Samantha Wright knocked down a 7-10 split, also known as the bedposts, to get the spare.

“I looked up and I was, like, ‘oh my God!’” said Wright, a junior who bowled a team-high 165 in the first game. “I’ve never done that before.”

The Lady Warriors were a bit short-handed without second-leading scorer Emily Maguire in the mix since she’s on a religious mission in Mexico. Autumn Perrotta rolled the Chico school’s high in the first game with a 154. Laura Freitas rolled the high score in the second game with a 127.

Just a couple of lanes away, Olympic had its hands full with Class 3A Sequim in a non-league game.

The five starters for the Lady Wolves started hot, led by Stephanie Savallos with a 172 and Rachel Perry backing that up with a 150 as Sequim blasted their hosts 686-564.

The Lady Trojans had their own missing players as freshman powerhouse Erin Howard didn’t know there was a game scheduled.

“She’s probably one of our top two or three averages during the first five matches,”Oly coach Ken Anderson said. “There was kind of a mix-up on our schedule. We didn’t have it down to play so we had to scramble.”

That left junior varsity call-up Jennifer Tapia to fill Howard’s role at lead-off and hope for exceptional games from Brynn Cates, Tatyanna Gonce and Jennifer DeWitt to carry the team.

“We have the three returners and Erin, and when somebody’s missing that puts us with two beginning bowlers and you never know if they’re going to roll a 75 or a 110,” Anderson said. “But they tried and they worked hard. Amanda (Fry) has been doing consistent for us in the fifth spot. She’s worked hard in practice.”

“We had a really slow start. The kids weren’t prepared for a match. They were looking for a more low-key practice.”

Anderson rallied his experienced girls at the start of the second game with a quick pep talk.

“I told them not to worry about not having their full squad,” he recounted after the game. “They need to worry about their own score. Just because its a team game, it’s all individual scoring and they had to pull their own scores up.”

And up the scores came. Cates improved from a 113 to a 135, Gonce went from 127 to 141 and DeWitt climbed from 139 to 160 as the Lady Trojans forced the Baker tie-breaker with a 605-562 win.

Then it was the Sequim girls who succumbed to the pressure as Olympic showed an effective game plan.

“It’s anybody’s game then,” Anderson said. “All you have to do is get some marks.”

Sequim led 26-18 after the second frame. Then Cates pulled out a third-frame strike that Gonce capped with a spare in the fourth. Tapia moved the Oly girls higher when she picked up a two-pin spare in the sixth frame and Fry added on with nine in her opening throw in the seventh. Cates picked up a spare in the eighth, matching Perry’s output, that was followed with a seven-pin drop in the ninth by Gonce. DeWitt guaranteed the win when she picked up a spare and made a strike to give Olympic a 136-105 lead with Savallos coming up in the Wolves’ tenth. Savallos spared, then struck down nine as the Lady Trojans won 136-124.

“We beat Stadium in a Baker, we beat Wilson in a Baker,” Anderson said. “So they’re comfortable with it.”

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