CK girls bowling rolling on all cylinders

Cougars sweep Bellarmine Prep 7-0 to begin second half of the season.

For Bruce Welling and Central Kitsap girls bowling, the week couldn’t have started much better.

Welling, CK’s girls bowling coach, said his team had one of its best practices of the year Monday after a lengthy stint away from the lanes. A day later, the Cougars swept Bellarmine Prep 7-0 at All-Star Lanes to pick up a much-needed win and remain in third place in the 4A Narrows League.

“We bowled very well today,” Welling said of Tuesday’s performance. “We’re doing well.”

The Cougars were rolling better than ever from the get-go Tuesday, as the team had 22 marks in the first four frames, which Welling called “extremely good.”

The team then went on to post back-to-back 800 series for only the second time this season, knocking down 835 pins and 807 pins in the first and second regular game, respectively.

Claireese Poisson rolled a high of 181 in the first regular game, but each of the four additional starters posted scores of at least 157 to give the Cougars balance and their second highest single-game pin-total of the season. The team’s highest pin total in a regular game is 841.

“We’re in a very good position,” Welling said of his team, which is behind defending state champion Wilson as well as Shelton in the league standings.

Tuesday’s win against Bellarmine may have been the Cougars most balanced performance this season, top to bottom.

Sophomore Wendy Ellison was the most consistent, rolling 179 and 182 for a series of 361. But Melissa Beers, Becky French and Angie Holland along with Poisson all pulled their weight.

Neither Baker Game was very close, as CK won 151-127 and 119-102, respectively, to secure the 7-0 sweep.

For Welling, the solid perfomance couldn’t have come at a better time.

“The biggest thing is to start bowling again against somebody,” Welling said of his team, which hadn’t rolled competitively since mid-December.

In fact, Welling said he was “somewhat surprised” that his team bowled so well Tuesday, but that the time away from the lanes may have actually benefited the team because it gave the players time to relax and recover while preparing for the second half of the season.

“Sometimes we practice too much and the kids need to get away and come back,” Welling said. “A lot of the kids were very relaxed today.”

And while CK is behind both Wilson and Shelton in the standings, the gap appears to be relatively small. Shelton edged the Cougars by just seven points and by 20 points in the two regular games the teams played early in the season.

The Cougars traveled to Shelton yesterday, but results from that match were unavailable at press time.

Both Beers and Ellison are in the Top 10 of the Narrows League in pins per game, with Ellison holding third with 172.

“Do they bowl well every game? No. But mentally, if we keep improving, we’ll be fine,” Welling said. “Whoever is toughest mentally, just do the things you’re supposed to do.”

Welling said the top two teams from the Narrows League secure automatic berths to districts, but there are five spots available. The Narrows League Tournament is scheduled for Jan. 23 at All-Star Lanes.

The team hosts Lincoln at 3 p.m. Jan. 13 before finishing the regular season on the road against Foss Jan. 15 and Mount Tahoma Jan. 21.

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