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Bowlers roll into postseason action
Olympic wins regular season title; CK, KSS each finish in third place.
The girls bowling postseason has rolled around.
For Central Kitsap, the run to districts and the state championships begins today with the Narrows League Tournament at All-Star Lanes.
For Klahowya and Olympic, that same quest begins Tuesday with the Olympic League Tournament, also at All-Star Lanes.
The Cougars (14-4) finished third in the Narrows League behind defending state championship Wilson, who took first, and Shelton.
CK coach Bruce Welling said Wednesday his team is bowling “very, very well” and closing the gap on Wilson and Shelton.
“We’re very close to Shelton and Wilson both,” Welling said, pointing to the league tournament. “We’re capable of taking first, second or third, but I wouldn’t expect anything less than third.”
Sophomore Wendy Ellison continues to lead the Cougars with an average of 177 pins knocked down per game, while Melissa Beers (161) and Angie Holland (159) are a close second and third, respectively.
The top five teams out of the Narrows League Tournament advance to districts.
“We should make that,” Welling said.
Olympic, meanwhile, claimed the Olympic League regular-season championship with a 13-1 record, but now have their sights set much higher.
The Trojans finished just ahead of Bremerton (12-2), the defending 3A state champions.
“It’s very exciting because we’ve never done it,” coach Dave Colby said of capturing the league title. “The girls are coming along extremely fast, they are really good bowlers. We’ve been solid all year long.”
The Trojans faced Bremerton three times during the regular season, winning twice to gain the final edge in the standings. But now, Colbby believes the team can win the league tournament and advance to districts and beyond.
“They are starting to shine, they are actually starting to come together as a team,” Colby said. “I’ve seen these kids since they were ninth graders and they are beginning to blossom, and they know it.”
Colby said he and fellow coach Kris Howell have used six rollers consistently, rotating Audrey Deutsch and Emily Sutton at the No. 5 position so each can see game action. Deutsch and Sutton join starters Lacee Ness, Alaina Howell, Liza Ambrose and Alma Levario.
The Trojans set an Olympic League single-game record by knocking down 1015 pins against Klahowya Jan. 15. In that game, Lacee Ness 181 was the team’s lowest pin total. Levario led the way with 223 pins, followed by Sutton (217), Howell (203) and Ambrose (191).
“That was just unbelievable, that was some serious bowling,” Colby said of the 1015-pin performance.
Olympic went on to win the match 6-1.
The Jan. 15 match between Olympic and Klahowya, however, certainly wasn’t a microcosm of the Eagles’ season.
Klahowya (9-5) finished third in the Olympic League and coach Loree Hippe said her team is capable of advancing to districts and beyond.
“It’s possible. I don’t know what the competition is like outside the league,” Hippe said of advancing through districts. “They are all excited, they want to take the next step.”
Carys Bailey, who leads the team in average pin-fall per game, is out with an injury to her throwing arm. But Hippe said she expects Bailey to roll in the league tournament.
Hippe said Serenity Johnson, who rolled a series of 282 against Olympic Jan. 15, has rolled particularly well late in the season. Johnson joins Megan Schultz, Jenni Donaldson and Shannon Frey among the team’s top rollers.
And while Klahowya has yet to overcome Olympic and Bremerton at the top of the league, having faced each team during the regular season should pay dividends in the postseason.
“We had closer games and we actually won a few individual games,” Hippe said of the matches against Oly and BHS. “We’ve got a very strong league.”
The Narrows League Tournament begins at 1 p.m. today.
The Olympic League Tournament begins at 1 p.m. Tuesday.