Oly spears league bowling tournament

Perhaps the Olympic League bowling championships marked a changing of the guard on the lanes.

Not only did the Olympic Trojans defeat defending state champion Bremerton, but they did it handily. Four Trojan bowlers tallied scores of at least 150 in the first regular game, Bremerton didn’t throw a strike until the sixth frame of that same game and the top three individual averages on the day belonged to Oly rollers.

The result in total pins was a 3,269-2,982 victory at All Star Lanes for the surging Trojans, who also won the regular season league title with a 14-1 record, beating Bremerton twice in the three tries along the way.

“It’s so exciting to see the girls pull together this year,” said co-coach Kris Howell, whose daughter Alaina Howell averaged 184 on the day, tops amongst all bowlers. “They know how to build each other up, and I think that’s the most exciting part, to see them work together.”

Bremerton’s 2,982-pin output was good enough for second and a berth to tomorrow’s district tournament at Bowlero Lanes in Tacoma, but coach Dean Wagner said his team will need to step it up if it’s going to repeat as champs.

“Today we started out flatter than we have ever started,” Wagner said, pointing to the first regular game, in which the Knights rolled a 705, far below their season average. “Olympic has a lot to be proud of today, they earned it. The competition between us has always been good.”

Alaina Howell rolled a 199 in the first regular game, her best game of the day, and Emily Sutton, who finished second with an average of 177, rolled a 204. Liza Ambrose, who leads the team with a 180 season average, rolled games of 182, 171 and 146. Sophomore Lacy Ness averaged 175 on the day, including a high game of 199.

“It’s a really good feeling because we’ve accomplished some of our goals,” Alaina Howell said.

The Trojans goals, however, go beyond what they’ve already accomplished. The team finished fifth at the state championships last year, and Kris Howell said anything less would be a disappointment.

“We’re aiming higher than that,” Kris Howell said, explaining the team is rolling 800 games consistently. “We’re going to have to do better.”

Regardless of how far the Trojans go, Kris Howell said it’s been a joyful season because the team has enjoyed playing with each other and winning, but hasn’t let the success get to their heads.

“They are really humble about it,” Kris Howell said. “I think they should be commended for that.”

The top four finishers at Tuesday’s league championships qualified for districts, meaning Sequim (2,864, third place) and Klahowya (2,771, fourth place) advanced with Oly and Bremerton.

For the Eagles, who finished third in the Olympic League with a 9-6 record, it’s been a turnaround-type season. While certainly the team would have enjoyed a first-place finish Tuesday, advancing to districts was the primary goal.

“That’s all that matters right now,” said KSS coach Loree Hippe of qualifying.

Sophomore Carys Bailey, who had been nursing a tender arm, rolled all three regular games to average a 173. Bailey averaged 191 over the course of the season, the highest average in the Olympic League.

“I’m sure it effected her a little, but she came back,” Hippe said of Bailey’s arm.

Peninsula (2,461) and North Mason (2,076) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, and were eliminated.

Central Kitsap, meanwhile, finally put it all together at the Narrows League Tournament Jan. 23 at All Star Lanes to upset defending 4A state champion Wilson. The Cougars knocked down 3,178 total pins to Wilson’s 3,140. The win means the Cougars, too, will compete at districts.

Both the 4A and 3A/2A district tournament is at Bowlero. Action begins tomorrow at 9:20 a.m.

Team results (bold)

1. Olympic 3,269; 2. Bremerton 2,982; 3. Sequim 2,864; 4. Klahowya 2,771; 5. Peninsula 2,461; 6. North Mason 2,076.

Individual leaders (bold)

1, Alaina Howell, Olympic 199-165-188—552; 2, Emily Sutton, Olympic 204-184-145—533; 3, Lacee Ness, Olympic 154-199-173—526; 4, Carys Bailey, Klahowya 179-192-148—519; 5, Ariel Wagg, Bremerton 177-169-166—512; 6, Liza Ambrose, Olympic 182-171-146—499; 7, Samatha Whiteside, Sequim 151-163-175—489; 8, Johanna Ewing, Sequim 168-141-177—486; 9, Misty Braddock, Bremerton 143-178-155—476; 10, Megan Shultz, Klahowya 158-155-156—469.

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