NORFOLK — A bowling team of young boys and experienced girls representing Hartington-Newcastle has continued learning plenty about itself as the season winds closer to the end of the regular campaign and the postseason approaches.
A dual championship at the Howells-Dodge Tournament helps that cause.
Over the past weekend, the program headed to the tournament in Norfolk, and in pool play, the boys beat Lindsay Holy Family 7-1, but fell to Thurston-Cuming County, 6-2.
They then defeated the host, 6-2, with a nice bounce-back performance earning the No. 1 seed into the Baker’s bracket. Then in the second round – after receiving a bye – they took on the hosts once again.
“In the first game, we really gave it away by missing easy, single-pin spares,” HNS coach Nate Holan said. “We bowled a lot better after that and won games two and four and tied it at two games apiece. In the fifth game, we led the whole way and won to advance to the finals against North Bend.”
In the final, the Wildcats struggled out of the gate and found a way to get better as the match continued and they ultimately captured the title, winning the last three games.
The girls beat Lindsay Holy Family (7-1), Thurston-Cumming County (7-1) and then the hosts (71) to also earn the top seed.
The girls ultimately got to the finals and a rematch with Lindsay Holy Family.
“We continued to bowl well in the first two games, but couldn’t find a way to win and found ourselves down two games,” Holan said. “So in the next two games, we just had to bowl better than we were; we won and tied things up two to two.
“The fifth game was close and back-and-forth through the first six frames before we threw five strikes in a row to cruise to a win.”
Last week, the squads traveled to Pender to take on Thurston-Cumming County and the boys won 13-8 while the girls took a 14-7 victory.
“The boys took a little bit to get going in the first game and couldn’t make up for the slow start,” Holan said. “They bowled better in the second game, and after the two games of singles, it was tied 8-8. In the first game of Baker’s, we held on to win and then ran away in the second game.
“The girls had a few nice scores, but had some gutters after a few spares that cost them total in the first game. In the second game, we bowled a lot better and had a 9-7 lead after the two single games. In the first game of Baker’s, we missed some single-pin spares and had some splits that cost us. In the second game, we came back and had a nice game to tie it one game apiece. In the third and final game, it was neck and neck until the end as we found a way to win.”
Up next is another dual, the season’s last, against Thurston-Cuming County on Tuesday.
“They bowled well against us twice this week so I think we will need to show up and bowl well like we did this week,” Holan said. “I want to see us finish the regular season off the right way. It is a winnable dual, so we need to take care of business and go into districts with some confidence. I think both teams are battling well and finding a way to win. We had some big wins this week and we had to work hard for them. I think that will be a big confidence boost that no matter what if we get down we can battle back and win.
“We need to continue to get better at our spares and get good counts after spares. We will continue to work on them in practice. We just have to throw at them and build our confidence that we can pick them up.” HNS at Thurston-Cuming County Boys won 13-8 Individual Results Christian Fiscus 122, 160 Alex Elks 123, 150 Jack Stevens 188, 159 Ben Kleinschmit 149, 140 Barrett Bruning 141,171 Girls won 14-7 Individual results
Riley Krause 72 Dary Shizuka 123 Aaralynn Collier 97, 144 Faith Pinkelman 127,147 Meredith Mcgregor 168, 149 Rebekah Pinkelman 167, 148