As members of the Lawrence High boys bowling team watched coach Greg Farley total the scores from the first meet of the season Thursday at Royal Crest Lanes, they cheered when they saw the most important score of the afternoon.
They beat the girls.
The boys finished with a score of 2,256, three pins ahead of the LHS girls' score of 2,253.
Although the boys were proud of the victory, they didn't actually compete against the girls.
The teams played their same-sex counterparts from Olathe Northwest and Oskaloosa, with the boys placing second and the girls first
Olathe Northwest won the boys team title with 2,507 pins and was followed by LHS (2,256) and Oskie (1,860). LHS won the girls crown with 2,253 pins and was followed by ONW (2,174) and Oskaloosa (1,371).
"The boys did surprisingly well," Farley said. "They seem to be a lot more consistent than last year, which is what I thought would happen - 2,256 is a good early season score."
Junior Olson Kilmer was the high bowler for the boys, finishing with a three-game series of 621. He started and finished strong, bowling a 235 in game one and a 224 in game three. The 162 in game two stuck out afterward.
"Overall, it was my best three-game series ever, but I could have done a lot better in the middle game," Kilmer said.
Kilmer didn't begin bowling until after he went to a bowling alley for a class field trip last spring. He liked it so much he decided to try out for the team this winter. His career-high game is a 247, just 12 pins better than his best game Thursday.
Fellow junior Shawn Jimboy also had a strong day for Lawrence. He finished with a three-game series of 601. He also had two strong games, bowling a 212 in game two and a 238 in game three.
A lack of warm-up time caused him to struggle to a 151 score in his opening game.
"I only got two balls, one frame, of practice," Jimboy said. "I wasn't really into it until I got going in the second game."
On the girls side, defending state champion Tiffany Demaline recorded the highest single-game total of the afternoon by bowling a 257 in her third game. She finished with a 608 series, the top girls score for Lawrence.
She comes into this season with a target on her back after winning state last year as a freshman.
"A lot of people say stuff about it and ask me if I'm going to win again," Demaline said. "There's a lot of pressure on me, but I just want to bowl the best I can."
Junior Dequesne Sprow finished with a 593 series after bowling games of 210, 214 and 169. Sophomore Jessica Wyatt bowled games of 169, 234, and 144 to finish with a 547 series.
LHS will travel Monday to Olathe South.