Inconsistency usually leads to a bad outcome.
Luckily for the Free State High boys bowling squad, they were a tad more consistent than the other three other teams Thursday at Royal Crest Lanes.
The Firebirds finished with a 2,374-pin total, 62 ahead of second-place Topeka West.
"They definitely don't take (the win) for granted," Free State coach Anita Carlson said. "They had to work, and they know they're better. They definitely are not feeling like they're just floating right through this."
Free State's Kenny Altman's 706 series made him the top bowler, but he was inconsistent. After a 279 in the first game, he followed it with 222 and 205.
"I was able to throw the same line the entire first game, so I just wasn't used to having to adjust," Altman said. "So I finally had to make those adjustments - and I had to make them frequently. So mentally, that was kind of nerve-wracking."
The boys finished with a 198 average, which Carlson said was low.
"Our top six performed well, but not as well as they had been," she said. "It wasn't that they struggled, it was a really hard day for them. They had a shot that they're not really used to. A little bit of oil - wet - and so they had to adjust to that."
Free State's girls were not as fortunate. Their third-place, 1,754-pin total was more than 300 behind first-place Olathe Northwest.
Melissa Burnside, who led Free State's girls, also had difficulty with consistency, going 173, 159 and 132.
"The team was really encouraging today, especially for me because I have back problems," Burnside said. "And it really hurts me from performing my best."
Carlson said the teams at least were consistently behind one another.
"They do support each other well at workouts and practice," she said. "We're really working on our mental game, which I think is where you see the rallying and support on both the men and the women. Because once the mental game starts going, it's gone."
Carlson said with Burnside and Lindsay Vannicola, who finished eight pins behind Burnside with games of 168, 153 and 135, she felt confident about her squad.
"I have some great senior leadership," Carlson said. "I have some veteran bowlers, and we're really working on keeping our wits about ourselves and not letting one frame bring us down and just being positive. And I saw that today."