What bowlers from both Lawrence and Free State high schools hoped would be a long Saturday afternoon at Royal Crest Lanes wrapped up early.
Both the boys and girls from Lawrence High were knocked out of the Baker format tournament in the second round. Ditto for Free State.
Neither team was around by the time the Topeka Seaman boys and Shawnee Heights girls won their tournament titles.
Coaches from both LHS and FSHS said the morning’s qualifying session, when each team rolled three games, wasn’t the problem. It was the tournament portion of the afternoon where the city’s bowlers ran into trouble.
LHS coach Paula Bastemeyer said the Lions had a hard time picking up many spares, and that led to their early exits.
“We didn’t do as well in the Baker portion as we would’ve liked,” Bastemeyer said of the second-round departures.
Lawrence’s boys had a pair of bowlers — senior Isaiah Ross and sophomore Tre Sexton — average more than 200 a game in the morning portion of the competition, which was used to seed tournament play.
To qualify for the Baker format tournament, teams bowled three games. Six bowlers competed from each team, and the top five scores were used for tournament seeding.
Played in a single-elimination format, the tournament began in the afternoon, with each head-to-head match decided by which team won two out of three games.
In the Baker format, five bowlers compete for each team. The first bowler rolls in the first and sixth frames, the second bowls in frames No. 2 and 7, and so on, with the fifth bowler finishing the rotation by rolling in the fifth and 10th frames.
So with Ross’ cumulative morning score of 609 and Sexton’s three-game score of 612, they helped put LHS in a fairly good spot. Connor Daniels wasn’t too far behind them with a 591.
After losing in the second round, Bastemeyer said the bowlers knew what cost them the chance at a more successful showing.
The bowlers’ thoughts: “We’ve got to work on our spares,” the coach related. “There’s just no reason we should’ve been knocked out.”
Bastemeyer said the tournament, the season-opener for Lawrence’s teams, was a good learning experience for both the boys and girls.
LHS sophomore Kierstan Warren had the highest score for the girls, posting games of 177, 156 and 201 for a 534 series in the morning. Rebecca McNemee finished with a 465.
Bastemeyer said it was an average day for the bulk of the girls team — “not horrible, not spectacular.” She said she couldn’t complain, because the Lions ended up being competitive and earned a first-round bye before being eliminated.
Lawrence next bowls at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Topeka Seaman.
Free State bowlers recover after slow start
The second-round losses for Free State’s teams didn’t seem that bad after what coach Anita Carlson described as a lethargic morning of qualifying games.
She said the Firebirds began the morning slowly, and she thought there might have been some jitters for the bowlers.
“There’s a lot of pressure to perform well,” Carlson said.
The first games, for the most part, weren’t what FSHS was looking for. However, the coach said the bowlers responded.
“They came out sluggish, but they pulled it out in the second and third sets, and that’s what we need,” Carlson said. “They did well as far as regrouping and getting it together and scoring high.”
With some returning bowlers on the boys team, the Free State coach said junior Jordan Jump, who rolled 635 in the morning, helped get the team back on track, as did Tyler Roste, who rolled to a three-game total of 615.
For the Firebirds’ girls team, it was freshman Bri Martin, with a three-game total of 505, who stood out. Meredith Baker finished with 468.
“She has done extremely well,” Carlson said of Martin, noting the newcomer even showed leadership as a young team member.
The FSHS coach was particularly happy to see improvement in both teams from the beginning of the week to Saturday.
“All in all, it was a really positive showing,” Carlson said.
Up next for Free State is a 3:30 p.m. Thursday home quad.