Down to the penultimate frame in the semifinals of the Free State Invitational, the Lawrence High boys bowling team needed all 10 pins to drop to stay alive against top-seeded Topeka West.
“The kids do much better than I’d do,” said LHS coach Paula Bastemeyer. “I’d be so nervous, and yet they just move right up there and strike it.”
That was exactly what Adonis Stanwix did, keeping his side alive for at least another game with a perfect roll.
LHS, which placed fourth in the team scores, was eventually bounced by Topeka West in the bracket-play semifinals, but there were plenty of positives all throughout the day at Royal Crest Lanes.
Senior Ethan Huslig rolled a 652 in his three-game series, which included a team-best 244 in his final game.
“I was really pleased,” Huslig said. “I beat my high series, which was awesome, because I beat it by 20 pins.”
Other standouts included Hunter Krom, who placed 18th with a score of 623, as well as Isaac Cox, who actually bowled with the JV team but took second in the individual scores (611) while tallying a game-high of 233, tied for the highest of any individual JV bowler.
Free State, which finished 17th out of 18 teams, did not have any bowlers place in the top 25. Junior Bayn Schrader, the team’s only varsity returner, bowled a 584 series, putting him only 14 pins from the top 25.
“We had a lot of guys seeing their first ever bowling tournament experience. We had five guys bowling for the first time on the varsity level,” said Free State coach Chuck Law. “More than anything else, it was just about getting that feeling for what that experience was like.”
As the lone returner, Schrader did his part to keep all his teammates energized, even if he wasn’t especially happy with the way he bowled himself.
At one point, Schrader left a frame open and grimaced as he walked back to the seating area. A couple of rolls later, a teammate rolled a strike and he was up cheering with a smile.
“Especially during Baker (format), just keeping the team loud, keeping us excited,” Schrader said. “I feel like I helped with that.”
Either way, both teams left the tournament knowing what to work on.
For Free State, Law said it was all about gaining comfort and making sure to reflect on the outing as a whole.
With the Lions, Huslig said he hoped the team could do a better job picking up spares, while Bastemeyer added there could even be a little movement between the varsity and JV rosters.
“I think it’s a really good start to the season,” Bastemeyer said. “I just hope we keep improving from here.”
Free State Invitational
Friday at Royal Crest Lanes
Varsity team scores: Topeka West 2764, Shawnee Heights 2693, Topeka Seaman 2678, Lawrence 2480, SM Northwest 2442, Manhattan 2434, Washburn Rural 2381, Olathe North 2313, SM West 2292, Topeka High 2096, Mill Valley 2061, Topeka Hayden 2025, Atchison 2018, St. James 1986, Highland Park 1965, Leavenworth 1963, Free State 1895, Washington 1825.
Junior Varsity team scores: Shawnee Heights 2379, Topeka West 2118, Washburn Rural 2069, Olathe North 2016, Manhattan 2002, SM West 1966, Mill Valley 1938, Leavenworth 1931, Lawrence 1816, St. James 1700, SM Northwest 1697, Free State 1653, Topeka High 1577, Topeka Hayden 1569, Highland Park 1416, Atchison 476.
Lawrence High varsity: 12. Ethan Huslig 220-188-244 — 652; 18. Hunter Krom 215-213-195 — 623; Lorenzo Dan 213-201-168 — 582; Jayden Cress 169-189-221 — 579; Adonis Stanwix 178-159-203 — 540; Javier Lemmons 173-177-180 530.
Free State varsity: Bayn Schrader 206-195-183 — 584; Porter Neidow 156-149-155 — 460; Ryan Neff 150-147-137 — 434; Matthew Brandenburger 123-105-156 — 384; John Hamer 117-138-123 — 378; Ryan Flakus 103-109-133 345.
Lawrence High JV: 2. Isaac Cox 198-180-233 — 611; Colten Carlson 194-133-144 — 471; Nick Wallace 113-92-142 — 347; Andrew Flynn 118-108-109 — 335; Benji Schrock 80-121-132 — 333; Baker Anderson 106-83-93 282.
Free State JV: Joey Taylor 123-159-160 — 442; Noah Mitchell 142-102-156 — 400; Ashton Owen 109-155-121 — 385; Ben Melvin 164-87-123 — 374; Cameron Irving 115-102-152 — 369; Paxton Jones 93-90-99 — 282.