After a third-place finish at the state tournament last season, the Newton girls bowling team seemed to pick up right where it left off at its first meet on Saturday in Knoxville.
The Cardinal girls topped a field of six teams with a total score of 2,405, earning their fourth consecutive victory in Knoxville, while the Cardinal boys finished fourth amongst six teams with a score of 2,443.
“The girls’ impressive performance dominated their competition,” Newton coach Seth Banwell said. “They really stepped it up today and continue to impress every year.”
Freshman Madison Humphrey led the Newton girls with a total first-round score of 382 (211 first game, 171 second) and senior Bethannie Hughes joined her in the 200-game club with a total of 345 (207, 138) for second on the team. Humprey’s score earned her the top individual finish among 36 competitors, while Hughes took third.
“Even though Madison is a freshman, she has shown bowling skills beyond her years. She is already a strong bowler and I’m looking forward to seeing her reach her full potential,” Banwell said. “Bethannie is a huge asset to the team and brings a lot of experience.”
The Cardinals weren’t done earning medals, however, as sophomore Erica Bailey rolled a 320 (175, 145) for fifth overall. Rounding out the first-round scores were senior Ella Daft with a 305 (144, 161), sophomore Melanie Stice with a 272 (157, 115) and sophomore Courtney Tabor with a 212 (110, 102).
In the Baker games in round two, the Cards earned scores of 192, 138, 151, 146 and 154 for a total of 781. That added with the team’s first round-total of 1624 gave Newton its first-place total of 2405, which topped second-place Knoxville by 128 pins.
On the boys side, the Cardinals were also led by a freshman in the form of Jake Karlzen’s 348 (181, 167). Senior Dylan Van Sickle (165, 172) and sophomore Andrew Lammey (164, 173) were close behind with 337s each, sophomore Payton Cox was next on the team with a 321 (118, 203), sophomore Alex Bare rolled a 303 (137, 166) and freshman Bryan McMahon rounded things out with a 277 (143, 134).
“Even with an upsetting fourth-place finish, the boys bowled extremely well for their first meet,” Banwell said. “The young team gained a lot of experience during its first meet and that should help throughout the season.
Although the Cards found themselves in fifth place after the first round, their Baker total of 797 in the second round shot them right back into contention. Considering fifth and first place were separated by only 138 pins in the final tally, Newton learned the importance of a consistent day on the lanes.
“This match could have gone either way,” Banwell said. “We need to continue to work on converting our spares to make up the difference in the number of pins we lost today.”