Defending their home turf for the final time this season, the Newton girls bowling team kept its win streak alive, while the boys recovered from a slow start on Saturday
The Cardinal girls topped their competition by more than 100 pins and the boys took second to a strong effort from Knoxville in a five-team field at Cardinal Lanes. The girls totalled 2,443 pins and the boys had a total of 2,392.
“The girls just keep crushing their competition,” Newton coach Seth Banwell said. “On the guys side, we need to improve on picking up spares.”
Once again, freshman Madison Humphrey, who is ranked No. 4 in Class 1A, led Newton and the rest of the field with a first-round total of 404 (180 first game, 224 second). Not far behind her was senior Bethannie Hughes with a 370 (204, 166), sophomore Erica Bailey with a 331 (181, 150) and senior Ella Daft with a 304 (136, 168). Sophomore Courtney Tabor rounded out the Cards’ scores with a 259 (110, 149) and junior Bailee Stier contributed a non-scoring total of 249 (115, 135).
“As a team, we weren’t as focused as we’re used to, so we didn’t do as well in the Baker games,” Humphrey said. “Individually, we all did really good.”
Adding to the girls’ first-round score of 1,668 were Baker game scores of 199, 135, 150, 165 and 126 for a second-round total of 775 and overall score of 2,443, which bested second-place Knoxville by 104 pins.
On the boys’ side, sophomore Andrew Lammey paced the Cards in first-round scores with a 317 (170, 147) while senior Dylan Van Sickle was next up with a 310 (146, 164). Sophomore Alex Bare joined them in the 300-club with a 305 (119, 186), freshman Bryan McMahon contributed a 289 (134, 155) and freshman Jake Karlzen wrapped things up with a 287 (130, 157). Sophomore Payton Cox contributed a non-scoring total of 267 (122, 145).
“The boys really struggled during their individuals games,” Banwell said. “They started to pull it together during the Baker games, but it wasn’t enough to win the meet. Considering our first round scores, we ended the meet on a high note.”
In the Baker games, the Newton boys made a quick statement with a 201 and 192 in their first two games before finishing the day with scores of 163, 182 and 146. That 884 total mixed their first-round score of 1,508 gave the Cards a total of 2,392, which was just 34 pins ahead of third-place Oskaloosa.
Newton will return to where it started the season on Saturday when the teams travel to Knoxville. The meet begins the home stretch of the season, which will all be road tests for the Cardinals. That exactly mean bad things in bowling, however, as different surfaces at different lanes can mean good things.
“We like traveling to different houses because the lane conditions can always change from house to house,” Banwell said. “Cardinal Lanes is actually kind of a tough shot for us right now, so our scores tend to be higher on the road. We’re looking forward to seeing our scores change with the different lane conditions.”
The final stretch will also be big for the girls team, which is now 17-0 on the season. With another trip to the state tournament a strong possibility at this point, the Cardinals will need to keep their focus down the stretch and into the postseason meets.
“This whole season has been really good, and we improve on something in every meet,” Humphrey said. “And state is definitely a goal for us. I know we can make it.”