In their final meets before regionals on Thursday, the Newton boys and girls bowling teams made statements that they're eyeing spots at state.
The Cardinal boys earned their second-highest score of the season and the girls just edged out fast-charging Knoxville as both teams earned victories in their regular-season finales at Excite-A-Bowl in Pella on Saturday.
Starting out with strikes in their first six throws, it was clear the Cardinal boys would have a good day. Senior Dylan Van Sickle led Newton with a season-high first-round of 476, which included two big games of 236 and 240. Sophomore Alex Bare wasn’t far behind him with a 401 (177, 204), senior Jake Karlzen rolled a 388 (208, 180) and sophomore Payton Cox rounded out the Cards with a 335 (173, 162). Junior Ryan Bowen had a non-scoring total of 285 (127, 158).
The Cards also had strong Baker game totals, recording scores of 171, 171, 170, 207 and 204 to earn a two-round total of 2,829 and a 65-pin victory over second-place Knoxville.
“The boys displayed a lot of energy on the lanes and it showed in their performance,” Newton coach Seth Banwell said. “This victory will hopefully give them some momentum to do well at the regional tournament.”
Things were a little too close for comfort on the girls’ side, however, as the Cards earned just an eight-pin victory over Knoxville, which has improved its average by more than 200 pins in recent weeks.
Senior Bethannie Hughes led Newton in the first round with a total of 339 (179, 160), freshman Madison Humphrey was next with a 330 (187, 143), sophomore Erica Bailey had a 322 (154, 168), sophomore Courtney Tabor finished with a 283 (134, 149) and senior Ella Daft finished with a 283 (125, 158). Junior Bailee Stier had a non-scoring total of 252 (127, 125).
The Cardinals then had Baker scores of 151, 164, 166, 129 and 145 to secure their narrow 2,312-2,304 victory over Knoxville.
Next up for Newton is the regional meet on Thursday, which will be on the Panthers’ turf at Fairlane Bowl in Knoxville. The girls have reached state every year since bowling was sanctioned five years ago, and they’ll likely need a strong performance to keep that streak alive.
“I’m thrilled the girls team pulled out a victory over the other Little Hawkeye teams, but I know we haven’t reach our full potential,” Banwell said. “We have a lot of work to do at practice to solidify a first place finish at the regional tournament. They really need to step up their game to meet the high expectations that have been set.”