KNOXVILLE — Through seven competitions, Newton’s girls have been perfect on the bowling lanes. Newton’s boys are making strides.
Last Saturday, the Cardinal girls posted a team win in the Knoxville triangular meet. They defeated Knoxville by 84 pins and Oskaloosa by 508 pins. Newton combined for a final score of 2,461 followed by Knoxville at 2,378 and Oskaloosa 1,954.
The Cardinal boys threw a second-place finish on the lanes at Fairlane Bowl. Knoxville won the competition by 38 pins over Newton, 2,883-2,846. Oskaloosa was third at 2,561.
During the individual-game round, Madison Humphrey led the Newton girls with a 400, rolling the only 200 game (212) for the Cardinals. It was her best performance of the season, according to Newton head bowling coach Seth Banwell. Melanie Stice had games of 196 and 176 for a 372.
Courtney Tabor bowled a 319 (166, 153) followed by Bailee Stier at 289 (147,142), Erica Bailey at 281 (135,146) and Mariah Gonzales at 250 (108,142).
“This was a very intense meet. We were neck-and-neck with our rival Knoxville throughout the meet. I was very impressed with Knoxville. They improved their team score by 389 pins since the last time we bowled against them. It came down to who could perform better in the Baker games,” Banwell said.
Banwell said the girls started off strong the first game with a 188, but lost a lot of ground in the second game. The Cardinals regrouped after that and started working better as a team, he said. Newton increased its lead by 75 pins in the last Baker game to secure the win and remain undefeated.
The Newton girls’ Baker game scores were 188, 115, 183, 148 and 167 for an 801.
“I continue to see huge strides made by Melanie Stice. She recently changed her hand position from back-up-ball to a traditional hook ball hand position and her scores have really skyrocketed,” Banwell said. “Melanie has really stepped it up since we came back from holiday break.”
Banwell said Humphrey was very consistent every shot. He said she has great form with a nice finish, which is needed to have good ball reaction into the pocket, plus she threw a lot of strikes and improved her spare game.
Four Newton boys rolled 200-plus games during the competition. Topping the list was Alex Bare, who finished with a 403 for the two individual games.
“This is the best I’ve seen the boys bowl all season. They displayed tons of energy both on and off the lanes,” Banwell said. “The boys were down by 173 pins after the individuals round and never gave up.”
Banwell said Bare threw an impressive 247 game after throwing a 156 in his first game. Banwell said Bare is a very aggressive bowler that can generate a lot of power. “When his ball hit the pocket it just destroyed the pins,” Banwell said.
Jake Karlzen had a 222 in his opening game and finished with a 389 for the Cardinals. Payton Cox tossed a 200 in the opening game and had a 367 total. Nick VerSteeg had a 349 (188, 161) and Reid Miller posted a 347 (168, 179). Bryan McMahon came through with a 204 in his second game to end up at 382.
“During the third Baker game, the boys bowled an amazing 243 and beat the Panthers by 117 pins to make it a heated battle to the end. All of the boys bowled really well. They averaged 189 during the individual games and 191 during the Baker games,” Banwell said.
The Newton boys’ Baker game scores were 212, 145, 243, 181, 174 for a 955.
Newton’s teams host Pella Christian and Norwalk this coming Saturday at Cardinal Lanes. Competition begins at 9 a.m.