PELLA — It was not Newton’s day on the lanes.
In the Little Hawkeye Conference’s first-ever conference bowling meet, the Newton girls suffered their first loss of the 2013-14 season. The Cardinal girls finished third in the five-team field.
Newton’s girls had won the “conference” in previous six years based on the best season record among LHC teams. Saturday, Knoxville and Oskaloosa bowled better overall team scores than Newton, which had gone in at 13-0. Pella Christian’s girls finished fifth.
Newton’s Madison Humphrey, Erica Bailey an Payton Cox earned Little Hawkeye Conference first-team honors. Receiving second-team conference honors were Melanie Stice, Alex Bare and Jake Karlzen.
Newton’s Courtney Tabor, Andrew Lammey and Nick VerSteeg garnered conference honorable mention.
Knoxville swept the team conference championships at Pella’s Excit-A-Bowl. The meet was hosted by Pella Christian.
In the girls’ competition, Knoxville put up a 2,416 score to win with Oskaloosa coming in at 2,224. Newton’s Cardinals had a 2,190 pin total for third followed by Norwalk at 2,083 and Pella Christian at 1,715.
Newton’s boys finished fourth with a 2,388 pin total. Knoxville won the conference meet at 2,756 with Oskaloosa in second at 2,594 and Norwalk in third at 2,505. Pella Christian placed fifth with a 2,370 total.
There’s no time to get down about the conference meet. Newton hosts a Class 1A Regional Tournament Tuesday at Cardinal Lanes. Joining Newton are the teams from its conference — Knoxville, Pella Christian, Oskaloosa and Norwalk — plus Clarke of Osceola and Des Moines Hoover.
Regional team champions and individual champions advance to the 2014 Iowa Class 1A State Bowling tournament, Monday, Feb. 24, at the Plaza Lanes in Des Moines. Also advancing are the next two highest pin-count totals in team competition statewide and the next highest pin totals for individuals — both girls and boys — statewide.
Competition begins at 11 a.m. Admission is $6.
At the conference meet Saturday, Newton’s Bailey rolled a 341 with games of 197 and 144. Stice had a 329 (151-178) for the Cardinals. Humphrey threw a 269 (135-134) followed by Baliee Stier with a 265 (141-123).
Mariah Gonzales bowled at 246 (104-142). Tabor had a 239 (131-108). The Cardinal girls had Baker scores of 147, 110, 138, 179 and 167.
“It was a tough day on the lanes for both teams. We had a hard time adjusting to the lane conditions and couldn’t catch teams that we’ve beaten all season,” Newton head coach Seth Banwell said. “The approaches were sticky and the synthetic lanes were slick.”
Pella Christian field a full girls‘ team for one of the few times all season. Anna Burg led the Eagles with a 273. Chanae Van Wyk and Holly Milby each posted a 242 score.
Newton’s boys were led by Bryan McMahon with a 361, throwing a 209 in his first game and finished with a 152 second game. Cox had a 321 (165-156) and Shea Carre bowled a 308 (169-139).
Reid Miller rolled a 305 (170-135) and Bare had a 302 (134-168). VerSteeg tossed a 277 (116-161). The Cardinals‘ Baker scores were 159, 149, 163, 159 and 161.
“Our bowlers battled finding a line to the pocket,” Banwell said of all of the Newton bowlers. “We missed really simple spares that we can normally pick up very easily. I’m disappointed with how we performed, but I’m confident that we will bounce back and be ready for the regional tournament on Tuesday.”
Pella Christian’s Nick Lanser had a two-game series of 378 to lead the Eagle boys. Caleb Van Zee bowled a 356 series and Andrew Veenstra had a 319 score.