DES MOINES — Strikes and spares drive pin count, which is what matters in bowling.
Newton High’s Cardinal girls were going after a higher pin count competing in Tuesday’s 2016 Iowa Class 2A State Bowling Tournament at Plaza Lanes. Their season-high match score was 2,470.
The Cardinals fell short of their goal as a team Tuesday, but had a solid state tournament. Newton was led by seniors Madison Humphrey and Mariah Gonzales, who were in their second straight state tournament, to seventh place with a final pin total of 2,376.
“We struggled as a team today,” Newton head coach Brett Jacobs said. “We had a lot of splits and some missed single pins.”
Humphrey garnered her second consecutive state individual medal. She rolled a 415 series in the two individual games to finish in a three-way tie for sixth place. Humphrey had games of 220 and 195. She was nine pins away from the fifth-place score.
“It’s pretty great to end the season and my high school career with another state medal — one place higher than last year,” Humphrey said. “I reached my personal goal. As a team, we were great today. It is a very tough competition, and for me, our team was amazing in how we handled things today.”
Waterloo East won the girls’ Class 2A championship with a 3,071 led by the individual champion junior Leah Frost. Frost had a 500 series, 290 and 210.
Ottumwa was second at 2,863 followed by Marion at 2,777. Western Dubuque placed fourth, 2,692, Denison-Schleswig was fifth, 2,577, and Sioux City North took sixth, 2,428.
After the two individual games, Newton had a 1,618 pin count. In the Baker Games, the Cardinals rolled scores of 169, 107, 164, 169 and 149.
“We didn’t do as well as I thought we were going to do as a team today,” Gonzales said. “Having four people who had never experienced state — bowling or just watching it — we had some nerves to begin with. When we got to the second game, everyone pulled together, settled down and zeroed in on it.”
Gonzales went in to state with a goal of earning one of the top 10 individual medals. She finished 29th overall with a 342 on games of 162 and 180.
“Those aren’t bad games for me, but here at state the competition is tough. Some of these girls can really put up big numbers,” Gonzales said. “It’s always fun here, and the atmosphere today was great.”
Sophomore Kaytie Hughes didn’t seem to be nervous at her first state meet, serving up a strike to open the tournament for Newton. Junior Lizzy Coyle had an open frame to start, but came back with a strike in the second frame. Junior Alexis Etter had a strike in her first frame of the state tournament.
The Cardinals began their second individual games with three straight strikes by Hughes, sophomore Kayla Sopher and Coyle. Hughes flirted with a fourth strike, knocking down nine pins and got the spare.
Hughes had four strikes in her first game and four more in her second game. Coyle recorded three strikes in her second game.
Gonzales left one pin standing in the first fame of the second game, but threw five strikes over the next nine frames. She ended with three straight strikes — two in the 10th frame.
Humphrey’s second game had six strikes. She went out much as her classmate — three straight strikes, two in the 10th frame. Humphrey’s third roll in the 10th knocked down nine pins while Gonzales left three pins standing in her bonus roll of the 10th.
Hughes finished 37th overall at 309 on games of 155 and 154. Coyle placed 42nd at 287 (134-147) followed by Etter at 45th with a 271 (133-138) and Sopher at 46th with a 245 (104-141).
Contact Jocelyn Sheets at 641-792-3121 ext. 6535 or firstname.lastname@example.org