April 22, 2024

Cardinal boys finish eighth at state bowling

Newton struggles down the stretch of pre-bracket play

Austin Kennedy

WATERLOO — Not a single member of the Newton boys’ bowling team was happy with its performance during the team portion of the Class 2A state bowling tournament on Wednesday.

Even though the Cardinals fared slightly better than their Baker game average, Newton had a hard time getting past its 15th and final game at Cadillac XBC.

The Cardinals entered the final Baker game needing about 160 to clinch a top-four finish and a spot in the championship bracket.

Unfortunately for Newton, it just wasn’t in the cards.

“They’re bummed, but they are one of eight teams in 2A to be here,” Newton head bowling coach Christie Hughes said. “They should be proud of where they are at right now. Everyone has off days. Everyone has off games. Even professional bowlers.”

Sebastian King

Newton hovered around the top five for most of the Baker games, but a late push by Keokuk and a few down games by the Cardinals dropped them to sixth after pre-bracket play.

The top four scores from the first 15 Baker games advanced to the championship bracket and the bottom four competed in the consolation bracket.

In the consolation bracket, the Cardinals went 0-2 and finished eighth in the final standings.

“I was bummed because the format was changed. If you didn’t make the top four in Bakers, you didn’t have a shot to move up,” Newton senior Tamion Adams said. “That didn’t feel real tournament like to me so I was kind of out of it mentally once we didn’t make the top four.”

The Cardinals simply couldn’t recover from the 129 they put up in the 15th and final Baker game.

They opened with a 175-152 win against Western Dubuque in the opening round of the consolation bracket. But the Bobcats rallied with three straight wins to advance to the fifth-place matchup.

Western Dubuque edged Newton 215-211 in the second game and then won 192-132 and 201-157 in the final two games. The Cardinals led the second game 136-107 in the sixth frame, but the Bobcats rallied to grab momentum and never gave it up.

The Cardinals faced Denison-Schleswig in the seventh-place match. They lost 3-0 after falling 167-154, 208-170 and 247-191.

Newton didn’t roll a single strike in the opening game against the Monarchs and then had just two strikes in game two. Denison-Schleswig ended the third game with eight straight strikes.

“The first 10 Baker games were on fresh lanes and the last five were not,” Newton senior Sebastian King said. “They told us we would get fresh lanes right away in bracket play, and we are pretty good on fresh lanes. We thought we’d get it done. But then they put us on the burnt lanes after we just bowled a 120 on them.

“If we were on fresh lanes, it would have given me a better mindset, but I couldn’t do anything on the burnt lanes.”

Clinton was the best team inside Cadillac Lanes from the opening Baker game to the final round of the championship bracket.

The River Kings were the top seed out of pre-bracket play after turning in a Baker score of 3,341. They downed second-seeded LeMars in the championship match, 3-2, to win the 2A state title.

Clinton edged LeMars 201-200 in the opener and then took the title following a 203-199 advantage in the fifth game.

Owen Guldberg

LeMars had a pre-bracket score of 3,220 to lock up the No. 2 seed. Decorah grabbed the No. 3 seed with a score of 3,036.

Dowling Catholic (2,976), Keokuk (2,969) and Newton (2,958) were separated by 18 pins for the fourth and final championship bracket spot.

“Coming up a little short definitely stunk,” Newton senior Alex Kearse said. “We bowled pretty well the whole day until the last two games. Coming up 20 pins short put our morale in the dumps. We were bummed at that point and then we had to play on burnt lanes, which didn’t help.”

The Cardinals finished with an average Baker score of 197.2. They came into the day tied for the second-best average at 196.1.

Clinton turned in a Baker game average of 222.73, which was 25 pins better than its season average. LeMars average of 214.67 was 21 pins better than its regular-season average.

Newton’s first set of Baker games were played on Lanes 7 and 8. The Cardinals rolled scores of 192, 188, 212, 210 and 233.

The 212 game started with four straight strikes and featured seven strikes in all.

The 210 game included eight strikes and ended with five straight. King rolled four strikes during that game.

The Cardinals had no open frames in their 233 and King’s string of strikes reached seven.

Newton moved to Lanes 11 and 12 for the next five Baker games. The Cardinals turned in scores of 229, 179, 224 and a pair of 196s.

The 229 game featured eight strikes and multiple open frames. The 179 included three strikes and a 7-9 spare pickup from Owen Guldberg.

“It was better than last year and Owen picking up the 7-9 was awesome,” King said. “We get a trophy no matter what and medals. It’s a win-win. And we were top eight out of how many teams?”

Hughes changed up her Baker order in game eight. The Cardinals ended their 224 game with seven straight strikes.

Newton moved down a few lanes for the final five Baker games. The Cardinals started with a 202 and a 205 but ended with scores of 184, 179 and 129.

“Their mindset after that was not good. They just rolled a 129 and missed fourth by a small margin,” Hughes said. “We talked about nothing under 180 going into the day. I don’t know why we couldn’t get it going.”

Adams said they just had trouble picking up spares in that final game.

“We didn’t know how close we were until after the game, but it was just spare shooting,” Adams said. “We didn’t do well with our spares. My shots were OK, but I could have been better.”

Tamion Adams

They also bowled next to Keokuk, which finished with scores of 236, 211, 237, 189 and 204. The Chiefs were in eighth after five games and seventh after 10 but moved into the top five with a strong finish. They wound up sixth in the final standings after losing to Western Dubuque, 3-0, in the fifth-place match.

“When you start seeing the 200s rack up next to you, it does affect the mindset,” Hughes said. “They knew they needed more pins, and I think it got to the point where they were trying too hard.

“We tried to make adjustments but just couldn’t come back from it. They definitely lost steam.”

Hughes tinkered with the lineup down the stretch. She shifted guys in and out and switched up the order, but nothing seemed to get the Cardinals back on track.

“We tried to find an order that worked, but we just couldn’t get it,” Hughes said. “About halfway through that set, they started to realize this was the last time they were going to bowl together. That took over their minds at that point.

“They get a long so well and this is something they have enjoyed together. I think it’s just emotional for them all.”

Notes: Decorah defeated Dowling Catholic, 3-1, in the third-place match … In the girls’ competition, Keokuk defeated LeMars to win the 2A state championship. Oskaloosa finished eighth after falling to Independence in the seventh-place match.