April 22, 2024

Cardinal trio competes in state bowling tournament

Keith leads Newton bowlers with top-20 finish

Libbie Keith

WATERLOO — Emotions started to run high for Newton senior Libbie Keith in her third and final game at the state bowling tournament on Monday.

For Keith and fellow senior Genessa Slings, their time on the bowling team had just a few frames left.

“I’m very sad. Bowling has been my life,” Keith said. “I will be sad to not come back next year, but I went out with a bang.”

Keith did indeed go out with a bang. She started her day with three straight strikes and opened the third and final game with three consecutive strikes, too, but a 19th-place finish was not good enough to advance to bracket play.

It was the best placing among Cardinals though as Slings placed 27th and senior Owen Guldberg was 30th on the boys’ side at Cadillac XBC.

Each of the 32 state qualifiers for both girls and boys bowled three games to determine the top eight in each division. Those eight moved on to bracket play and the rest of the field ended the individual portions of their seasons.

“Being here is a big deal. They should all be proud,” Newton head bowling coach Christie Hughes said. “We had tears in the second frame of the third game. It was emotions of it being the end. There have been so many last firsts, and it’s been emotional for the girls.”

Owen Guldberg

Keith finished with a 539 series with single games of 180, 169 and 190. She missed the top eight by 57 pins. It was an improvement from the past two seasons when Keith finished 23rd with a 480 series and 30th with a 414 series.

Keith’s opening game featured five strikes, three spares and three open frames. Her second game included three strikes, five spares and one open frame.

After opening her third game with three strikes, she went nine-spare twice followed by another strike. The 190 featured six strikes, two spares and two open frames.

“I just tried to hit the mark and hope for the best,” Keith said. “But I also wanted to make sure I wasn’t throwing it too fast or too slow to make sure it hooked well.

“State always makes me nervous, but I’m happy with where I placed and how I bowled.”

Slings finished with a 477 series after posting single games of 136, 168 and 173. She rolled a 406 series at last year’s state tournament.

Her first game featured two strikes, three spares and three splits. The second game included four strikes — three in a row — and three spares and the third game had four strikes, five spares and one split.

“I think I bowled better than last year,” Slings said. “I didn’t react well to things, and my shoulder bothered me today. It’s been hurting for a few weeks. Not sure what I did to it.”

Guldberg finished with a 521 series but needed a 660 to advance to bracket play. His single games were 201, 150 and 170.

The fast start to his day featured five straight strikes after an open first frame. The second game included two strikes and four spares and he rolled three strikes and five spares in the third game.

“I had a good looking ball for a while. Then I threw one and it didn’t do what it should have and it kind of went downhill from there,” Guldberg said. “I couldn’t really build it back up.

“It was a fun day, but I wish I could have done better.”

Four of the top five pre-bracket play finishers advanced to the semifinals of bracket play.

The eventual state champion was Keokuk’s Jaelynn Ketterer, who had a three-game series of 691. She won the championship with consecutive games of 236, 229 and 205.

The runner-up was Denison-Schleswig’s Brianna Musgrave and Keokuk’s Sophia Rule finished third.

Bailey Gill of LeMars also reached the semifinals. Her pre-bracket play series was a tournament-best 739.

Bondurant-Farrar’s Collin Britt had the best male pre-bracket series with a 702. Urbandale’s Damien Timm, who averages a 237.45 for a single game, was next with a 691.

Troy Hyde/Newton News

However, the first round of bracket play featured three “upsets” as fourth-seeded Kendall Bell of Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson won the state title. He turned in scores of 224, 220 and 203.

Jake Fink of Denison-Schleswig was next as he rolled single games of 231, 238 and 176. Marion’s Jacob Schaffer finished third as he turned in single games of 223, 234 and 224.

The state bowling tournaments did not use Maple Lanes in Waterloo this season, but the Cardinals bowled practice rounds there on Sunday. They used the same oil pattern as Cadillac XBC.

“The oil is sticky. My hands are sticky,” Slings said. “I didn’t like that. It was weird and kind of gross.”

Notes: Oskaloosa’s Sidney Thompson reached bracket play with a three-game series of 616. … Rule (203.86) and LeMars’ Natalie Vanderloo (203.68) entered the state meet with the best single-game averages. Slings entered the state meet with a single-game average of 174.53 and Keith’s single-game average was 166.95. ... Defending 2A state champion Trey VanWyk of Oskaloosa finished 14th after posting a three-game series of 635. He entered the state meet with a single-game average of 243. Guldberg’s single-game average was 198.67.