In a game like bowling, the ability to adapt to lane conditions is paramount to finding sustained success. This was especially true for the six teams vying for a trip to state at the Class 2A State-Qualiyfing Meet at Decorah, Feb. 12.
When all the pins had fallen, it was a senior-heavy West Delaware squad that came away with that coveted spot. The 2018 1A champs found a way to do it all, scoring 3,020 as a team to overcome area-rival Western Dubuque (2,943) in a Decorah venue that has long been known to have an excruciatingly dry shot.
“You know that there’s going to be some ups and downs. We started out pretty rough, had a lot of opens early. We had to be patient. We had talked about that going in, and they stayed with it, stayed calm, and then we had two frames where we all struck,” head coach Bob Morris said. “We never take it for granted, that’s for sure. You never know when it’s going to end. Now we’re getting a chance to bowl at state, and the kids are really excited for the opportunity.”
Senior Ian Tibbott finished third overall for the Hawks, rolling a phenomenal 248 in the first game followed by a 192 for a 440 series. Senior Cole Turnis finished right behind him in fourth, posting a 193 in the first game before delivering a new single game personal best of 241 in the second game for another personal best 434 series.
WaMaC champion Alex Schnieders 394 (177, 217) finished ninth, followed by junior Eli Heims 394 (202, 187) and senior Grant Schmidt 388 (200, 188). Junior Brandon Larsen 362 (184, 178) also competed for the Hawks.
West Delaware had a 75-pin lead over the Bobcats after the individual sessions before posting Baker games of 192, 211, 159, 244 and 169 to extend their final margin of victory to 77 pins.
Decorah’s Tyler Thompson took advantage of his home field advantage to win the meet with a 479 series. Waterloo East’s Austin Snyder was the runner-up at 476. Decorah (2,856) finished third in the team standings, followed by Waterloo East (2,799), Marion (2,785) and Waverly-Shell Rock (2,572).
The Hawks advanced to yesterday’s co-ed state finals at Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo. There, they were scheduled to take on fellow auto-qualifiers North Scott, Council Bluffs, LeMars, Keokuk and at-large teams Clinton, Cedar Rapid Xavier and Ottumwa.
The qualification was a collective sigh of relief for an experienced team that had stumbled collectively at the WaMaC Tournament after losing a great deal of practice time due to snowstorms in early February.
“We got a little frustrated at the WaMaC, but we did a lot better job on handling our misses and learning from them this time around,” Morris said. “We knew it was going to be a dry shot and we knew we were going to have to handle that and not get upset about it. The kids did a great job of that, and we got a couple of breaks when we needed them and made the shots we needed to. We’re happy. When you have that many seniors you want to get them and their parents there, and I’m really proud of the guys for pulling it off.”