West Delaware boys bowling team had its hands full Jan. 3 when the Hawks welcomed the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikings to Lightning Lanes. The Vikings brought in a 2,968 match average while the Hawks sat at 2,808. Vinton-Shellsburg was too much for WD as they were defeated 2,950-2,765.

Eli Heims rolled the high game and series with a 434 (244-190). Brandon Larsen also crossed the 400 threshold with a 420 (211-209). The other scores that were counted were CJ Rich 353 (176-177), Kalen Recker 339 (148-191) and Hunter Cole 313 (156-157). Gabe Drinkwater’s 299 (150-149) was not counted.

Heims and Larsen struggled with some carry on their shots, but were able to fight through that mental wall to get good scores.

“Tonight was a good learning night for all of the guys,” coach Bob Morris said. “You have to battle through the misses. Conditions are always changing, and we have to get some of our new bowlers matching to what the lanes call for.”

An up and down bakers round held scores of 171, 197, 161, 176 and 202 for a 906 series. The Vikings were able to shoot a 959 with games of 177, 257, 172, 201 and 152, sealing the win.

Two of the bowlers on the varsity squad use the two hand technique which is often tougher to teach. Morris said there is a little difficulty with this.

“I have used one hand to bowl my whole life,” he said. “I have some guys to go to to ask for advice, but a big thing with two handers is their control. However, both bowlers are getting better.”

With around 50% of the team being new to the sport, there is plenty to work on. Morris zones in on one big thing he wants his team to improve.

“I want to see the guys hitting their mark more consistently and staying around the head pin,” he said.

The day after their meet against Vinton-Shellsburg, the Hawks traveled to Louisa Muscatine for a tournament with 14 teams. West Delaware finished ninth with a score of 2,745.

Heims was the high man once again as he shot a 455 (256-199). The other scores that were counted were Drinkwater 323 (184-139), Carson Schnieders 322 (176-146), Larsen 322 (172-150) and Rich 321 (189-132). Hunter Cole was the low man with a 320 (132-188). Their baker round totaled 1,002 which was over a 200 average. WD’s scores were 176, 190, 213, 213 and 210. Vinton-Shellsburg won the tournament with a 3,341. Every score that counted was over 400 with Ayden Bearbower shooting a team high 493.