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News / Sports / Prep Sports

For Skyview sophomore, 4A district bowling title is reason to dance

Sparano helps Storm to second straight team crown

By Andy Buhler, Columbian Staff Writer
Published: January 25, 2019, 11:11pm

There were times this season when McKenzie Sparano didn’t think competing in districts was possible.

The Skyview sophomore bowler took time away from the sport to raise her grades. She bowled a few matches, but Sparano, who is one of the three Storm bowlers who have state tournament experience, knew she would make the most of it if she got the opportunity.

Did she ever.

Sparano won the individual 4A district championship at Crosley Lanes on Friday. She outscored the second place finisher by 94 pins and led the Storm to its second consecutive team district title, and state tournament berth.

“I’m really happy I got to (compete) this year,” Sparano said. “I had my eyes set on it, but I didn’t think it was possible.”

And to add a cherry on top of her accomplishment-laden afternoon, Sparano’s significant other stood holding a sign after the award ceremony that read: “spare me a dance at winter formal?”

“It is (a pretty good day),” she said. “Exciting too. And emotional.”

Camas outscored Skyview in the baker games and posted a seventh baker game of 212 to pull within 18.

In 4A, only one team from district 4 advances to state. Two individuals, Camas’ Jace Grubbs and Kimmy Boone, advance to state as individuals.

Boone posted a 179 average through her three games. And she did so in the very house she honed her craft in over the past year, raising her average all the way from an 88.

“I didn’t even go to districts last year,” Boone said. “It was really the Crosley junior Saturday program that helped me get up there a little bit, and the rest you just have to do on your own practicing.”

By qualifying as an individual, Grubbs upended doubts from last year at districts, when the Papermaker fell short of qualifying for state.

“I just choked under pressure of it all,” Grubbs said, “and this time I felt really calm and I actually believed this time I could get there.”

Skyview’s individual and team title gives coach Eric Silvey confidence as the Storm look to beat last year’s 6th place finish at the 4A state tournament, which takes place Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place.

The Storm saw four bowlers finish in the top 12 on Friday, which helped them take a 91-pin lead heading into baker games. Silvey credited Nicole Hayes for owning the middle frames during the bakers.

“And then McKenzie, her ability to close in a 10th frame has made it so that we’re going on,” Silvey said, chuckling.

Sparano said she made a concerted effort this season to change her attitude. She sought to be a better teammate, and a better leader. Just stay calm, she practiced, and focus on executing her shot.

“We’re just a big family and sisterhood,” Sparano said. “We always want to get along. If there’s bickering back and forth, we always want to work it out as a team. We always go to our coaches for advice if we need help on something.”

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Columbian Staff Writer