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Evergreen bowlers knock down another district title

Plainsmen, Prairie, Skyview earn berths to state tournament

By , Columbian staff writer
3 Photos
Members of the Evergreen High School girls bowling team celebrate after a shot during district bowling action at Crosley Lanes on Friday afternoon, Jan. 31, 2020.
Members of the Evergreen High School girls bowling team celebrate after a shot during district bowling action at Crosley Lanes on Friday afternoon, Jan. 31, 2020. ( (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Shoot big, and big things will happen.

The first game to kickoff the 4A/3A district bowling tournament Friday at Allen’s Crosley Lanes is when, in fact, the Evergreen Plainsmen — with targets on their backs as the three-time defending Class 3A state champions — figured it’d be a good day.

Their day, in fact.

“Once I found my line,” sophomore Kailee Wilcox said, “and once everyone found their line, we were on it. We were on fire.”

And it was that way for Evergreen from the start. A 969 opening game set the tone for Evergreen to take back the 3A district title and earn a state berth.

The top two 3A teams, plus the next top four individuals qualify for next week’s state bowling tournament in University Place near Tacoma. In 4A, Skyview repeated as district champion to seal the district’s lone berth.

Evergreen edged Prairie, 3757-3683 behind Wilcox’s repeat performance as the individual district champion. She rolled a 657 over three games, including a 247 opener and a 223 in her final game.

7 Photos
Skyview's Nicole Hayes steps up to the approach during girls district bowling action at Crosley Lanes on Friday afternoon, Jan. 31, 2020.
Girls 4A/3A District Bowling Photo Gallery

Evergreen might be young with a trio of freshmen, but has found its groove at the right time. If the Plainsmen felt any pressure Friday, they never showed it. They opened rolling a 969 opening game, highlighted by Wilcox’s 247 and a 223 by Karina Johnsen.

Evergreen built a 157-pin lead on runner-up Prairie entering the afternoon’s seven-game baker format. In the sixth baker game, Evergreen rolled six consecutive strikes for a 213 game.

That’s a wild turkey in bowling terms.

“Those were crazy,” Wilcox said of the consecutive strikes.

Not to be outdone was the finale between Prairie and Fort Vancouver. Twenty-nine pins separated the two teams for one berth.

Prairie makes a repeat trip to state but Friday, needed its final baker game to clinch it.

Prairie held that 29-pin lead on Fort Vancouver entering the final game, and while Fort coach Julie Pagel told her Trappers team their deficit, Falcons coach Rhonda Bash elected not to tell her team just how close it was.

Instead, their crowd behind them let them know it when it was over. Prairie edged Fort, 205-195 in the game behind four consecutive strikes to win, 3683-3644.

Said Prairie coach Rhonda Bash: “When they get fired up, they feed off each other.”

Fort at one point, had three straight strikes and Nina Albrecht picked up a split that kept the Trappers close. It’s no surprise to either team the outcome was that close. Prairie won by a mere four pins, 2129-2125 at Tiger Bowl earlier this month.

“We had to go big,” said Rose Ugbinada, who earned her second individual state berth. “We still put a good number up, and I was excited about it.”

Maelyn Ocampo (619) and Sierrah Kienitz (582) of Mountain View advance to state, as does Kelso’s Emily Strehle (575) and Fort’s Rose Ugbinada (569).

Class 4A

Skyview repeats as 4A district champion: Behind individual champion Nicole Hayes, Skyview repeated as 4A district champion, besting runner-up Camas, 3730-3517.

For Hayes, winning the individual title came as a bit of a surprise. Friday felt like a redemption tournament for the senior, who didn’t fare as well at districts in 2019. She rolled a 211 in her final game to edge Camas’ Kimmy Boone (531). Boone and teammate Kaeli Daniels (500) also qualify for state.

“I was just bowling like I know how to bowl,” Hayes said. “I took everything I’ve learned and put it into action today.”

Of the top five finishes, three came by Skyview. After Hayes came Angelina Matalas who rolled a 518 to place third and defending 4A individual champion McKenzie Sparano (517) placed fourth.

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