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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
March 5, 2024

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Strong start from Kierra Wilcox, Evergreen lead the Plainsmen to 3A district bowling title

Skyview takes first in 4A led by district champion Lauren Gaynor

By , Columbian staff writer

On its opening game of the 4A/3A district bowling tournament, Evergreen combined to score 936, a number that superseded every other result the team had recorded this season.

From there, the Plainsmen were off to the races to chase down another district title.

Led by 3A individual district champion Kierra Wilcox, who rolled a 269 in game one to set the tone for a strong day, Evergreen claimed first place in the 3A team standings on Friday at Hazel Dell Lanes.

The Plainsmen earned their eighth consecutive trip to the 3A state tournament to be held Feb. 1-2 in Tukwila.

“Oh my gosh, I’ll take that any day,” Evergreen coach Robin Bailey said of the opening 936. “The girls were pumped and it gave us a little buffer. … We haven’t shot 900 all year. They came together on the right day.”

In 4A, Skyview took first place with a combined tally of 3,609 pins. The defending 4A state champion Storm claimed each of the top four spots individually, including 4A individual champion Lauren Gaynor, who finished the three-game individual series with 523. Skyview’s Kaydree Rowland (511), Karley Coleman (500) and Addy Case (497) filled each of the next three individual spots.

Wilcox, however, finished the day with the highest individual score and game. The key for the senior was picking the right ball at the end of practice and sticking with it.

“I decided to throw this ball one time in the last shot of practice and I struck and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to throw that ball,’ ” Wilcox said. “I threw that ball and it was, strike, strike, strike, back-to-back-to-back.”

By winning her first district championship this season after twice finishing runner-up, Wilcox carried the torch passed on by her older sister, Kailee Wilcox, who won three district titles at Evergreen in her high school career.

“It feels like a pattern,” Kierra Wilcox joked. “It’s nice.”

Evergreen also had two medalists in the top five with Alexis Clarke and Bella Curry, each of whom tallied 507 to finish in a tie for fourth place. The Plainsmen also had Zoey Mikkelsen and Chloe Shove in their lineup for the individual games, and rotated Alissa Barber into the seven baker games.

Evergreen led second-place Heritage by 451 pins entering the afternoon baker games. The Timberwolves provided some fireworks with baker games of 197 and 191, which were the highest scores among all 3A and 4A teams.

In the end, Evergreen held on to its lead by a comfortable margin, finishing with a score of 3,648 ahead of Heritage’s 3,262 tally.

The Plainsmen, who graduated three seniors last year including Kailee Wilcox, had somewhat of an up and down experience earlier this season. Yet they hope a performance like Friday bodes well for their prospects at state, where they won four straight 3A titles between 2017 and 2020 and took fourth place last season.

“I’m so proud, I just can’t even begin to tell you,” Bailey said. “With this inexperienced team, it’s really come together. I’m really excited to see what they’ll do next week.”

“We want to win, obviously. Everybody does,” Kierra Wilcox added. “But we’re not worried about winning. We just want to do the best that we can, and do the best our coach knows that we can do.”

Also qualifying for state as individuals were Prairie’s Kasumi Hori (522) as well as Kelso’s Emily Strehle (554) and Lindsay Walker (506) in 3A.

In the 4A ranks, individual qualifiers included Mercedez Gonzalez (493) and Audrey Fellows (454) of Camas and Battle Ground’s Emberly Stephensen (483).

Skyview, which won its first state bowling championship last season, will return to state with much of the same lineup from last season including Gaynor, Coleman, Case and Avery Henderson. Both Case, a sophomore, and Gaynor, a senior, were also top-five finishers at state last year.

The 4A state tournament will be held Feb. 3-4 in Tukwila.


At Husted’s Hazel Dell Lanes

Team scores — 1, Skyview 3609; 2, Battle Ground 3124; 3, Camas 3007; 4, Union 2581. (Skyview advances to state.)

Top individuals — 1, Lauren Gaynor, Skyview (185-166-172) 523; 2, Kaydree Rowland, Skyview (212-132-167) 511; 3, Karley Coleman, Skyview (190-150-160) 500; 4, Addy Case, Skyview (94-206-197) 497; 5, Mercedes Gonzalez, Camas (149-188-156) 493.

Team results

(*-individual state qualifiers)

SKYVIEW — Lauren Gaynor 523, Kaydree Rowland 511, Karley Coleman 500, Addy Case 497, Avery Henderson (157-151-168) 476. Baker total 1102.

BATTLE GROUND — Emberly Stephenson* (133-159-191) 483, Emma Johnson (125-139-161) 425, Halina Ashford (153-108-141) 402, Makayla Lynch 118-152-125) 395, Abigail Johnson 143-144-104) 391. Baker total 1028.

CAMAS — Mercedes Gonzalez* 493, Audrey Fellows* (149-161-144) 454, Abby Seth (136-119-127) 382, Keiara Ressler (120-135) 255, Aleen Dhillon (114-108) 222, Kualani Kenekoa 114, Maya Voogt 101.  Baker total 986.

UNION — Jin Finklea (111-126-138) 375, Danielle Campbell (117-113-135) 365, April Paulat (113-114-127) 354, Michelle Zhao (120-115-112) 347, Sydney Tran (108-122-116) 346. Baker total 794.


At Husted’s Hazel Dell Lanes

Team scores — 1, Evergreen 3648; 2, Heritage 3262; 3, Kelso 3063; 4, Prairie 2928; 5, Mountain View 2535. (Evergreen advances to state.)

Top individuals — 1, Kierra Wilcox, Evergreen (269-199-161) 629; 2, Emily Strehle, Kelso (223-155-176) 554; 3, Kasumi Hori, Prairie (158-207-157) 522; T-4 Alexis Clarke, Evergreen (192-166-149) 507; T-4 Bella Curry (170-199-138) 507.

16 Photos
A Camas bowler watches as a ball grazes the final pin Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, during the 4A/3A District Bowling Tournament at Husted’s Hazel Dell Lanes.
4A/3A District Bowling Tournament Photo Gallery

Team results

(*-individual state qualifiers)

EVERGREEN — Kierra Wilcox 629, Alexis Clarke 507, Bella Curry 507, Zoey Mikkelson (153-148-147) 448, Chloe Shove (152-147-127) 426. Baker total 1131.

HERITAGE — Evalynn Ables (110-225-148) 483, Mia Caggianese (150-159-138) 447, Alexis Fisher (161-120-166) 447, Emily Iangevin (115-125-173) 413, Kiley Park (144-111) 255, Delilah Baranoff 121. Baker total 1096.

KELSO — Emily Strehle* 554, Lindsay Walker* (194-176-136) 506, Bre Foster (156-128-133) 417, Paige Molyneux (117-105-133) 355. Maddy Wood (101-118-97) 316. Baker total 915.

PRAIRIE — Kasumi Hori* 522, Bella Hewes (157-202-134) 493, Jennifer Cabusao (178-143-119) 440, Faith Ordway (101-116-89) 306, Sophia Nelson (112-91-84) 287. Baker total 880.

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Maya Peterson* 487, Khalia Holmes (92-133-113) 338, Mya Nguyen (94-107-83) 284, Thu Pham (137-95) 232, Ashlyn Olsen (99-103) 202, Aliyah Landers (106-79) 185. Baker total 734.