By PATRICK MacCOON
With consistency throughout its lineup, the Walker Valley Lady Mustangs carved its name into the Region 3 championship with relative ease.Knocking down their spares and with plenty of strikes as …
With consistency throughout its lineup, the Walker Valley Lady Mustangs carved its name into the Region 3 championship with relative ease.
Knocking down their spares and with plenty of strikes as well, the seventh-ranked girls team in the state will have the luxury of hosting a sub-state match at Leisure Time against Oakland this Saturday at 11 a.m.
Out of a starting lineup of six bowlers, the seventh-ranked Lady Mustangs landed five bowlers on the all-region team: Natily Haro, Maddie Davis, Claire Townsend, Michaela Brown and Tayla Graham.
The strong core, led by an individual state tournament qualifier in Haro (188.83 season pin fall average), helped defeat Soddy-Daisy (24-3) in the semifinals and knock off East Hamilton (13-3) in the finals at Spare Time in Hixson Wednesday afternoon.
While the Walker Valley boys fell unexpectedly in the region semifinals to Soddy to close their season at 15-3 overall, senior Hayden Word and freshman Jacob Brown will roll in the individual state tournament as well next week.
Word was second in District 5 with a pin fall average of 214.34, while Brown averaged 200.18 per 10 frames.
Bradley Central’s Leah White will also make the trip to the Smyrna Bowling Center (Jan. 18-20) as a two-time state qualifier along with Haro and Word.
Haro was strong in a closing role Wednesday, as she rolled the day’s highest game of 239 in game three against the Lady Trojans and added a 212 to close out the championship.
The standout roller landed a stellar average through six games of 201.5 to become one of five WV bowlers to be selected to the all-region team. Haro led the region team selection with a 214 pin fall average over her top three games.
Davis, Townsend, Brown and Graham combined for an average pin fall of 166.9.
Davis and Townsend had a pair of 200-games, while Brown added a 189 in game three of the semis and Graham rolled a personal best 182 in game three of the finals.
After breaking 3,000 as a team for the first time last week in a district finals win over East Hamilton, Walker Valley (13-1) toppled 3,004 pins against Soddy and 2,991 to pull away from East Hamilton.
John Smeltzer believes if his team can keep up its consistent aim and chemistry, a chance to advance to the state tournament could very well present itself.
Both the team and individual state tournaments will be held at the Smyrna Bowling Center next Thursday through Saturday.
Also helping land the region championship for the Lady Mustangs were Brie Pritchett (153 high game), Hannah Raper (152 high) and Montana Blaylock (179 high).
SODDY-DAISY 16, WALKER VALLEY 11
Throughout the season the fourth-ranked Mustangs mentioned the state tournament as its ultimate goal, as any competitive group would.
However, a postseason letdown saw the group fall in the district championship last week and suffer a final heartbreak to Soddy-Daisy.
The Trojans posted a dominant 3,351 pin fall as a team compared to 3,230 for its opposition.
Andrew Wilkinson’s 256 in game three and Austin Humes’ 244 in game one helped provide a strong advantage for Soddy.
WV saw its lineup roll four games over 200: Word (213 high, 208), Jacob Jarnigan (202) and Archie Bowers (202).
Jon Womble's finished his prep career with a high score of 196 in game one.
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