Bearcat Bowlers Take Second at Districts, Advance to State


W.F. West girls bowling was edged by 27 pins to Columbia River, finishing second at the 2A District 4 tournament Saturday at Triangle Lanes in Longview.

With the top four teams advancing to the state tournament, Columbia River captured the district championship, the defending state champion Bearcats were second, R.A. Long was third and Black Hills placed fourth.

“Our coaching staff is really proud of our bowler’s performance today,” W.F. West coach Don Bunker said. “As a team, however, we were not quite ourselves and still almost won the whole thing. We missed too many easy spares today, which Coach Bob Spahr always says is the difference between winning and losing.  

“The good news is that we qualified for state and still have a really good shot to win the state championship next Friday. We will clean up a few things next week at practice and make the adjustments we need to hopefully defend our 2020 state championship.

The format for the district tournament was modified slightly due to COVID protocols. There were 12 teams in the tournament, with each team bowling three team games and then seven Baker Games were bowled to crown the champion. 

After three games, the top four teams were only separated by 54 total pins. Columbia River had a 20-pin advantage over Black Hills, a 40-pin lead on the Bearcats and a 54-pin lead over R.A. Long. 

“We knew we had a really good chance of overtaking Black Hills and Columbia River during the seven Baker Games,” Bunker said. “We have traditionally been really good in Baker Games. We made up ground, but ended up a couple spares or a strike short in the last game. We had our chances all day, we just could not capitalize in some key situations.”

W.F. West’s Piper Chalmers took home her second-consecutive individual individual district title, leading all bowlers with an impressive 666 series. 

“Piper always steps up in big situations for our team,” Bunker said. “We were happy to see her bring home another individual district championship. Piper will have a really good chance to compete for the individual state championship next week in Tacoma.” 

The 2A state championship tournament takes place Feb. 3 to 5, at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place.