W.F. West girls bowling is back to another blazing start after racking up wins over Mark Morris (1,821-1,703) in their season opener on Nov. 10, and Rochester (1,916-1,280) on Nov. 16.
The Bearcats, who captured their second-straight district championship last season in June, are also defending state champions, having won the state title in 2020. They did not get a chance to defend that title last season with all state championships being canceled due to the pandemic.
With the state tournament back this season, the Bearcats once again look just as dominant. They are currently on a 26-match win streak and have not been beaten since 2019.
The Bearcats lose two veteran all-leaguers in Jessica Loflin and Brianna Powe to graduation, but return 2A Evergreen Conference MVP and District 4 individual champion Piper Chalmers, a junior who has averaged over 200 the past three seasons.
They also return two-time all-league selection Cami Aldrich (senior), second-team all-league pick Clara Bunker (junior) and varsity bowler Audrey Toynbee (senior).
“Even with the graduation of Brianna and Jessica, we still believe we are the team to beat in the Evergreen Conference and in the state at the 2A level, “W.F. West head coach Don Bunker saod. “We are excited to defend our 2020 state championship and/or 2021 District 4 championship, but it starts with focusing on winning our third league title and improving every match.”
The Bearcats have 20 girls competing this year and are enthusiastic about their youth, the team’s work ethic and potential for the future.
“We have some very athletic new bowlers that are eager to learn and have unlimited potential,” assistant coach Rich Bunker said.
In their season opener on Nov. 10, the Bearcats edged Mark Morris 1,821-1,703 on the road in a non-league contest at Triangle Lanes in Longview.
Mark Morris came out firing and took the first game 766-744. Aldrich led the Bearcats in Game 1 with a solid 173 on a very tough shot.
“It was not the start we expected, but it was a good wake up call for our girls to understand we have a lot of work to do if we are going to capture the success the program has had over the last three seasons,” Don Bunker said.
In Game 2 the Bearcats gained a slight lead heading into the Baker format games, winning 748-650. The Bearcats were led by sophomore Tyran Ozretich with a 178.
“Tyran really clutched up for us in her first varsity match,” Bunker said “We are expecting big things from her as she develops her skills as a bowler over the next three seasons.”
In Baker Game 1, the Bearcats won 152-120. In the second Baker game, the Bearcats rolled a 177 to the Monarchs 167.
Chalmers, the Bearcat anchor, struggled during the regular games, but came through for the Bearcats during the Baker games with some clutch frames that clinched the match for the Bearcats.
Triangle is her home lanes for her junior-league bowling and she knows it well,” Don Bunker said. “Both teams struggled tonight, but if anyone was going to make the adjustments to find the shot, it was Piper.
W.F. West vs. Rochester
The Bearcats 2-0) began to regain their dominant form after not bowling well against Mark Morris last week. The Bearcats won 1916 total pins to Rochester’s 1280. W.F. West and Rochester are back on their home lanes at Fairway Lanes this season.
“The new owners at Fairway (Jeff and Julie Walker) have done an amazing job with the bowling alley,” Don Bunker said. “They have made some really nice upgrades and have been very supportive of both our teams. If you have not seen the bowling alley, I would encourage everyone to check it out. It has a really nice atmosphere. It is amazing to have a bowling alley in our community again.”
In Game 1, the Bearcats defeated Rochester 823-499. Bunker led the Bearcats with a 209, Chalmers chipped in with a solid 186 and newcomer Ozrentich shot a 178. Rochester was led by Kyra Smith with a 128.
In Game 2, Chalmers led the scoring with a 212 game while Rochester was led again by Smith with a 138.
“It was nice to see Piper get back to having a solid performance today,” Don Bunker said. “A 212 game is an excellent game at the high school level, but I would not be surprised to see her average 212 or better this season.”
In Baker Game 1, the Bearcats prevailed 141 to 111. In Baker Game 2, the Bearcats again defeated Rochester 119-99.
“We did not score as high as we would have liked in our Baker games, but we had an opportunity to sub in a lot of JV girls and give them some experience at the varsity level,” Don Bunker said. “Our coaching staff really believes it is important to give our new bowlers a chance at the varsity level anytime we have an opportunity.”
The Bearcats get back into action when they face league foe Tumwater at Westside Lanes in Olympia at 3 p.m. Thursday.