Bearcats Fend Off Thunderbirds for Second Time


A shorthanded W.F. West team led by Clara Bunker stepped up to beat Tumwater 2,005 to 1,922 total pins on Tuesday at Fairway Lanes. 

 “Our team showed it’s depth again tonight to beat a scrappy Tumwater team for the second time this season,” W.F. West head coach Don Bunker said. “The T-Birds bowled a great match and it took everything we had to beat them tonight. I was proud of our team mindset throughout the match. 

“We really came together, which has been our focus the last couple of weeks trying to build some team chemistry. The girls are starting to understand that it isn’t about their individual performance, but total pins are what wins matches.”

In Game 1, the Bearcats won a tight game 837 to 789, led by the clutch bowling of Savannah Hawkins who shot a 192. 

“Savannah continues to get better every match,” Bunker said. ‘We really needed a strong performance from her and she stepped up big for us in the match and during our Baker games.” 

Piper Chalmers and Tyran Ozretich added solid 181 games to keep the Bearcats in the lead. Tumwater’s Alyssa Weeks shot a match-high 215 game. 

In Game 2, the Bearcats and T-Birds again battled in a back-and-forth affair with the Bearcats finally winning 846 to 813. Game 2 was pressure-packed and the Bearcats would not be denied the victory, Bunker said. 

Cami Aldrich was struggling a bit with the lane conditions, so the Bearcat coaching staff decided to bring in Audrey Toynbee in hopes it would give them a little spark, and Audrey delivered. 

“We also wanted Cami to go bowl on JV to find her rhythm for the later Baker games,” Bunker said. 

Toynbee finished the game with a 154 after starting in the fourth frame. Anchor Piper Chalmers also stepped up with a nice 204 game and is starting to show flashes of getting back to her MVP form. 

“Piper was focused tonight and kept her composure throughout the match,” Bunker said. “I was proud of her for her unselfish mindset tonight.”

Tumwater was led by Hailey Hopkins’ 189 game.

In Baker Game 1, it was still anyone’s match. The Bearcats were only up by 81 pins and the T-Birds were not about to give the Bearcats anything. Tumwater came out with a lot of energy and bowled a nice 179 game to the Bearcats 147. The T-Birds cut the Bearcat’s lead to a minuscule 49 pins. 

“Tumwater really put the pressure on us and our coaching staff was excited to see our team step up when the match was on the line,” Bunker said.

In the final Baker game, the Bearcats bowled a solid 175 to the T-Birds 141 to seal the match for the Bearcats, 2,005 to 1,922 total pins. 

“It was a fun match to watch and both teams had a lot of fans filling the bowling alley,” Bunker said. “It was only the second time we have shot over 2,000 pins this season, which is our minimum goal for every match. We will have a couple weeks to work on some things over winter break to get us ready for the playoffs. 

“Overall, it was a solid performance for our team and I am encouraged by our improvement in every match this season. It has been a true team effort.  We have had seven to eight varsity bowlers that have contributed at different times with big performances.”

W.F. West next travels to Shelton on Thursday.