W.F West girls bowling accomplished something Wednesday night no team in school history had done before: win two varsity matches against two league opponents — one home and one away — at the same time.
Due to scheduling conflicts and makeup matches, the Bearcats sent six bowlers to bowl their longtime rival and league-leading Black Hills at Westside Lanes in Olympia. The Bearcats also sent a second varsity squad to bowl Rochester at home at Fairway Lanes.
“It was a rare night for our team and a challenge that our bowlers were very excited to take on,” W.F. West head coach Don Bunker said. “When I asked our girls about bowling two different teams in two different locations on the same night, they thought I was kidding. Once they realized I was serious, they really wanted to take this challenge on.”
In the away match vs. the Wolves, the Bearcats won an electric match by only two pins to move into a tie with the Black Hills for first place in the 2A Evergreen Conference. It also avenged an earlier-season loss to the Wolves that snapped the Bearcats’ nearly three-year winning streak.
“We have always had amazing battles with Black Hills over the last few years, but this one was special.” Bunker said.
In Game 1, the Bearcats won a close game 896-867. The Bearcats were led by Piper Chalmers’ 204 game and Savannah Hawkins’ clutch 199 game.
“Savannah has really come a long way in just one season,” Bunker said. “In our first match this season against Black Hills, Savannah was bowling on the JV team and has improved almost daily to earn her spot on the varsity.”
The Wolves were led by Zoey Theophilus with a 208. Theophilus is one of the most powerful bowlers in the state, Bunker said, and is currently leading the league in average, battling for the top spot with Chalmers.
In Game 2, the Wolves edged out the Bearcats in another close contest, 808-779. After two games, the two teams were tied at 1,675-1,675 while heading into two crucial Baker games.
The Bearcats had some bad breaks and untimely splits, but were consistent throughout the lineup to keep it close. They were led by senior Cami Aldrich’s 160 game.
Cami has struggled this season, but I think she figured out a few things tonight,” Bunker said. “If Cami can get back up to her 180 average as we head into the playoffs, we will be tough to beat.”
The Wolves were led by Hallie Stuart with a 184, giving them the slight edge.
In Baker Game 1, the Bearcats lost a close game, 168-161.
“Savannah really bowled well in our Baker games,” Bunker said. “She is a clutch athlete in other sports and she really came through for us tonight with several big strikes.”
In Baker Game 2, the Bearcats won 180-171.
“We had a great game going and I thought we were going to bowl a big 200+ game, but a costly open frame late in the game left the door open for the Wolves,” Bunker said.
It all came down to the 10th frame with the Wolves’ anchor Theophilus on a spare needing a strike to tie the match, and she only knocked down eight pins to give the Bearcats the victory.
Meanwhile at home, the other Bearcat varsity squad rolled out a second team comprised of their talented young athletes and two of their senior leaders to dominate the Rochester Warriors, 1,583-1,097.
“The future is very bright for our bowling program,” W.F. West assistant coach Bob Spahr said. “Our younger bowlers are eager to learn and compete every day at practice while having a lot of fun.”
Spahr, who has been instrumental to the success of the Bearcat bowling program, was the acting head coach for the match vs. Rochester.
In Game 1, the Bearcats won 600-480 and were led by freshman Savanna Hoyt-Siler with a 132.
“Savanna has had quite a bit of varsity experience this season and has the potential to be a first-team, all-league bowler next season if she keeps putting in the work,” Spahr said.
In Game 2, the Bearcats won 729-438 and were led by another one of the Cats’ future stars, freshman Emma Hamilton with a 163.
“Emma throws one of the best balls on the team and is improving every day,” Spahr said. “She has a great attitude and it has been really fun to watch her improvement throughout the season.”
In Baker Game 1, the Bearcats won 137-98, and in Baker Game 2 the Cats triumphed 117-81.
The Bearcats hosted Rochester in a rematch on Thursday at Fairway Lanes.