The W.F. West bowling team took a significant step towards securing their fourth straight 2A Evergreen Conference title Tuesday night at Fairway Lanes. The Bearcats defeated the Tumwater bowling team 2101 total pins to 1902 total pins, taking a two-match lead in the standings.
"Tumwater has a very good team this year,” Bearcats head coach Don Bunker said. “They are probably a top five or six team in the state and it took a strong performance from our team to take the victory in this match.”
In game one the Bearcats prevailed 832 total pins to Tumwater's 777 combined total. The two anchor bowlers for both teams were the story of the match. Tumwater's Hailey Hopkins shot 211 and 187 games for a 197 average on the night. The Bearcats’ anchor Piper Chalmers rose to the occasion and rolled 211 and 259 games for the Cats averaging 235 for the match.
"Piper and Hailey are two of the best bowlers in the state and they enjoy competing against each other,” Bearcats assistant coach Rich Bunker said. “We needed a clutch performance from Piper and she delivered in her usual fashion.”
Entering game two the Bearcats had a small lead of only 55 pins. Behind Chalmers' huge 259 game, fellow senior Clara Bunker did her part by firing a 215 for the Cats.
"As a team we were not bowling a great second game, but Clara and Piper stepped up with big performances to win the second game for the Cats 903 to 773 total pins," Bunker said.
The competitive match continued during both Baker games. Neither team wanted to give in and Tumwater still had a chance to overcome the Bearcats small lead. In the first game the Bearcats shot a solid 174 and Tumwater bowled a 169.
"We are fortunate to have a veteran team that has been in many close battles,” Bunker said. “When the pressure is on our team has consistently performed at a high level."
Baker game two was also very close with both teams bowling well and it came down to the ninth and 10th frames to determine the game. The Bearcats shot a 192 game to Tumwater's 183 game.
"Our whole team bowled well in the Bakers, but Clara marking in the ninth to set up Piper to do her thing in the 10th made the difference tonight,” Bunker said.
Chalmers finished the game with a strike in the 10th giving her two extra chances. Her next two balls resulted in another strike and a solid 7-pin giving the Cats the slight edge over the T-Birds.
The Bearcats bowl their crosstown rival Centralia Tigers Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Fairway Lanes.