“We were able to come back and tie it after the second match and then pull it out in the final match,” commented Bear coach “Red” Williams. “That’s what you’ve got to be able to do in these kinds of matches. I told them it was close after the second match. We were ahead by just a few pins and we needed at least a half of the final (six) matches and (to) win the pin total to have a chance.”
The Bradley boys did better than that, winning four heads-up battles, plus knocking down 107 pins more than the Mustangs in the final round, to claim a 17-10 victory.
The Walker Valley girls had little trouble earning a split for the northsiders, blasting the Bearettes 25-2.
Both Walker Valley teams will be back in action today with a trip to Holiday Bowl in Brainerd to face Chattanooga Central.
The Mustangs teams also have away matches against Baylor and Notre Dame next week, while Bradley isn’t scheduled to roll again until Nov. 10.
“We didn’t schedule a whole lot of matches early because we weren’t sure what the situation (of the local lanes) was going to be,” Williams explained.
The Bowling Factory is scheduled to close at the end of the month, while the new Leisure Time Bowling facility won’t open until at least the second week of November.
With victories over Signal Mountain, Brainerd and McMinn County already in hand, the Mustangs raced out of the gate to win four head-to-head matches in the opening game, plus take an 87-pin lead for a 6-2 advantage.
The Bears (2-0) turned the tables in the middle matches, claiming four wins of their own, plus a 152-pin difference to take the pin fall lead by 65 heading into the final round.
In the deciding match, Bradley picked up four more wins, plus added to their pin fall for a 3,142-2,939 final.
“All of our guys did really well. It was a total team effort,” praised Williams as all six Bears rolled 500 series.
Gavin Bishop led the way with a 559, including a high game of the day at 224. TSSAA state tournament participant Coty Rymer helped out with a 546, plus like Bishop he won two of his three heads-up battles.
Alec Norwood and Jordan Jones also posted a pair of wins for the Black-and-Gold wile rolling identical 514s. Norwood’s score included a 214 game, while Jones posted a 202.
Tyler Brown had a pair of victories while rolling a 506, while Hayden Bishop rounded out the team effort with a 505.
Walker Valley’s Jacob Baker swept his three games with the day’s high series at 607, including a 221 high game.
Johnny Brown was second for the Mustangs with a 513, while Brandon Baker and Logan Helton helped out with a 494 and 483.
“We just missed too many spares we should have made. We also made a few shots that we shouldn’t have made. Overall it was an excellent effort, but spares are the key” proclaimed Mustang coach Dean Anderson.
In the girls match, Walker Valley (3-1) got off to a strong start with a 231 and a 204 from Lauren Smeltzer and Chelsey McCormick in the opening game on their way to the day’s top series at 565 and 548 respectively.
The Lady Mustangs held a 7-1 lead after the opening round, plus held a 389-pin advantage, before sweeping Game 2 and pushing their pin fall lead to over 700.
The final match was the same as the first as Walker Valley took 5-of-6 heads-up matches and finished with a 2,695-1,617 pin-fall win.
“Our freshman Alexis Rutledge (467) and (senior) Sondra Combs (492) really bowled well today to go along with Lauren and Chelsey’s usual strong matches,” Anderson praised.
Nicole Cartwright topped the Bearette effort with a 311 series, while Callie Carter rolled a 295 and Brooke Haydon a 271. Carter and Haydon had a heads-up win apiece for Bradley’s only points.
“We finally got a chance to bowl against another team. Our girls have been working hard but they were a little nervous today,” commented coach Sandy Norwood, whose Bearettes (1-1) got a forfeit in their first scheduled match.