At the end of an all-day District 5 bowling tournament, both Walker Valley teams emerged as champions.
Beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday morning and not finishing until a little after 6 p.m., the long hours put in at the District 5 bowling tournament were ultimately worth it, according to Walker Valley coach Dean Anderson.
“It was a long day for everyone involved, but the outcome was worth it because our district has great bowlers,” Anderson stated.
Bradley Central began its tournament run against Chattanooga Central.
The Bradley boys got the win over Central, taking 20 of the 27 match points, with a total pinfall of 2,769-2,589.
Alec Norwood Norwood bowled a series of 219, 196 and 182, while Tanner Ratcliffe bowled 174, 169 and 153 in the series.
Meanwhile, Bradley’s girls got their first district tournament win in four years as they defeated Central, earning 15.5 of the 27 match points and a having a total pinfall of 2,197-2,068.
Kealey Collins bowled a 204, 143, and 133 series, with Chloe Wallace bowling a 141, 180, and 146 series.
“I’ve told them that you’ve got to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. They took their first steps when they beat Chattanooga Central,” Bradley coach Don Burke said.
In the next round of the tournament, Bradley battled its cross-county rival Walker Valley on the lanes.
The Mustangs were victorious, topping the Bears with a total of 23 match points.
Walker Valley’s Briton Helton bowled 186, 181, and 254 in his series and Nathan Kirby bowled 169, 243 and 199 in his.
For Bradley, Norwood had a pinfall of 181, 169 and 172 in his series, while Ratcliffe had a pinfall of 178, 198 and 167 in the series.
The Lady Mustangs defeated the Bearettes by claiming a total of 22 match points.
Walker Valley’s Alexis Rutledge bowled a 187, 177 and 136 in her series, Nicole Hartman bowled a 167, 194 and 155 series and Kara Davidson bowled a 201, 142 and 166 series.
Bradley’s Collins bowled 169, 148 and 144 series, Callie Morgan bowled 112, 176 and 155 in her series, while Wallace bowled a 146, 144 and 140 series.
When reflecting on the outcome of the match between Walker Valley and his team, Coach Burke felt that it just came down to a difference in talent.
Walker Valley ultimately found itself in the final round of the tournament, with the boys team taking on McMinn County and the girls team battling with Rhea County.
“The battles really came down into the second and third match of each game because they were really tight at that point. On the guys’ side it came down to the last bowler, on the last match and in the last frame. Dylan Dawson really stepped up for us and got the clutch point,” Anderson said. “The girls fought really hard today. They shot well, but not as well as expected. We have to work on the spares. We were down by two at the end of the second game against Rhea County, but then the girls stepped up, took care of business and pulled a win out in the end.”
At next week’s Region 3 bowling tournament at the Holiday Bowl in East Brainerd, the Walker Valley boys will either face Signal Mountain or Hixson, while the girls will take on either Soddy-Daisy or Signal Mountain.
Walker Valley had five bowlers qualify for the Division I individual state tournament.
Representing the boys team are Helton and Zanoska with their averages of 198.32 and 189.27 respectively.
The girls will send three bowlers to the state tournament. Rutledge, with an average of 166.88, Hartman who averaged 157.53 and Davidson with an average of 155.97.
The District 5 All-Tournament boys team is made up by Brandon Cross and Blake Lee of Silverdale, Bradley’s Norwood and Ratcliffe, Briar Morgan and Johnathan Lovelady from Rhea County, Matt Banfield, Logan Teague and Jared King from McMinn County and Kirby, Helton, Dawson and Caleb Zanoska from Walker Valley.
The All-Tournament girls team consists of Wallace and Collins from Bradley, McMinn’s Halie Derrick, Tia Cates, Bonnie Hawk and Codie Samuelson from Rhea, and Hartman, Rutledge, Davidson and Miia Thompson from Walker Valley.
(No individual information on the championship match was provided to the Banner by press time Friday morning).