By BRETT MARSHALL
LIBERAL — Bowling, just like any other sport, has its proverbial ups and downs, highs and lows.
That's what it must have felt like on Tuesday afternoon for the Garden City High School boys bowling team when they competed in a triangular at Ayr Lanes.
A sluggish start by the Buffs put them in a hole against host Liberal, trailing by 142 pins after the opening game where the best four of six scores count for the team total. That 907 to 765 deficit was nearly erased in the second game, 847-725 (122 pins). The third game in the pivotal 3-game series saw the Buffs roll an 801 to Liberal's 757, providing the Buffs a final 22-pin advantage as the teams headed into the Baker format match play.
In the three-game Baker format, where each bowler rolls two frames each and not in succession, the boys posted an 8-3 mark to finish atop the standings, while the Lady Buffs were 10-1.
"They really bowled well in the Baker's format," said Kip Nichols, GCHS coach. "The girls really manhandled Liberal."
On the boys side, the Buffs finished with 3,001 total pins for both formats to Liberal's 2,937 while Holcomb was at 2,901. On the girls side, the Lady Buffs totaled 2,604 pins to Liberal's 2,436 and Holcomb's 2,089.
The only game the girls lost was in the second Baker set of game two, after winning all three games of the regular format.
Tristan Funk was third overall with a 683, behind Liberal's Tyler Killingworth's 722 and Holcomb's Caleb Stewart was runner-up at 687.
Amanda Diehl was the top Lady Buff with a 552, followed by Alexa Hemmert at 513. Diehl's series was the high individual overall.
"I'm tickled to death with the girls being such a young group, and little varsity experience," NIchols said. "They've amazed me so far with their tenacity. They started slow except for Amanda, and then just got better as the day went along."
The Buffs return to action on Tuesday at Great Bend.
Notes: Attending Tuesday's matches in Liberal was 2012 GCHS graduate Rikkie Hemmert, who placed second and sixth, individually, in the 2011 and 2012 Class 6A state bowling tournaments for the Lady Buffs. Hemmert, a freshman at Newman University, made the varsity team for her collegiate squad, and during the fall season competed in tournaments in Wisconsin, St. Louis and Illinois.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.
She averaged 176 under Sport Conditions, which results in bowlers averaging between 20-25 pins less than in high school lane conditions.