By BRETT MARSHALL
One week into the 2014 bowling season and it's no secret that both the Garden City Buffaloes and Lady Buffs bowling teams have more of an affinity for the regular three-game series format versus the Baker format, where all five bowlers roll two frames each toward the team's individual game totals.
Tuesday provided more proof that the GCHS teams are just more in sync when they are bowling to count four of the six individual games toward the overall team score.
The Buffs boys rode the balanced scoring of all six of their bowlers as five of the six finished with series totals above 600, and the lowest total was a 590.
"Pretty good balance overall and that's what we like to see," said GCHS coach Kip Nichols, whose boys rolled a 2,562 series on games of 871-813-878 to hold off a game Liberal Redskin team that rolled a 2,503 (837-809-857) series.
Holcomb was a distant third at 1,986 pins.
It was a different outcome in the Baker format as the Redskins won two of the three games by rolling 199-209-198 to the Buffs' 189-210-174. In the final count, though, the Buffs walked off with a 9-2 victory in points awarded.
"We just try to keep a positive attitude out there," said GCHS freshman Karl Larson Jr., who topped the Buffs with a 644 series, good for second to Liberal's Garrett Poulton's 678 series. "We talk about the lanes and what adjustments we need to make. The Baker is tough at the start, because you don't know what the lanes are like."
Larson said he thought the team did a better job on picking up spares Tuesday than they had in their first two outings of the season.
"I tried a lighter revolution through the middle of the lane," Larson said. "We could improve on some things, but right now I think we're doing pretty good."
On the girls' side, junior Alexa Hemmert once again topped the Lady Buffs with a 582 series, which was well ahead of Liberal's Katie Jennings, who had a 543. Freshman Hailey Park was solid during the three-game series with a 532 total. Hemmert had shot a 599 at Hard Rock Lanes last Thursday, and then was the top bowler in the Baker format over the weekend at the Bishop Carroll Invitational.
"I've been able to do pretty good so far," Hemmert said. "I bowl more over Hard Rock, so when I come over here, I have to work harder at finding my mark. The lanes are different."
Hemmert, too, said the Baker format was presenting her and her teammates some issues.
"It's just really hard because you don't get into a rhythm," Hemmert said. "If you don't get a strike on the next frame, you feel like you've let your teammates down, and it's just harder to get back up."
The Lady Buffs finished the day with an 8-3 advantage in points.
Next up for the GCHS teams will be a WAC dual on Tuesday with defending champion Great Bend. That will be a 3 p.m. start at Hard Rock Lanes.
See results in Scoreboard, Page B2.