Buffalo bowlers roll over Great Bend

1/22/2014

By BRETT MARSHALL

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

Back in the wild, wild days of the 1800s, there were the gold strikes all across the western portion of the United States.

If one was fortunate, they would hit the big mine and come away with untold riches.

That might be just how the Garden City High School bowling teams felt after steamrolling their biggest rival, Great Bend, on Tuesday at Hard Rock Lanes in a Western Athletic Conference dual match.

The Buffaloes' boys swept all three games of the individual series, rolling games of 805, 839 and a season-high 895 for 2,539 pins to Great Bend's 2,329 pins on games of 707-792-830. In the Baker format, where each of five bowlers roll two frames each but not consecutively, the boys won two of those three games with totals of 224-179-191 to the Panthers' 157-193-173. That provided the Buffs with a dominating 10-1 victory as each of the individual games are worth two points, while the Baker games are awarded one point each and overall total pins is worth two bonus points.

For the Lady Buffs, it was a rallying cry and a sterling comeback as they lost the first two games of the individual series to fall behind in points, 4-0, before coming all the way back to win the final seven points. It marked the first win over the Lady Panthers in nearly five years.

Alexa Hemmert was the individual ringleader in the three-game series, rolling a 560 series on games of 172-209-179, edging Miranda Hejney of Great Bend by a single pin.

"They're our biggest rival in league and they never let up on you," Hemmert said of Great Bend. "We finally got a chance to beat them and it feels amazing. We struggled a little early in individual play, but we pulled it out and then we just got it going in the Baker format today."

The Lady Buffs started game one of Baker with six consecutive strikes en route to a 225 total, winning by 32 pins and started the rout over the next two games. Great Bend could never find an answer as the Lady Buffs followed that up with solid games of 187 and 178.

"We just were able to keep the momentum going, and things were just rolling for us," Hemmert said. "That last game of the individual gave us an extra umph. I had no idea how close I was with Miranda, but to beat her feels great. She's been my No. 1 rival since my freshman year."

On the boys' side, Jarett Landgraf continued his impressive ways, firing a 677 series on games of 209-236-232, beating Great Bend's Jeff Mietler, who was second with a 660. Garden's Tristan Funk was third at 646, including a game-high 257 in the third game of the individual set.

"Everybody just really caught on today and everyone was on their game," Landgraf said. "Everybody was doing a good job of picking up their spares. Everyone just kept the others up. I found my mark early, and my teammates just helped me stay focused and to stay in the game.

"Beating Great Bend feels good. After last time (2 weeks earlier), it feels great to come out on top."

In that final game of the individual series, the Buffs had Funk's 257, a 232 from Landgraf, a 215 from Karl Larson Jr. and a 191 from Theron Kells.

"I'm as tickled as I can be," said a smiling GCHS coach Kip Nichols. "We didn't bowl great early, but we bowled good enough. The 895 was our best of the season and we still can do better. The teams showed a lot of heart, a lot of character today and it shows the closeness of both groups."

The Baker format has been the nemesis for the teams in the early part of the season, but that went out the door with Tuesday's effort, Nichols said.

"We got the Baker monkey off our back big time today," Nichols said. "We kicked him off today."

The Buffs head to Wichita on Saturday for the Great Plains Invitational, which will be held at North Rock Lanes. The boys will begin action at 9 a.m. with the girls to follow at 10:15 a.m. in the three-game individual series qualifying. From there, teams are seeded and move into a 12-game Baker format. The top eight teams from that then move into a match play format.

Full results in Scoreboard, Page B2.

------

BOWLING

Western Athletic Conference

Dual Match

at Hard Rock Lanes

Tuesday

Girls

Team Scores

3-Game Series

1. Garden City 698-706-748--2,152; 2. Great Bend 721-739-652--2,112.

Baker 3-Game Series

1. Garden City 225-187-178--590; 2. Great Bend 193-147-160--500.

Total Points: Garden City 7, Great Bend 4.

Garden City Individual Scores

Alexa Hemmert 172-209-179--560; Haily Park 179-172-169--520; Amanda Deihl 183-156-192--531; Emma Stoecklein 144-157-143--444; Jensen Strasser 164-151-208--523; Tansy Park 156-168-139--463.

Boys

Team Scores

3-Game Series

1. Garden City 805-839-895--2,539; 2. Great Bend 707-792-830--2,329.

Baker 3-Game Series

1. Garden City 224-179-191--594; 2. Great Bend 157-193-173--523.

Total Points: Garden City 10, Great Bend 1.

Garden City Individual Scores

Ryan Strecker 149-169-186--504; Karl Larson Jr. 189-171-215--575; Tristan Funk 194-195-257--646; Mickey Bridges 163-219-160--542; Jarett Landgraf 209-236-232--677; Theron Kells 213-189-191--593.

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