By BRETT MARSHALL
Every coach of a sports team has the ultimate goal to see his or her players all performing at the highest level at the same time.
Rarely, if ever, does that happen, especially when you're talking high school athletics.
But on Thursday in Liberal, the Garden City High School bowling teams, both boys and girls, delivered for coach Kip Nichols.
The Buffs' boys rolled the highest three-game series in program history and captured 10 of 11 team points against the Redskins in Western Athletic Conference action, while the Lady Buffs one-upped the boys, capturing all 11 points in a demolition of the Lady Redskins.
"It was as dominating a day as I've seen our teams have," said Nichols. "They completely broke out today, and the amazing thing is that we hadn't been on the lanes in four days. Maybe they were able to re-charge their batteries by not practicing for several days."
The boys began the day's competition by rolling team games of 860-940-962 for a program best series total of 2,762 pins and then followed it up with games of 209-212-202 (623) in the Baker format, where five players roll two frames each but not in consecutive order. The only point the Buffs failed to garner was the final Baker game in which Liberal rolled a 216.
"I can't think of a time where we've had everybody really on like that," Nichols said.
The key perhaps came in the first game of the opening three-game series in which Jarett Landgraf, bowling last, rolled three consecutive strikes in the 10th frame to lift the Buffs to a one-pin victory over the Redskins (860-859).
"That just kind of set things on fire and we were loaded for bear," Nichols said.
Leading the way for the Buffs was Tristan Funk with a 743 series on games of 210-254-279. Theron Kells followed with a 697 series on games of 223-227-248 and Landgraf was next with a 647 series on games of 205-223-219. Mickey Bridges had a 625 series (222-223-180) and Karl Larson Jr. a 622 total (170-236-216). Rounding out the group was Ryan Strecker with a 558 (161-193-204). The combined three-game series and Baker saw the Buffs finish with 3,385 pins to Liberal's 2,983.
On the girls' side, senior captain Amanda Deihl led the Lady Buffs to their perfect record by rolling a 637 series on games of 175-255-207. Emma Stoecklein followed at 592 (222-223-147) and Alexa Hemmert was next at 589 (205-192-192). From there it was Haily Park at 529 (191-151-187), Jensen Strasser at 516 (171-124-221) and Tansy Park at 415 (109-147-159).
"The girls are really just coming into their own, and they're picking up each other," Nichols said. "Amanda's always bowled well in Liberal, so what she did today was not a big surprise. It was a great way to come back after we hadn't bowled for a while."
The Lady Buffs continued their strong showing in the Baker format, too, rolling games of 208-169-202 (579) compared to Liberal's 127-138-142 (407). In the three-game series, the Lady Buffs had games of 793-821-807 (2,421) to Liberal's 609-690-679 (1,978). In total, the Lady Buffs finished with 3,000 pins to 2,380 for Liberal.
The Buffs will next travel to Great Bend for a 3 p.m. dual match at Walnut Bowl Tuesday.
Results in Scoreboard, Page B2.