Bailey finishes strong to win state bowling title

Shannon Bailey insists she wasn’t paying attention to the growing excitement around her. It was hard not to peak at other scores, as the Wilson junior bowler headed into the final round of the state championship tied for the individual lead with Everett’s Candice Goldfinch, who had bowled a 256 in her fifth game to pull even.

Goldfinch then put up four strikes in her first five frames in the final round to take the lead, while Hudson’s Bay’s Dakota Varela – bowling on the same lane as Bailey – rattled off six straight strikes to move into second place. But Bailey saved her best for last, collecting six straight strikes of her own from the fifth to tenth frames to claim the 1A/2A/3A individual title on Feb. 7 at Narrows Plaza Lanes.

“I was a little excited, but I was like ‘I’ll just stay calm and bowl my game,’” said Bailey, an Annie Wright student who joined the Rams this fall. “I just bowled what I normally bowl. I just got in the zone and stayed (there).”

Bailey’s final-round score of 247 was by far her best round of the day, as she finished with an overall score of 1,274 to edge Goldfinch by four pins.

“It was like she didn’t even know what was on the line, she didn’t even feel the pressure,” said Wilson head coach Ken Richardson of Bailey. “To win it by four pins, that’s insane.”

Bailey had stayed consist much of the day, tallying an opening-round score of 218 and adding a 220 in her third and fifth games. After putting up a high score of 211 in her first round, Wilson junior teammate Hunter Freuhling-Thomas stumbled in her third round but recovered to take 17th place overall with 1,021 pins.

“That just kind of eases all the sorrow from last week,” said Richardson, referencing the Rams being edged for the final team berth to state at the district tournament. “They did so great. They competed so well. And they’re both coming back (next year).”

Curtis, meanwhile, settled for sixth place in the 4A tournament, tallying a total of 6,677 pins after the 14 Baker games on Feb. 8. Alexia Rawls had led the Vikings in the individual competition, tallying a score of 987 over her six rounds to place 26th.

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