Wilson bowls to Tower Classic title

// Tourney features some of state’s top talent

Two-thirds of the way through the 2012-2013 season and in a tie for second place in the Narrows League standings, Wilson coach Ken Richardson was just a little concerned about the recent struggles of his girls bowling team. And with the Rams set to host the sixth annual Tower Classic at Tower Lanes on Dec. 15 – featuring ten of the best teams in the state along with some of the top bowlers – it had him more than just a little worried. Cascade’s Kayla Zabel, who carries a 206 average, and Olympic’s Kendra Willis – with a 195 average – were just two of the reasons to worry.

But Sam Dusek, Hunter Fruehling-Thomas and Brianna Osborn would have none of it, as they posted respective series scores of 560, 548 and 542 to finish with three of the top ten series. The Rams would go wire-to-wire to win the Classic for the first time with a total of 3,227 pins to top runner-up Cascade’s total of 3,160 and third-place Timberline’s total of 3,049 pins. The worrying was now over.

“I can’t say enough about the effort by the girls, they were absolutely great from start to finish against some really good teams,” said Richardson of his Rams.

Jumping out to a 65-pin lead after the first game, the Rams would never look back against the strong 10-team field.

“We didn’t know what to expect from ourselves today, but when we got rolling we never let up,” said Dusek, whose series score of 560 was a big reason for the Rams’ success.

Going into the final four games of the series (the Baker games), Wilson’s lead stood at 90 pins over Cascade. The Bruins would be in hot pursuit the rest of the way, but when big efforts were needed, the Rams responded. Consecutive Baker games of 160, 200 and 160 would salt away the win for Wilson. (A Baker game is a 10-frame game bowled by each team’s five rotating members.)

“We were really good today, especially when we had to be,” said Fruehling-Thomas. After the third Baker game, the Rams only had to do one thing with a 51-pin lead over Cascade – avoid a complete and total collapse. They did, and with it got their first Tower Classic title. Richardson hopes the result will propel his girls to a great month of practice and strong finishes at both the district and state tournaments – which will again be held in Tacoma.

“We were consistent all afternoon,” said Osborn. “We need to carry this over at both districts and state, too.”

“The girls responded when they needed to,” added Richardson. “It’s a great way for us to go to both district and state against the best bowlers around. See you in late January.”

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