EAST LIVERPOOL - The Tigers and Potters earned a split.
The East Liverpool and Wellsville boys' and girls' bowling teams battled it out Monday at Walnut Lanes. In the end, the Potters came out victorious in the boys' match by 63 pins as East Liverpool defeated Wellsville, 1818-1755.
"It was close all the way," Wellsville head coach Dale Palmer said. "They led by eight pins after the first match and by 14 pins after the second. It was close all the way until the bakers matches. The bakers matches made the difference between the two games."
Wellsville’s Matt Bowling bowls during his team’s match against East Liverpool Monday at Walnut Lanes. (Photo courtesy Jimmy Joe Savage)
As close as the boys' match was, the girls' match was even closer as the Tigers won the match by defeating the Potters by one pin, 1663-1662.
"We had a 60-pin lead going into the bakers matches," Palmer said. "In the bakers matches, East Liverpool was able to pull within one pin."
On the boys' side, Jacob Graves led the way for the Potters. Graves bowled a high game of 190 with a series of 341.
Also for East Liverpool, Parker Bowers bowled a high game of 158 with a series of 302, and Jimmy Beaver bowled a 157.
"It was really good for the boys to get one win column," East Liverpool head coach Erik Adkins said. "Jacob Graves stepped and was a leader for us vocally and performance-wise.
"He picked the other kids up when they were down. He motivated them going into bakers matches. We had the opportunity to get a win on the season, and you look for your senior to step up and he did that today."
For Wellsville (1-3), Matt Bowling bowled a high game of 165 with a series of 302, and Tyler Corbin bowled a high game of 155 with a series of 297.
"Both the boys and the girls are evenly matched," Palmer said. "It was the idea of who had the best finish basically was going to win. Jacob led the way for the East Liverpool boys. He made sure they stayed on top when we tried get back into the third bakers match. He had a couple strikes and spares when needed to keep the difference the way it was."
On the girls' side, Olivia Palmer led the way for the Tigers (2-2). Palmer bowled a high game of 187 with a series of 359, and Francesca Colella bowled a high game of 156 with a series of 296.
Palmer recorded a turkey in her match.
"Coach Palmer's daughter bowled a heck of a match," Adkins said. "This is the fourth or fifth time we have played against her in the past two seasons. It was something to see her step up and be the leader we have always heard about her being from the beginning. It was nice to see her bowl up to our expectations of her."
For the Potters, Becky Brewer bowled a high game of 202 with a series of 328, Mya Messenger bowled a 259 series and Tamara Brown bowled a 144.
"It's always a rivalry," Palmer said. "The one thing is East Liverpool is always East Liverpool, and Wellsville is always Wellsville. You always want to come out on top. It is always a good rivalry."
Wellsville's next match is Wednesday at home against Youngstown Ursuline.
"We've fared better this year than last year," Palmer said. "We got our feet wet, and we know what we need to do. The boys and the girls have stepped into the roles we have needed to help us win. All of the matches have been very close this year. It has been a better experience for them. It has been a lot more fun with the close matches and having chances to win. They are pulling together as a team, and they are providing the individual efforts we need to make it work.
"Today was a good game overall. It was good for everybody."
East Liverpool's next match is Wednesday at Maplewood.
"For the girls, it is one pin, five pins or 20 pins. That has been the story of the year," Adkins said. "It came down to the last ball. Becky rolled an eight, and if she rolled a strike we would have gotten our first win.
"We have a young team. We have a lot of growth to do. The seniors who were picking it up last year are not around anymore. The underclassmen are not stopping up like they should be. It is a work in progress.
"Tamara bowled a 144. That is quite an accomplishment. This is her first year bowling. Becky is where she should be at. As a coach, it was heartbreaking to see she didn't follow up her first game with another good game. Hopefully, we can get a win Wednesday, so the girls can get one in the win column too."