Getting ready to bowl #039;em over

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 4, 2003

March Madness has begun for Ironton High School.

Bowlers, that is.

The Ironton girls' bowling team and boys' bowler J. P. Boggs are preparing this week for the Ohio high school third annual state bowling tournament.

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"It's exciting to see," Spare Time co-owner Greg Justice said of the state tournament. "It's like any other state championship sport. It's exciting and very competitive."

During qualifying at Spare Time, the Ironton girls and boys teams advanced to the district at Circleville. The girls won at the district level to reach the state tournament, but the boys were second to Circleville.

The third annual state tournament will be Saturday at Rainbow Lanes on South High Street in Columbus.

The girls team is comprised of Tracy Mays, Hillary Creger, Stacy Bradshaw, Jessica Justice, Alfreda McAfee, Ashley Carmon and Tiffany Preston.

Ironton's girls are led by Bradshaw who posted the best overall game and series average among all bowlers during the regular season.

"She can compete at the state level," Justice said.

Bradshaw knows it will be a team effort if Ironton has hopes to winning at the state tournament. She qualified as an individual last year and knows what it will take in order to win.

"We have a good chance," Bradshaw said. "Getting experience last year will help me.

"I tell the other girls it's going to be a lot different. We all have to do well because there are a lot of good bowlers."

Bradshaw knows she needs a solid performance that rivals her season averages of 184 per game and 580 a series.

"I feel like I can finish in the top 10. I need to have a 700 (series) or higher. To be in the top 10 you have to bowl at least 600," Bradshaw said.

Although the boys team did not advance, Boggs qualified for the state tournament as an individual.

Boggs, a junior, is anxious to compete at the state level, but he knows it won't be easy.

"There will be a lot of pressure, but I'm going to try and not sweat it. I'll do the best I can. I know there are a lot of good bowlers there," Boggs said.

The rise to the state tournament didn't appear to be much of a possibility a few weeks ago. Boggs said he had a knee injury that bothered him until recently.

"It killed me toward the end, but I've been bowling at almost 700 all week," Boggs said. "I'm back on top and it'll all work out. I've been on fire."

Spare Time Recreation awards a $250 scholarship to a male and female bowler. Ironton's Seth Terkhorn and Tiffany Preston were this year's recipients.

"It's not just about being a good bowler. It's also about academics and character," Justice said.

Terkhorn plans to use his scholarship to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology.