Fighting Tigers, RH’s Reynolds bowl bound for state
Published 11:16 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2023
By Jim Walker
When the Ironton Fighting Tigers decided they wanted to be on the road to the state tournament, they made sure they got in the right lane.
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Bowling lane, that is.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers’ boys bowling team and Rock Hill Redwomen’s Bri Reynolds became the first Lawrence County state bowling tournament qualifiers and will compete for the state title on Friday and Saturday at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl on South High Street.
“Andrew (Allen) went to the district the last three years and he came to me and said he didn’t want to do that again. He wanted to go as a team and they’ve really worked hard to get here,” said Ironton nine-year bowling head coach.
“They practiced hard (after the sectional) and made a pact that they were going to get their spares, get their strikes and get our win. They set this goal since the first part of the year and they called it ‘The Road to the State.’ They’re taking the road.”
Ironton pulled the surprise performance of the tournament after finishing fourth in the sectional tournament and then taking first place in the district to earn the state tournament berth.
“Obviously, we bowled better. We made a lot of spares that we didn’t make in our sectional. We left a lot of pins on the lanes,” said Cartmell.
“We cleaned it up in the district. We had a really big game by Andrew who shot a 275 in his second game and the energy that they had was out of the world. They fed off of it. They thrived on it.
“They’ve grown together the last few years. They’re a brotherhood. They support each other. If one throws a bad shot, the others are there to support him and they have each other’s back.”
Reynolds was consistant as she placed second at each stop but was first among individuals not on a qualifying team.
The top four teams at the sectional qualifying for the district tournament were Unioto with a 3,789 total, Zane Trace at 3,704, Eastern 3,648 and Ironton 3,624.
Other local teams in the sectional had Coal Grove finish with a 3,167 score, Rock Hill 2,953, South Point 2,931 and St. Joseph 2,577.
Andrew Allen had a 610 total to lead Ironton, Mason Davidson rolled a 555, Landon Bowles 532, Andy Schoener 495 and D.J. Imes 449.
Reynolds was second overall at 562 and qualified as an individual to the district.
Mackenzie Drone of Westfall was first overall at 619.
Also qualifying for the district were Rock Hill’s Maggie Johnson at 522 and Ironton’s Kimberly Osborne at 500.
Coal Grove’s Blake Landers was second overall in the boys’ tournament with a 643 to qualify as an individual.
Drew Dotson of Beaver Eastern was first at 686.
Ironton stepped it up in the district tournament and rolled a combined 3,932 to take first place and punch its ticket to the state tournament.
Zane Trace was second at 3,836, Unioto had a 3,704 and Eastern 3,546.
Only one team qualifies for the state tournament.
Allen led Ironton and all bowlers with a 682 total. Davidson had a 613 score, Bowles 531, Schoener 505 and Imes 422.
“Our baker games (each person bowls two frames a game in rotating fashion) were much improved in the district than in the sectional. There was a quite a bit of difference between the two tournaments,” said Cartmell. “The district was the way we usually bowl.”
In the girls’ tournament, Reynolds was second overall at 565 by one pin but was lone individual state qualifier as overall winner Jackie Jodrey of Eastern qualified with her team.
The girls’ tournament will be held on Friday and the boys on Saturday.
Competition begins at 10 a.m. each day with team championship rounds starting at approximately 3 p.m.
If Ironton bowls as usual, Cartmell likes the team’s chances of a high finish and even a win at the state tournament.
“The state is going to be different. I don’t know much about the others. I’ve looked at their scores and in the past Coldwater is the one I’m most familiar with. They’ve won the state several times in the past. They’ve always got a strong team. Just kind of comparing our scores to their scores last year, we’ right there either neck and neck or just below them,” said Cartmell.
The state format has teams bowl three games and then three baker games.