Bremerton rollers get third place at state

Bremerton’s defense of the Class 3A girls state bowling title is over.

The run ended Feb. 7 at Narrows Plaza in Tacoma, the same place it started one year ago, as the Lady Knights placed third at the 2009 girls state bowling championships.

West Valley knocked down 7,020 pins to win the two-day event. Olympic’s 6,962 pin-total was good for second, just ahead of BHS (6,826).

“Today we just weren’t getting the carry,” coach Dean Wagner said, pointing to instances when BHS faced difficult “splits” despite rolling accurate first-shots. “It compounded itself because if the girls miss a spare here or there, and they think they should of had a strike in the first place, mentally it starts beating them down a little bit.”

It was the Lady Knights’ fourth consecutive trip to state, Wagner said, and there’s no reason not to believe the team won’t make another appearance next season.

The team will lose seniors Ariel Wagg and Samantha Smith, who finished 12th and 17th overall, respectively, to graduation, but everybody else is expected to return.

“That’s always our goal,” Wagner said. “To make it to state, and come as a team and leave as a team.”

Shanarra Hankinson, who rolled a 263 on Day 1, the highest score for any BHS roller, finished sixth overall with 1,013 pins.

“That was fantastic for her,” Wagner said.

But save for Hankinson’s strong performance, the Lady Knights simply couldn’t find the rhythm they usually do after West Valley, which finished with three rollers in the Top 10, built an early lead.

“We got behind the 8-ball a little bit, tried to fight back,” Wagner said. “Today was just a tough day where we didn’t carry, but we stuck together and supported each other. I’m proud of the team for that.”

And with the second- and third-place finishers coming from the Olympic League, Wagner said there’s plenty to be proud in terms of the local bowling scene. The Trojans made up nearly 300 pins on the second day of competition to jump from fourth to second in the final standings.

“You’ve got to give credit to Olympic,” Wagner said. “They were on fire today and rode the wave.”

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