After bowling a record 1,389 at last year’s Section VI girls bowling championships, North Tonawanda’s Cassidy Powers felt the pressure to score even higher Friday as she tried to win consecutive titles.
But with lane conditions proving more difficult than a year ago, Powers couldn’t keep pace with Williamsville South’s Haley Carroll and settled for second.
Carroll bowled a 638 in the morning session and followed it with a 577 second set to take the girls individual championship at AMF Thruway Lanes, finishing 23 pins ahead of Powers.
“I started off in the morning with a 240 and then a 220-something, then the lanes started changing and I had a 167 so I kind of got freaked out there because I thought that would ruin my chances,” Carroll said.
“But I took the lunch break and calmed down and came back. … Everyone was just reassuring me that I could do it so I calmed down and used my team to support me.”
Powers bowled a 651 set in the morning but couldn’t break 200 in any of her three games in the afternoon.
“It was definitely a lot harder the second half than it was the first,” Powers said.
“Second half the ball started hooking a lot more.”
Carroll agreed about the lane conditions.
“I continued moving to adjust how the lanes changed,” she said. “It was hooking more so I had to keep moving where I stood.”
“Last year I rarely had to move any during the six games,” Powers added. “Today I had to switch balls and move a lot.”
Carroll, a junior, took fourth place at last year’s sectional championship. Both Powers and Carroll were part of the All-Section VI team that brought home first place at the state meet last year.
They have their goals set on a repeat in March.
“We better come in first because we have to uphold last year’s standards,” Powers said, smiling.
Lew-Port’s Alexis Wade, also a member of last year’s all-star team, qualified again Friday as she totaled 1,121 pins.
Also qualifying for the state meet were Frontier’s Kim Klinger (1,174), Clarence’s Claire Pohlman (1,117) and Ellicottville’s Courtney Scanlan (1,112).
Niagara Falls was the overall team champion with 5,421 pins, edging runner-up North Tonawanda by 52 pins. The Wolverines will compete at the state meet March 1 and 2 in in West Babylon.
Members of the winning team include Angela Gabriele, Hailey Johnson, Kaylee Narkiewicz, Luxsurie Sistrunk, Tamiya “Tee” Pierce, Justine Lansberry and Staci Biondi. Johnson led Falls with a six-game set of 1,164.
The Wolverines, winners of the past three Niagara Frontier League titles, won the state championship in 2012.
Cheektowaga won Class B with 4,998 pins, Fredonia took Class C scoring 5,153 and Forestville won Class D with 4,537.