OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa bowling teams perfect records remained untarnished Thursday as the Bulldogs combined to pick up a pair of victories over Des Moines Hoover at Champion Bowl on a day that celebrated the seniors who decorate the roster of both teams.
The girls team knocked off the Huskies 2,962-1,863 and the boys trounced Hoover 3,520-2,654.
"We just have a lot of teamwork, " Ashley Schooley said. "We just root for each other and give each other high fives."
Kourtney Longaker attributed her team's success in the dual — and in the season overall — to "keeping our spirits up and not getting down."
Longaker spearheaded the Bulldogs squad with a team-best two-round average of 236 and Bailey Palmer rolled a two-round average of 219.
"Bailey was on, Courtney Longaker had a good day, Cybil [Lennie] bowled better than her score indicated," Ottumwa girls coach Doug Techel said.
"We want to peak at the right time. I don't think we've reached our full potential, yet. Everything will come down to two days: substate and state."
Braxton Coble was at the forefront of the boys' success, rolling a team-best average of 255. Coble was closely followed by Austin Palmer, who rolled a 252 average, and Joey Lee, who bowled a 246. Ryan Hagist finished right behind Lee with a 245 average.
"Everyone bowled as a team today," Ottumwa bowling coach Brett Salter said.
"We were hitting today," Lee added.
Scattered applause, ubiquitous high fives and occasional bursts of collective applause after an especially good shot joined blended together to provide Champion Bowl with its own distinctive music and rhythm. The magical sound a bowling ball makes when it crashes into the pins for a strike consistently gave voice to the success Ottumwa enjoyed throughout the afternoon.
Although both Ottumwa teams will play host to the CIML Metro tournament next Thursday, the win did act as a memorable sendoff for the seniors on both teams; especially those seniors who compete at the junior varsity level and will not compete in the tourney next week.
The Ottumwa girls seniors this season include Peyton Wilbanks, Longaker, Courtney Smith, Sydney Swallow, Cybil Lennie, Drew Potter and Catie Vaux, and the boys' teams seniors are Lee, Brandon Evans, Dillan Mankowski, Kolten Fountain and David Weeks.
In other action, the Oskaloosa bowling teams both suffered losses to Clarke. The boys' varsity lost to the Indians 2,593-2,544 and the girls fell to Clarke 2,405-1,851.
Despite the losses, Osky bowling coach Brandi Crall was able to glean some positives from the loss.
"We had some struggles to overcome because we had to switch lanes in the middle of the game, so that was frustrating," Crall said. "The boys have done a great job with everything and the girls are the same way."
One of the highlights of the dual the Osky girls was the performance of Elizabeth Christy, who boasted a season-best two-round average of 145.5.
"We had our struggles, but as you can hear, we're cheering for each other and we're supporting each other and we're having fun and this is the best meet of my senior year," Christy said.
In addition, Keirsten Gordon was at the vanguard of the Indians' success, rolling a team-best average of 152.5. In addition, Christy complemented Osky freshman Chelsea Vinton on her performance.
"The freshman on our team bowled super good and bowled her heart out and was our anchor in our Baker games," she said.
For the boys, Colton Swanson was at the forefront of their success, rolling a team-high average of 193 and Clayton Danner rolled a 180.5.
"I didn't think it was too bad," Osky's Kyle Vinton said about his team's performance. "We pulled each other together when we were doing good."
The Ottumwa bowling teams will play host to the CIML Metro 7 Conference Championship at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Champion Bowl.
To follow Andy Heintz's Twitter feed, go to @CourierAndy
Ottumwa vs. Des Moines Hoover
At Champion Bowl, Ottumwa
Team Scores: Ottumwa 2,962, Des Moines Hoover 1,863
Ottumwa Individuals: Cybil Lennie 191, Kourtney Longaker 236, Ashley Schooley 159, Courtney Smith 161, Sydney Swallow 182, Bailey Palmer 219
Girls Junior Varsity
Team Scores: Ottumwa 2,029
Ottumwa Individuals: Flo Whitlow 309, Cheyanne Starr 330, Catie Vaux 331, Drew Potter 310.
Team Scores: Ottumwa 3,520, Des Moines Hoover 2,654
Ottumwa Individuals: Braxton Coble 255, Joey Lee 246, Austin Palmer 252, Ryan Hagist 245, Joey Hartley 242, Jordan MItchell 203.
Team Scores: Clarke 2,593, Oskaloosa 2,544
Oskaloosa Individuals: Colton Swanson 193, Brandon Crall 154.5, Dylan Danner 168, Clayton Danner 180.5, Kyle Vinton 120, Brady DeJong 154
Team Scores: Clarke 2,405, Osky 1,851
Osky Individuals: Keirsten Gordon 68.5, Chelsea Vinton 152.5, Lisa Wanders 113.5, Jenah McCombs 120.5, Elizabeth Christy 145.5.