McPherson High School will send three bowlers to the Class 5-1A state tournament this Thursday after solid showings by all three at the regional tournament on Saturday at Great Bend’s Walnut Bowl.
Two members of the MHS girls’ team will make the trek to Northrock Lanes in Wichita Thursday in Crystal Nutter and Mayce Nightengale. Nightengale finished fourth in the tournament with a combined score of 558 off games of 188, 169 and 201. Nutter had a ninth place finish with a total of 515 (198, 148 and 169). Buhler’s Kirsten Allen had the top score with 708, followed by Great Bend’s Miranda Hejny with 593.
All together, the Lady Pups finished third as a team with a combined score of 2,088. Buhler took first place with a combined score of 2,178, followed by host Great Bend with a score of 2,161.
The top two finishing teams in the region go onto compete at state, with the next six highest individual scores that aren’t part of those teams qualifying solo.
For the MHS boys, Joel Morey was the lone Bullpup that qualified, finishing third overall and having the top non-team qualifying score at 657. He bowled games of 200, 243 and 214.
“I am proud of these three,” McPherson coach Herb Halinsky said. “They bowled in really tough conditions and fought tooth-and-nail all day long.”
Great Bend took the top two spots, individually, as Dakota Conaway finished first with a 705, followed by teammate Jeff Meitler’s 665.
Salina Sacred Heart took first in the team scores with a total of 2,566, while Great Bend was second at 2,536. As a team, the Bullpups finished with a total score of 2,318.
Halinsky was proud of his entire team’s effort at regionals.
“They never gave up,” Halinksy said. “They just couldn’t put much together. The theme of missing spares bit us again, as we just couldn’t make single pin spares as a whole.”
Halinski said it’s a problem he will work to solve in the off-season.
“I am going to come up with a new system that will, hopefully, allow them to be more confident during meets,” he said.
The Class 5-1A girls state tournament will get underway Thursday at 9:10 a.m. with the Parade of Athletes. Competition will begin at 9:30 a.m. The Boys are slated to start competition at 2 p.m.
The 6A tournament will be held Friday at Northrock Lanes on the same time table.