Saturday, January 19, 2013

SPORTS STROY >> Panthers’ bowling beats NP

The Cabot High School bowling team competed against the North Pulaski Falcons at Allfam Bowling Center in Cabot on Thursday. In the end, Cabot was able to pull out their seventh win in seven matches, but according to Cabot coach Mike Nash, it was well earned.

“North Pulaski is a very solid program and I knew our team had to be focused to win the match,” Nash said. “Thankfully, the kids came in with a business attitude and won a hard fought match.”

Leading the way for the boys was senior Dylan Wilson, who bowled a 415 two game series, followed by junior Cayden Cook’s 375 series. For the girls, senior Shelby Smith finished with a 400 series and freshman Megan Bugiel added a 312 series.

For the season, both Panther teams are 7-0 and are looking forward to a strong finish this year. Both teams are looking to repeat as conference champions and both teams are considered one of the favorites to win state this year. With everyone back this season, the boys especially are looking to repeat their state title run of last season.

“Luckily, we have all of our bowlers from last year’s state championship team back,” Nash said. “We have an excellent shot to repeat, but we are not going to win by simply showing up. We have to perform.”

So far, the boys are led by senior Chris Brown who averages 228 per game, followed by junior Adrian Nicholas’ 211, junior Jace Jennings’ 203 and senior Kenny Pederson’s 201.

The girls team will be trying to win their third state championship in the last five years. Smith has the chance to tie a state record by winning her third individual state title and become just the second player in the state to do so. Last year Smith set the state record with a three game 700 series. Nash says with Smith, the ladies always have a chance.

“While Shelby is a great bowler she is also a great leader,” Nash said. “Whether she is cheering on her team or sharing her knowledge with her teammates, she is about the team first.”

Smith is averaging 203 this year – up from her 192 average last year.

The Panthers will end the season this year with conference on February 6 and state on February 11.