The Timberline bowling coach knew what had to happen in order for his team to earn a state trip: a top-three team finish at the West Central District III tournament last weekend.
With Klahowya looking to vault over Timberline in the team standings, it came down to the final frame.
Thanks to Amanda Johns’ much-needed strike in the 10th frame, the Blazers finished second as a team and earned their first trip to the state bowling tournament.
“That was tense,” Wilson said.
Wilson hopes that the Blazers’ strong showing at the district tournament is a sign of big things to come Friday and Saturday at the Class 3A/2A state bowling tournament at Narrows Plaza Bowl in University Place. The 4A tournament will run concurrently.
Timberline will be joined by Black Hills as the only South Sound teams that qualified for state.
North Thurston’s Annika Johanson and Yelm’s Brittany Lunsford qualified as individuals.
Black Hills finished third behind Prairie and Mark Morris at the 3A/2A District IV tournament at Tumwater Lanes last week to earn its first team appearance at state since 2007.
With a regular-season record of 13-1, this is the best team Timberline’s had in the program’s nine seasons. That record is a vast improvement over last season’s 7-7 mark, which was then the team’s best showing.
The significant progress can be found in the state-bound bowlers, who joined a bowling league in the offseason to pick up more skills. Wilson also mentioned the addition of coach Jim Mayther, who has played a significant role in the team’s success.
Johns has the team’s best average at 164.4, followed by Candice Orm (160.9) and Kelsi Mayther (157.6). Mayther was the lone Timberline competitor at state last year, and she had 533 total pins at district to place third in the individual standings.
Wilson said keeping a frame-by-frame perspective will be key for the Blazers at state.
“If they can not get too excited and focus and bowl like they know how to bowl … then we’ll do well,” he said.