Five county teams will compete at state bowling championship

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

PELHAM – Shelby County will have several teams make the trip to the AHSAA State Bowling Tournament at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham this Thursday and Friday.

Several teams fared well in the regionals to qualify for their chance at a state crown. A total of 16 girls and 16 boys teams from across the state advanced out of the North and South Regionals that took place Jan. 19-20 in Foley and Tuscaloosa.

Of those 32 teams, a total of five hail from Shelby County. Spain Park will have representation from both their boys and girls teams, as will Thompson after both had strong performances in Foley.

With the criteria being to make it to the quarterfinals of regionals to advance, the Jags and Warriors did one better and advanced to the semifinals in both the girls and boys division of the South Regional. On the guys side, both fell in the semifinals as Spain Park lost to Auburn by just 17 points, 865-848, and Thompson lost to Stanhope Elmore 821-776.

Spain Park’s boys are looking to repeat as state champions after taking home the crown in 2016.

Spain Park’s girls also made it to the semifinals before falling to Pelham 746-711, which sent the Panthers to the finals to face off against the Warriors for the regional championship.

Thompson went on to win that matchup 741-615 to become the 2017 AHSAA South Regional champions.

Those three girls’ teams, along with Vestavia, all made the semifinals and look to be the favorites to bring home the state championship. Just like the Spain Park boys, if the Lady Warriors can bring home a championship it will mark their second consecutive year they will have brought the title back to Alabaster.

The state tournament will get underway Thursday at 12:30 p.m. with three traditional 10-pin games to determine seeding for day two. Just like regionals, the top combined scores from all three games will get the highest seed in descending order.

This well set up the second day, which will consist of a 16-team, single elimination bracket. Each team will bowl five Baker games to determine whether or not they move on. Whoever has the highest score at the end of those five games will advance to the next round until a championship is determined.

On Friday, there will be a first round, quarterfinals, semifinals and championship to determine the new state champion. This will all get underway at 8 a.m. Friday morning. Bowling will take place the majority of the day, with a lunch break scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The finals will take place Friday night at 5 p.m.

The eight girls and eight boys teams who bowl the three traditional games and have the highest individual scores will receive medals.