Spain Park, Thompson, Oak Mountain headed to state bowling tourney

Published 12:20 pm Friday, January 18, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

MOBILE – The 2019 state bowling tournament will have one of the strongest presences among county teams since starting thanks to five teams and three different schools earning their spot to the event due to impressive regional performances.

The Spain Park boys and girls, Thompson boys and girls and Oak Mountain girls all cemented their spots in the 2019 state tourney held at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham Thursday, Jan. 24, through Friday, Jan. 25, thanks to elimination wins in the South Regional Tournament on Friday, Jan. 18.

Starting on Thursday, Jan. 17, all five teams competed in the preliminary round of the tournament, which determined seeding for the elimination round a day later.

Overall, the Thompson girls were able to take the No. 1 seed into the elimination round thanks to a team total of 2,572 at the conclusion of Thursday’s festivities.

Thompson’s boys also had a strong showing on the first day of the South Regional posting a total of 2,961, which placed them second behind Vestavia Hills heading into elimination day.

Spain Park’s boys and girls weren’t too much lower with the girls pulling off a total of 2,123, which was good enough for the No. 4 see, while the boys finished sixth with a total of 2,600.

The Oak Mountain girls, on the other hand, found themselves with a total of 1,936, which put them as the 10th overall seed, meaning an uphill battle moving into the elimination round having to take on a higher seeded Daphne team to head to the state tournament.

Competing against a higher seed, the Oak Mountain girls ended up in the most thrilling of the elimination matches against Daphne.

The first game of the round saw Daphne jump up to a 731-657 lead to put the Eagles behind the eight ball in an accumulation of all bowlers’ scores.

However, when it came down to it, Oak Mountain was able to win three games in a row to pull off an unbelievable comeback.

It started with a 119-101 victory in the second game to cut Daphne’s lead to 832-776. Still trailing by a 56 pins, the Eagles had a lot of ground to make up and just two games to do it.

In the third game, Oak Mountain was able to pick up another win by a final score of 140-113 to bring the running score to 945-916, meaning the Eagles needed to win by exactly 30 points to advance to the state tournament.

Improbably, Oak Mountain was able to complete the comeback with an exact 30-point victory in the final game with a final score of 150-120 to take down Daphne by a final score of 1,066-1,065.

With that one-point victory, the Eagles not only advanced in the regional tournament, but will also get the opportunity to compete in the state tournament.

Nothing could top that matchup, as both Spain Park and Thompson teams advanced with relative ease.

The Thompson boys were able to take down Murphy High School 1,533-1,102 thanks to game victories of 959-706, 176-158, 193-95 and 205-143.

While Spain Park’s match with Northview was slightly more competitive, the Jaguars also didn’t drop a game on their way to clinching a spot in the state championship.

They downed Northview 1,393-1,166 with game scores of 849-743, 213-165, 199-134 and 132-124.

Both the Spain Park and Thompson girls picked up fairly easy wins to claim their spots at the state tournament as well.

Thompson was able to win going away against Houston Academy taking the Raiders down by a final score of1,424-953. The Warriors used game wins of 913-543, 161-121 and 200-127, before a loss of 162-150 in the final game.

Spain Park’s girls had a couple of tight games early winning the first game 691-536 and the second game 121-119, but followed that up with a strong 158-90 win in the third set to all but end it before closing the match out with a 126-123 victory in the final game to bring the score to 1,094-861 in favor of the Jaguars.

All five of those teams will still compete for a regional title, but have sealed a spot in the state championship which will begin with the seeding round on Thursday, Jan. 24, before competing in the elimination portion the following day.