Boys and girls bowling show significant improvement versus Byron Center

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Following a 155-145 win in baker game number one against Byron Center, the boys bowling team was in unfamiliar territory.

“Before our match against Byron, we struggled a lot against Greenville and didn’t win the baker games, which left a bad taste in our mouth,” senior Joey Spaletto explained. “That first baker game against Byron was a huge success for us, and it showed that we could be competitive in the OK White.”

Baker-game victories can go a long way in helping a team win a match, especially if a team relies on momentum for fuel. So going into the second baker game, head coach Terry Metzner was confident that his team had already carved out enough leeway for a strong finish. 

“I was impressed with how they [the boys] started out the match,” coach Metzner said. “The baker-game win helped settle their nerves and fuel them for the rest of the match.”

In the second baker game, the Rangers hit a roadblock in the form of a 170-157 loss. The boys no longer held the lead, as the Bulldogs not only won the four points from the baker game but also out-scored the Rangers by three. 

Unless the boys were able to pull a few tricks out of their pockets and torch Byron Center during the individual rounds, then it looked like FHC would suffer another conference defeat—no matter how well the Rangers played, they had a steep climb ahead of them. 

Despite a personal best of 247 for senior Zach Guikema and a 203 from Wes Baldwin, the boys weren’t able to recover and lost their second contest of the season 17.5-12.5. 

“The boys improved on their strike performance but still had trouble collecting some spares,” coach Metzner said. “We need those spares if we want to win this season.”

For the girls, this season has been all about teaching. 

“I’ve focused on slowly bringing the girls along because most of them have never bowled on a team before,” coach Metzner said. “They need to work on hitting their targets and being consistent and rolling the ball better.”

Byron Center didn’t take long to take advantage of FHC’s inexperience, as the Bulldogs swept the Rangers in both baker games. Although freshman Sam Sturgis and sophomore Emmy Willemin kept their foot on the gas, the girls ended up losing 30-0.

Before both teams head into Winter Break, FHC is scheduled to host Northview at Eastbrook Lanes on Wednesday. All that coach Metzner can hope for is better spare shooting.

“I’m going to harp on it all the time, but I feel like it’s too important to ignore; we have to score on spares in close matches like Monday’s against Byron.”