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Bowlers fall 19 pins short



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March 07, 2012 - The girls varsity bowling team fell just 19 pins short of making the cut at the state bowling finals in Battle Creek on Saturday, March 3.

Facing a qualifying system of eight baker games and two regular team games, the Wildcats came out flat, firing an average of 150 over the eight baker games, leaving them in 16th place, 150 pins back of the cut.

According to varsity head coach JR Lafnear, the girls never quit.

They responded to their slow start with a tournament high 887 in game one, cutting their deficit to 40 pins. Seniors Alex Logan (199) Heather Lafnear (198) and Colleen Walters led the charge, while junior Brooke Harris rolled a 165 and freshmen Elisa Atyeo had a 157.

Oxford again made a charge in game two with Walters leading the way with a 210. Lafnear followed with a 191 and Harris had a 187. However, the Wildcats would come up 19 pins short in a quest for a state title.

"The two game surge at the end was incredible to watch," JR Lafnear said. "These girls were fired up and making it happen. It's just a shame it was 19 pins short. These ladies fought to the end and never quit. They should be very proud of their effort today and all season."

In the singles event, Heather Lafnear was the lone Wildcat in the field.

She started out slow, rolling a total of 506 over the first three games. However, she mounted a late charge with games of 190, 233 and 234 to propel her to the number one seed.

In round one of the knockout stage against Plymouth's Caitlyn Webb, Lafnear would lose game one 175-172 before winning game two 197-174. In the quarterfinals, Lafnear lost game one 198-156 to Kelsey Fader of Anchor Bay. Lafnear would go on to win game two, 193-186, put lost total pinfall 384-349.

She would wind up fifth in states.

"It was very emotional at the end for Heather. She loved bowling for the Wildcats and knew this was the last time she would ever do it," JR Lafnear said. "She has been a great bowler for our program and I, as her coach, am very proud of her. It was very hard to see her lose, but I was impressed by her fight."

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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