The Lowell Red Arrow Bowling teams were in action Saturday, February 3 at the Hudsonville Invitational, a 12 team tournament at Hudsonville Lanes. There was a lot of strong competition in the house, including Conference Rivals Northview and Cedar Springs, as well as Byron Center, Jenison, Hudsonville, Rockford, Unity Christian, Grandvllle, Catholic Central and Lee. The tournament opened with a 3-game set of 5-man regular games, after which the field was seeded before moving in to a 5-game Baker set. As a testament to the strength of the field, Lowell posted 3037 pins – averaging over 200 pins per man – and that earned them a third seed behind Byron Center and Hudsonville following the initial three games.
The Red Arrows started strong in the Baker set, averaging 227 over the first 3 team games and picking up 60 bonus points. Their scores dropped over the last two Bakers as the shot began to break down, but they held on to their third place seed heading into the semi-finals. The semi-finals pitted Lowell against the 2nd seed Byron Center for a 2-game Baker set total pin elimination, and Lowell came out on top by 5 pins, moving them on to a final 2-game Baker match against #1 seed Hudsonville.
The local Hudsonville television station was on hand to film the finals matches. The Boys and Girls Finals were bowled separately in order to accommodate the broadcast; the boys had a little over an hour of downtime while they waited for the Girls’ Finals to be completed.
The first Baker between Hudsonville and Lowell ended in a tie, and the Boys continued to bowl “neck and neck” for the first 5 frames of the second game. Unfortunately, after a full day of team bowling, the shot was breaking down fast, and the advantage swung to the “home team” understanding of “how” the oil pattern would transition and the necessary adjustments. The Lowell boys fell victim to three big splits in the last five frames, and brought home the trophy for 2nd place.
There were several bright spots for the Red Arrow Boys over the course of the day,
> As a team, the Boys posted some of their best Baker games of the season.
> Three of the less experienced team members were in attendance and got the opportunity to pick up some match play experience that will be very helpful as the team moves into Conference and Regional Tournament play in the next couple of weeks.
> Jakob Reynolds shot a 156 and Chase Anderson had a 154.
> Sophomore Aaron Fritsma bowled every set of the tournament and showed good shot consistency and spare shooting throughout the day, posting high games of 181 and 208.
> Junior DJ Simpson bowled well in the Baker games, and put up 4 strikes in the last 4 frames of a split game to support the team total for the #3 seed.
> Junior Xavier Taylor showed significant improvement in spare shooting and posted a high game of 224.
> Sophomore Collin Clark rolled his best 3-game series of the season with high games of 238, 257 and 244 – earning him the #2 position for the All Tournament Team.
> Senior Carson Clark was trailing his younger brother after the first two games, having bowled games of 230 and 244. He posted the first 10 strikes in game 3, with a 7-pin tap on the second ball of the 10th, and finishing with a 289 – 763 series, earning him the #1 position for the All Tournament Team.
The Boys have three (3) Conference matches remaining (2/5 – Northview at Northfield Lanes, 2/7 – Ottawa Hills at Paragon Lanes, and 2/14 – FH Central at Eastbrook Lanes) prior to the Conference Tournament at Northfield Lanes on Saturday, February 17. They will also be participating in a Regional Tournament Tune-up hosted by Mona shores at Sherman Lanes in Muskegon on Saturday, February 10.