The Brookings-Harbor High School bowling team braved rain, wind and snow to travel to Grants Pass on Sunday to compete in their second-to-last tournament before they compete at districts, and while the varsity team was unable to adapt to the changing lane conditions, the JV squad took home their third first-place finish for the season.
"The lane conditions changed and we were unable to keep up with the changing conditions," Head Coach Randy Scruggs said. "As you start struggling you try harder. And the harder you try, the harder it gets.
"You're really going to bowl your best when you're relaxed, and we weren't."
Senior captain Chase Davis agreed.
"We started making bad shots and it got in our heads," he said. "We've just got to throw the ball the way we're supposed to."
The Bruins began the tournament in sixth place after the initial three games with a chance to move up during the baker games, but failed to capitalize on mistakes made by the other teams and fell out of final playoff consideration.
One of the reasons for the Bruins' sixth place ranking was the play of senior Larance Knauss who bowled a personal best score of 266 during the third game.
Knauss took nine straight strikes into the 10th frame before he faltered to finish with the 266.
"I'm pretty excited," Knauss said. "It's a personal best."
When asked if he was nervous as it progressed, Knauss explained, "I was nervous in the 10th. I wasn't shaky nervous, but I just didn't follow through."
"That was exciting," he added. "I'm looking forward to it the next time."
The JV squad found some excitement in their bracket as it claimed the lead spot with just four baker games remaining in regulation play, and when the pins had all fallen, the five members of the team found themselves with a bye in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Bruins faced the Knights of North Valley in the finals and won the first game 156-138. According to varsity bowler Denny Bench, the JV squad typically starts cold in the opening game and turns it on for the second game, but they reversed the trend on Sunday and dropped the second game 137-147.
The 10-pin loss in the second game wasn't enough to overcome the margin of victory in the first and the Bruins held on for a 293-285 overall victory.
"It's awesome," JV coach Brannon Grenert said. "I love the close ones like that."
The Bruins' girls team brought just four bowlers to the tournament due to concerns of inclement weather, and couldn't field an official team.
Both the boys and girls squads will compete on Sunday to polish their skills in preparation for the district competition in two weeks.