A Thomas Jefferson bowler and onlooking crowd watch the lane as a ball rolls toward the last pin standing at the North Puget Sound League tournament at Secoma Lanes on Jan. 22. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

A Thomas Jefferson bowler and onlooking crowd watch the lane as a ball rolls toward the last pin standing at the North Puget Sound League tournament at Secoma Lanes on Jan. 22. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Rockin’ and rollin’: Decatur girls bowling team wins NPSL championship

Decatur, Federal Way and Thomas Jefferson teams to compete at districts; individual qualifiers from Todd Beamer move forward in postseason.

Undefeated is how Decatur rolls.

The Decatur Gators topped the North Puget Sound League girls bowling tournament last week, following an undefeated league season.

Decatur secured the championship with a total team score of 3,023, followed by Thomas Jefferson with a total of 2,689.

Federal Way finished in third with 2,622 and Todd Beamer in fourth with 2,509. Kennedy Catholic took fifth with 2,287 and Hazen wrapped up the tournament with a team score of 2,150.

Decatur girls bowling head coach Mike David said his bowlers came out strong at the league tournament and maintained a consistent level of play, putting up nice scores along the way to victory.

“The team was certainly ready to roll,” he said of the Jan. 22 competition at Secoma Lanes. “When you get a bowler or bowlers who are rolling hot, you have to let her loose … See how far she can keep riding the lightning.”

During the tournament, David turned to Gators assistant coach CeCe Greene and “told her I was trying not to get excited as I was watching our bowlers put up strong numbers.”

“She turned to me and said the same thing and that we can’t say anything about it because we didn’t want the girls to think about what they were doing,” David recalled. “It was a moment that I really had to suppress because I was so pumped up at that point.”

Decatur, Thomas Jefferson and Federal Way are moving forward to the West Central District girls bowling tournament as team qualifiers.

After applying the team tiebreaker criteria, Federal Way will be the No. 2 seed and TJ will be the No. 3 seed.

Decatur’s recent win is a victorious upgrade from last year when the team tied for the NPSL championship with Thomas Jefferson.

After graduating several seniors last year, TJ’s 20-member bowling team is full of ability, but little experience this year.

“It was a great coaching year for me,” said TJHS girls bowling coach Joseph Townsend. “… This year I got to be a lot more hands on, [do] a lot more teaching.”

Decatur earned a 10-0 league record, with Federal Way and Thomas Jefferson tying with league records of 6-4.

“We knew we had a strong team this year and it’s nice to finally have that really strong season,” David said.

For a couple of the girls who have been on the team for years, it was a long time coming, David said. Although pleased with a tie, the bowlers wanted a championship all themselves.

“They had a goal and saw it through.”

The Gators bowling team backbones include the four-year varsity players Ruth Magana and Natalie Hansen, David said, also highlighting some fresh talent that shined at leagues. Particularly sophomores Maya Kunz-Taguchi, Angela Luke and Olyvia Beckner, along with senior Kaeley Eves, who posted her best three-game series as well.

“This is a team sport and it takes everybody doing their best at the same time to make it happen,” David said.

The Gators girls bowling squad is a combination of depth and talent.

This year’s team comprised seven seniors, 11 juniors and a split make-up of sophomores and freshmen.

“That inner competition that occurred between the girls really brought out the best,” he said. Decatur stacked a team of 40 bowlers this season, the largest team of the Federal Way district and Decatur’s record.

West Central District Individual qualifiers, determined from the non-qualifying teams, include No. 1 Kennedy’s Sydney Elicker and Todd Beamer’s Lorali Ownes, who tied with a total score of 453. Hazen’s Katie Fuchs (443) took No. 3, followed by Todd Beamer’s Rosa Tran (428) and Ashna Narayan (419), and in No. 6, Kennedy’s Kate Cornelluson with a score of 405.

Individual alternates include Todd Beamer’s Kayla Doan and Hazen’s Giselle Ruiz-Martinez.

The 2020 West Central District III 1A-4A girls bowling tournaments will be held Saturday, Feb. 1. The tournaments competition begins at 9 a.m. at Paradise Lanes, 12505 Pacific Ave. S., in Tacoma.

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