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GIRLS' PREP BOWLING: John Hardin earns first State berth (01/30)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

Last season, the John Hardin Bulldogs boys’ bowling team was able to count on their Lady Bulldog counterparts to root them on at State.

That won’t be happening again next week. Because instead of playing the role of cheerleaders, the Lady Bulldogs will be competitors after they earned their first State berth by finishing second to Taylor County in the 2nd Region team tournament Tuesday at Dix-E-Town Lanes.

Dix-E-Town proprietor and tournament director Dean Taylor, who has worked with all three area bowling schools, said John Hardin’s perseverance more than paid off.

“I’m just so impressed with how fast they’ve excelled,” Taylor said. “Last year, they were just happy it was a sport and just to get to go to region and see the competition. This year, they’ve been able to compete with top-level competition and the stats showed it. I said last year that the Hardin County schools would be able to compete, but who knew it would happen the very next year?”

The Lady Bulldogs put themselves in a good position by finishing third in the eight-player seeding game with a six-person total of 824. Once the best 3-of-5 bakers started, John Hardin was matched with the sixth-seeded Thomas Nelson Lady Generals (663). John Hardin won the quarterfinal, 3-0 (125-87, 186-91, 167-113).

In the semifinals, the Lady Bulldogs took on the second-seeded Central Hardin Lady Bruins (833), who earned a 3-1 (102-105, 105-98, 136-84, 137-127) win over the seventh-seeded Green County Lady Dragons (540) in the quarterfinals. After Central Hardin and John Hardin split their first two games, the Lady Bulldogs emerged with a 3-1 (144-109, 127-131, 159-116, 161-137) win to earn their State trip.

“I’m excited for it,” said sophomore Hannah Caudill, who usually rolls in the No. 3 spot for the Lady Bulldogs and is John Hardin’s youngest starter. “We have definitely improved and have come closer together as a team.”

That set up the final with top-seeded Taylor County, which received a quarterfinal bye and dispatched of the fourth-seeded Nelson County Cardinals in the top-bracket semifinal, 3½-½ (179-179, 204-176, 180-127, 170-134). Nelson County advanced to the semifinals by topping the fifth-seeded North Hardin Lady Trojans, 3-1 (205-163, 176-114, 145-126, 159-127).

Last year, Taylor County beat North Hardin in the final after the Lady Cardinals crushed John Hardin.

“They stomped on us,” said John Hardin junior No. 4 slot bowler Morgan Parsons of last year’s region match with Taylor County.

That wasn’t the case in the postseason rematch as John Hardin won the first game and played the Lady Cardinals within a pin in the third game before falling, 3-1 (185-189, 181-92, 156-155, 226-99).

Knowing they had already accomplished two goals – getting to State and getting their first win against Taylor County’s starters in a baker series, Parsons and senior captain Karen Ledford pulled themselves out of the second game to allow other seniors to compete in the region.

“We were already so excited to be going to State,” said Ledford, who will also be going to State as an individual after finishing third Monday. “It’s not that we didn’t care, but we also had to be realistic that we weren’t going to beat them.”

John Hardin coach Jenny Brown appreciated her captains’ gesture.

“Karen had already achieved everything she needed to achieve and her and Morgan decided everyone should be able to taste the success of going to State,” Brown said.

The region runner-up finish is the first for a John Hardin girls’ team in six years, which will earn the team a banner in the rafters of the Dawg Pound gymnasium.

“Considering I play three different sports, that’s kind of sad and disappointing,” Parsons said. “But it’s OK; the boys only have like 22 banners of their own or something like that. I guess they’re trying to overcompensate for our girls’ teams.”

Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at (270) 505-1758 or nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com

 

GIRLS’ PREP

2ND REGION TEAM TOURNAMENT

ELIZABETHTOWN Team results from Tuesday’s seven-school 2nd Region Bowling Tournament on the top-hat oil pattern at Dix-E-Town Lanes:

SEEDING

1. Taylor County                     556-519—1,075

Shelby Barnett, 215      Hannah Brockman, 155

Cherith Brockman, 159   x-Justice Burchett, 147

x-Summer Hunt, 130      McKayla Sprowles, 201

Megan Hedgespeth, 182  Candace Gibson, 163

2. Central Hardin                       422-411—833

Alneisha Butler, 145           Tyana Nowlan, 162

Mary Zeitler, 145           Becca Himebaugh, 133

Chelsea Tribus, 132           x-Jessica Bates, 92

x-Mercedes Cote, 108          Paige Russell, 116

3. John Hardin                          438-386—824

Stephanie Allen, 136          Denea Graves, 122

Hannah Caudill, 136           x-Caitlyn Scott, 107

x-Morgan Parsons, 124    Ebonie Hampton, 139

Karen Ledford, 166               Sarah Wolfe, 127

4. Nelson County                      455-351—806

x-Bess Johnson, 71                   x-Erin Hall, 65

Taylor Hall, 148                    Olivia Willett, 117

Kristen Curtsinger, 127         Hallie Hardin, 112

Kelsey Hellard, 180             Baylee Tabler, 122

5. North Hardin                         355-359—714

Brittanie Mahanna, 105x-Brooke Mahanna, 105

x-Grace Maddox, 81       Mary-Kate Dennis, 115

Ariana Martinez, 134            Jillian Shufelt, 119

Allie Dennis, 116                  Ally Eastman, 125

6. Thomas Nelson                     363-300—663

Kristin Cecil, 155             Jordan Hamilton, 111

Laryn Hilderbrandt, 102       Hannah Rucker, 99

x-Mikayla Brady, 84                  Emily Davis, 90

Michaela McIntosh, 106         x-Olivia Hagan, 84

7. Green County                        282-258—540

Michaela Wright, 78                Keana Shoe, 54

Emily McMahan, 116          Shauna Walker, 100

Taylor Warren, 88          Sarah Jo Calhoun, 104

x-Empty, 0                                     x-Empty, 0

TOURNAMENT

Quarterfinals

No. 1 Taylor County received a bye

No. 4 Nelson County def. No. 5 North Hardin, 3-1 (205-163, 176-114, 145-126, 159-127)

No. 3 John Hardin def. No. 6 Thomas Nelson, 3-0 (125-87, 186-91, 167-113).

No. 2 Central Hardin def. No. 7 Green County, 3-1 (102-105, 105-98, 136-84, 137-127)

Semifinals

No. 1 Taylor County def. No. 4 Nelson County, 3½-½ (179-179, 204-176, 180-127, 170-134)

No. 3 John Hardin def. No. 2 Central Hardin, 3-1 (102-105, 105-98, 136-84, 137-127)

Championship

No. 1 Taylor County def. No. 3 John Hardin, 3-1 (185-189, 181-92, 156-155, 226-99)