In only its second year of existence, the Moline girls' bowling team has risen to the top of the Western Big 6 Conference.|
The Maroons won their first-ever Big 6 title in dominating fashion, knocking down 5,948 pins at Highland Lanes.
"It feels good because the girls really came on," Moline coach Matt Woods said. "We had a rough start in the first game, but we pulled it through. The girls really focused in, and the score showed their concentration."
Moline had a 741-pin advantage over second-place Rock Island (5,207). The top four individuals in the meet were Moline bowlers.
Led by Jessica Howell, who won the Big 6 top individual honor with 1,342 six-game series and had high game of 268 pins, the Maroons took the title in the fourth conference meet in Big 6 history. Hannah Ceurvorst (1,211), Aimee Becht (1,197) and Kiely Miller (1,177) also earned Big 6 honors at the meet.
"For the first series, I had the oil working on me," Howell said. "I had a really high series of 724 — highest three-game series — and that was good. The second series it began to dry up pretty hard so I started focusing on spares."
Howell's teammate Ceurvorst finished second individually with a high game of 236.
"I came in with the mindset that I had to roll the ball off my fingers," Ceurvorst said. "It all would go from there, and it definitely did. Once the oil started to break down, I had a little more difficult time, and I had to adjust. It's all about keeping a good mindset."
Howell said Moline had a great team mindset throughout the afternoon on its way to its way to the title.
"We really love to cheer for each other and pick each other up," Howell said. "If one of us is down, we pick them up and put a smile on their face."
Rock Island claimed the two remaining all-conference spots. Aubree Hooks finished fifth, firing a 1,147, and Jordan Sholl rallied for a sixth-place finish with a 1,109. Sholl passed United Township's Kayla Crawford in the final game.
"Our goal was to beat two of the three teams," Rock Island coach Jim Braet said. "Our goal is to always bring home hardware, and we did with two individual medals. Aubree has come on of late, and Jordan has been good all year for us. We're happy for Aubree to get it in her final year."
Last year's Big 6 champion United Township had to settle for third-place finish after Rock Island moved up the board in the final game.
"It was kind of up and down," UT coach Sharon Krack said. "We started out the day pretty good, but we caught a couple bad breaks. We kind of muddled through and tried to stay as close as we could. Our goal after the morning was to stay in second, but Rock Island got hot."
Kayla Crawford — last year's individual winner — settled for seventh place finish and a 1,102-pin day. Panther freshman Josie Hartman finished one spot below Crawford, firing a 1,069.
"Josie has been really steady for me," Krack said. "As a freshman she really enjoys the game and has been learning as she goes. She's improved quite a bit, so it didn't surprise me that she was up there with the best."
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