Alex Souza finishes in top ten, advances to boys bowling State Championship

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Junior Alex Souza propelled the boys bowling team to a middle-of-the-pack finish in Regionals, while also sending himself to the individuals’ State Championship. Having such a young team, the Rangers often relied on momentum from previous games to help them do well in the next event. Having done well in the previous win against eventual Regional champion Cedar Springs, things were looking good.

The 17 teams at Regionals played six Baker games apiece, which is one combined game using all the members of the team, and then three games that combined the scores of all the team’s bowlers. With the team Regionals taking place first, it was a team-first mentality before moving on to individuals.

The boys team has something to be proud of after holding its own among an elite group of teams from the area. With high Baker game scores of 176 and 187, the boys put themselves in a decent position to finish top-ten before the team games.

With team game scores of 808, 811, and a season-high of 901, the boys placed tenth in the region, narrowly edged out by Sparta for ninth place by 33 pins. However, only the top three teams in the region advance to States, therefore ending the boys’ season.

The girls team bowled a season-high Baker game score of 166, along with other high scores of 149 and 144. Trailing Lowell and Greenville with only the team games to go, the Rangers picked things up in the third and final team game, bowling a 652 as a team. The girls finished twelfth on the day, falling short of a top-ten finish by only 58 pins.

With the individual regionals occurring Saturday, junior stars Alex Souza and Ben Kastner were in prime contention for a top-ten spot and a trip to States. With 98 bowlers competing for ten spots, it was going to be a difficult task. Alex started the day strong with a 194 in his first game, which is above his season average. With a high score of 225, Alex shot to the top of the leaderboards, sitting comfortably in fifth place and only 13 pins short of third place. With his top-ten finish, Alex advances to the State Championships on March 2nd and 3rd.

Juniors Ben Kastner, David Mason and Ryan Andrews also competed in the individuals. Ben fell only 50 pins short of a trip to Waterford for States. Ben heated up towards the end, with his high score of 201 coming in the last game.

David bowled some of his highest scores of the season, with highs of 174 and 170 leading to his finish in twenty-eighth place. Ryan couldn’t seem to find his rhythm, bowling a high of 156 and finishing in sixty-ninth place.

The girls team didn’t match the individual success of the boys, with a high finish of thirty-second place. Senior Zoey Guikema finished in thirty-second with a high score of 179, one of her season-highs. Followed by her was fellow senior Sydney Payne, who finished in forty-eighth with a high of 162.

Seniors Eleanor Hoss, Addy Kaechele, and Emily Kostbade finished in fifty-sixth, fifty-ninth, and eighty-ninth, respectively. With no top-ten finishes, the girls season has come to an end with an overall 1-9 record.

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