With a pair of young teams, Manhattan bowling coach Chris George knows it’s an uphill battle to develop consistency at every meet.
The Indians traveled to the Topeka West Invitational Thursday at Westridge Lanes, with the boys’ team getting third and the girls’ finishing fourth.
This was the first regular meet of the year for the bowlers, as the prior competitions were all in the Baker style with no individual element.
For the girls’ team, George said gaining experience is important.
“On the girls’ side, the lack of experience is evident so far,” George said. “With only one senior, most of the varsity squad is inexperienced but improving as the season moves along. Each girl had flashes of what we strive for, but overall we need much more consistency.”
With a team score of 1,869, Manhattan finished behind first-place Shawnee Heights (2,190), second-place Topeka West (2,076) and third-place Emporia (1,928). They were led by sophomores Meghan Dooley and Danielle Miller, who shot 486 and 483, respectively.
On the boys’ side, the Indians were closer to the top of the standings with a 2,312 team score, finishing in third behind first-place Emporia (2,363) and just 11 pins behind second-place Topeka West (2,323).
Leading the Indians was junior Alex Huerta.
George said the boys’ team was on the cusp of putting together a solid day.
“The boys did not bowl poorly, but they just didn’t put together a total team effort,” George said. “We were only 11 pins out of a couple thousand for second, and only 52 out of first. Twelve games make up your total, and that is only a handful of spares split between everyone on the team. We’re close, but have a long way to go.”
George said the experience of bowling at a regular meet is important for both of his young teams.
“The boys’ team is very young as well as the girls’,” he said. “Hopefully our younger bowlers will gain confidence and realize what it takes to win as the season progresses.”
Next up for the Indians is their home tournament on Monday at Little Apple Lanes starting at 2 p.m.