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Wichita Southeast's Hannah Hull (left) finished second in the Class 6A girls tournament with a 662 series at Northrock Lanes.

Wichita Southeast's Hannah Hull (left) finished second in the Class 6A girls tournament with a 662 series at Northrock Lanes. Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle | Buy this photo

Northwest boys win Class 6A bowling tournament

Published March 6 at 6:23 p.m. | Last updated March 6 at 6:25 p.m.

In high school bowling circles the Northwest boys team was respected but not feared, because it was thought their time was coming, just not now.

The Grizzlies are comprised of three juniors, a sophomore, and two freshmen, their lack of a senior presence painfully obvious. And that’s why they had been largely overlooked this season.

Well, the future arrived Thursday, and Northwest, a program that hadn’t qualified for the state tournament since winning it in 2008, surprised a senior-laden field to win the Class 6A championship with a team score of 2,757 pins on Thursday at Northrock Lanes.

“I don’t think they felt pressure to win, and why would they?” Northwest coach Jodi Floyd said. “They’re like kids. They’ve never been here before. They didn’t know, they were just here to bowl another day.”

For Northwest, not knowing was power. Only one of its members, Lane Stanberry, had a modicum of state experience, so the magnitude of their actions was lost in youthful ignorance.

As the stakes grew, so did Northwest’s resolve. The Grizzlies trailed Derby by 109 pins after the first game, so they rolled a 973, the best second game score in the field. Derby still led by 77 pins after that, so Northwest kept rolling strikes while its competition succumbed to the pressure.

Northwest’s score of 930 in the third game was the best score in the nine-team field and 121 better than Derby, which turned the comeback into a comfortable, 44-pin margin.

“Usually when new people get in big tournaments like this, they’ll buckle under the pressure,” Northwest junior Cody Hubbard said. “None of us did that.”

And it wasn’t one or two bowlers responsible for Northwest’s late charge. All six bowlers had scores count in the final two games, as Brandon Kraus (267), Zachary Hall (257), and Kyle Clare (235) posted strong second game scores, and Hubbard (268), Seth Fraizer (225), and Stanberry (219) led the way in the third game.

Derby and Southeast entered as proven commodities and Olathe North, the two-time defending champion, was back in the field. None of that mattered to Northwest.

“We’re kind of like an enigma,” Floyd said. “Everyone is like, ‘Where did they come from?’ 

If they didn’t know before Thursday, they certainly do now with all six of the Grizzlies set to return next season to defend their title.

“We wanted to come out and prove that we can beat the best teams in the state with all the seniors like the Olathe schools and all the stars like Southeast,” Hubbard said. “We felt we were ready to win it.”

More pressure, no problem — For his first appearance in the state tournament, Derby sophomore Noah Brooks opened with the best game of his season, a 289.

But that didn’t calm the nerves coursing through him.

“It feels like your heart is being pounded by some boxer guy,” Brooks said.

Brooks wasn’t spectacular after his opening, but he didn’t have to be. All he needed were solid scores, which he delivered, posting a 734 series that survived by five pins to win Brooks the Class 6A individual championship.

And all of this while Brooks considered himself a nervous wreck when he was rolling the most important series of his life.

“All that intensity goes straight to your heart,” Brooks said. “Your body starts shaking, your hands start shaking, everything starts shaking and you don’t know what else to do.

“It’s a good thing I have good teammates because they helped calm me down. That’s what I like about my teammates because they’re always there for me.”

Wichita girl’s reign ends — The Class 6A championship remained in the Wichita area for six straight years, but the Olathe North girls ended that streak by completing their undefeated season with a 2,393 total to win the title on Thursday.

While none of the area qualifiers — Southeast, Maize, East — challenged for a team trophy, Southeast senior Hannah Hull nearly orchestrated an improbable comeback to win individual honors.

After rolling games of 191 and 195, Hull charged late with eight straight strikes to finish the third game at 268. That sent her from 15th place to second, just eight pins away from state champion series fo 662 from Ashton Anderson of Washburn Rural.

“My senior year, last game, I’m so happy it ended that way,” Hull said. “It’s a perfect end to the perfect year for me.”

Joining Hull in the Top 10 was Derby’s Anna Aspinwall (624, sixth) and South’s Cassie Edgar (602, ninth)

At Northrock Lanes

Boys

Team scores — 1. Wichita Northwest (Hubbard 692, Kraus 688, Stanberry 651, Hall 649, Clare 618, Fraizer 608) 2,757; 2. Derby (Brooks 734, Kerbs 704, Bevier 657, Frazier 592, Ash 537, Morgan 536) 2,713; 3. Junction City 2,699; 4. Olathe South 2,577; 5. Olathe North 2,572; 6. Wichita Southeast (Bennett 644, Brantley 629, Holmes 628, Wilson 590, Torres 557, Morrison 508) 2,545; 7. Garden City 2,491; 8. Olathe East 2,472; 9. Dodge City 2,312.

Individuals — 1. Noah Brooks, Derby, 289-224-221 — 734; 2. Tristan Musick, Olathe North, 268-234-227 — 729; 3. William Illian, Olathe South, 207-247-265 — 719; 4. Ty Marah, SM North, 248-245-217 — 710; 5. Sam Kerbs, Derby, 231-248-225 — 704; 6. Cody Hubbard, Wichita Northwest, 210-214-268 — 692; 7. Brandon Kraus, Wichita Northwest, 203-267-218 — 688; 8. Austin Bader, Olathe South, 203-255-226 — 684; 9. Zach Lytle, Wichita East, 214-258-211 — 683; 10. Aaron Coffman, Junction City, 169-254-258 — 681; 11. James Emerson, Washburn Rural, 214-217-248 — 679; 12. Jayson Quicksall, Junction City, 234-237-207 — 678; 13. Aaron Yuratovich, Olathe East, 234-182-258 — 674; 14. William Wriston, Junction City, 160-268-244 — 672; 15. Branden Russell, Olathe North, 228-256-187 — 671; 16. Adam Wood, Olathe Northwest, 218-225-222 — 665; 17. Tim Bevier, Derby, 242-235-180 — 657; 18. Jonathan Hornbaker, Hutchinson, 242-196-216 — 654; 19. Lane Stanberry, Wichita Northwest, 243-189-219 — 651; 20. Drake Slates, Campus, 248-192-210 — 650.

Girls

Team scores — 1. Olathe North 2,393; 2. Washburn Rural 2,282; 3. Olathe South 2,268; 4. SM North 2,161; 5. Wichita Southeast (H. Hull 654, Schooler 561, Ward 476, Huffstetler 419, B. Hull 368, Rule 359) 2,118; 6. Lawrence 2,102; 7. Maize (Perez 530, Krueger 522, Macgill 498, Esser 473, Light 435, Winegarner 406) 2,096; 8. Manhattan 2,058; 9. Wichita East (Herzberg 568, Henry 517, Loper 463, Henry 429, Torske 382, Smith 352) 1,981.

Individuals — 1. Ashton Anderson, Washburn Rural, 171-243-248 — 662; 2. Hannah Hull, Wichita Southeast, 191-195-268 — 654; 3. Kierstan Warren, Lawrence, 234-203-215 — 652; 4. Mackenzie Mitchell, Olathe South, 200-212-223 — 635; 5. Nicole Edwards, SM North, 247-194-192 — 633; 6. Anna Aspinwall, Derby, 231-192-201 — 624; 7. Whitney Prockish, Washburn Rural, 201-231-189 — 621; 8. Cassie Edgar, Wichita South, 231-151-220 — 602; 9. Carley Sullivan, Topeka, 211-213-178 — 602; 10. Jessica Brewer, SM West, 211-204-186 — 601; 11. Madison Kent, Olathe North, 162-234-204 — 600; 12. Madison Taylor, Campus, 195-204-199 — 598; 13. Allie Brachtenbach, Olathe East, 194-195-203 — 592; 14. Chye Reiste, Olathe North, 214-184-183 — 581; 15. Mackenzie Saulnier, Olathe Northwest, 182-176-213 — 571; 16. Aspen Herzberg, Wichita East, 179-179-210 — 568; 17. Morgan Sheehan, Olathe South, 184-199-185 — 568; 18. Lauren Huber, Olathe North, 147-187-231 — 565; 19. Makaela Harmon, Olathe South, 169-165-231 — 565; 20. Lauryn Schooler, Wichita Southeast, 139-207-215 — 561.