Bobcat bowling blows by Roosevelt

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown bowlers Richie Thomas, right, and Carson Potter high-five after a strike from Thomas during the Bobcats’ win over Des Moines Roosevelt on Tuesday night. Thomas and Potter had the highest scores for MHS respectively on the day.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown bowlers Richie Thomas, right, and Carson Potter high-five after a strike from Thomas during the Bobcats’ win over Des Moines Roosevelt on Tuesday night. Thomas and Potter had the highest scores for MHS respectively on the day.

Every meet so far for the Marshalltown boys bowling team, a different Bobcat has stepped up and led the team in scoring.

That trend continued on Tuesday, as senior Richie Thomas rolled back-to-back 257 scores to pace the Bobcats with a 514 set score, all while bowling for the first time on varsity this season.

Thomas said his confidence was sky high going into the meet, and he accomplished something he’s never done before in three years of bowling for Marshalltown on Tuesday.

“I have bowled high school for four years now and I’ve never had one meet where I went completely clean,” Thomas said. “I had no opens today, I shot a great ball, I kinda was a little off but I made it through. Shot the first half-hundred series of the season and I see more to come.”

Despite throwing arguably his best series ever, Thomas said he didn’t look great during warm-ups, so the high score was a bit of a shock.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Ashly Wiegand promises her team she will pick up the spare she left during the baker games in Tuesday’s win over Des Moines Roosevelt. Wiegand would proceed to pick up the spare.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown sophomore Ashly Wiegand promises her team she will pick up the spare she left during the baker games in Tuesday’s win over Des Moines Roosevelt. Wiegand would proceed to pick up the spare.

“Actually I bowled terrible during practice, I threw two gutters through the nose but I wet my ball up and made the adjustment and just finished it off and threw it well,” Thomas said.

While Thomas’ 514 was the high score, he definitely wasn’t the only Bobcat on top of his game on Tuesday. Carson Potter bowled a 493 for his set, keeping pace with Thomas for much of their two games together, and Joshua Arment rolled a 448, his second-best score at home.

In fact, Marshalltown had five bowlers in the 400s for the first time this season, with Lucas Kramer and Kamrin Chizek finishing rounding out the scoring sets with a 439 and 427 respectively.

Bobcats head coach Roger Taylor Sr. said the team looked sharp throwing their 3,333 on Tuesday, almost 600 pins higher than Des Moines Roosevelt’s 2,546, and he was thrilled with the way his top two guys performed.

“For Richie to come off of JV and lead the scoring today was awesome, but Richie has been on varsity for three years before this season,” Taylor Sr. said. “Carson has been pretty steady and he’s pretty accurate with his shot.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Really only one Marshalltown bowler wasn’t on top of his game, as Ray Wiegand threw a season-low 342 in his series. Wiegand was visibly frustrated with his shot all day, but after sitting out the first three baker games he came in and threw the close out sets in the final two well.

Taylor Sr. said Wiegand didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday, but he’s not worried about the 2017 all-stater figuring things out.

“Ray was off today but again we are deep so we picked him up, we don’t want Ray thinking it’s all on his shoulders,” Taylor Sr. said. “He is a thinker, and Ray is going to figure it out. He sat out the first three games and we pulled Carson and put him in, and he was ready to throw the ball. He made some adjustments and hit the pocket with all of his shots, so he will figure it out. We’re not worried.”

After winning their first five meets of the season in landslide fashion, Taylor Sr. said it’s been a point of emphasis in practice over the last couple of days to not get complacent and continue working hard and striving to get better.

“We mentioned that in practice yesterday and I told them that ‘you guys are not going to overthink this. You are not going to go up there and be cocky, we won’t allow it,'” Taylor Sr. said. “When we do our spare drills and our different practice sessions it’s the same old thing. We still have 6 a.m. practice tomorrow morning and we are going to work on our spares because we only had 18 opens today, but that’s 180 pins we gave away.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

To be fair, it is kind of hard to not look ahead on the schedule when the Bobcats have been bowling lights out lately. Even the junior varsity squad has been spectacular, out-bowling every varsity team they’ve seen this year, and Taylor Sr. said knowing how deep the roster is just gets him excited for the program.

“Our JV beat their varsity again for the fifth-straight time, so again we are very deep,” he said. “I am very happy, we have a few things to work on between the ears, and that’s shooting spares and getting lined up quicker. We’ve got a really strong and healthy program and I am just excited.”

It wasn’t all about the boys on Tuesday afternoon, however, as the Marshalltown girls earned their fourth-straight home win at Wayward Social as well, taking down the Roughriders 2,437 to 2,138.

Karlie Potter was the high-scorer in the individual sets with a 373, her highest finish of the year, and Bobcat girls’ head coach Andy Schwandt said she was ecstatic about her performance.

“Karlie felt really bad about her last performance and she had a mission,” Schwandt said. “That mission was to do better, and she did! She really wants to move up in the ranks with the girls, whoever says girls aren’t competitive has not been involved with female sports.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Ali Olinger was the next-highest finisher for the MHS girls with a 354, followed by Haley Bell’s 351, ShayeLyn Pickett’s 315, Ashly Wiegand’s 272 and Emily Diggins’ 257.

Schwandt said right now, he is thrilled with the way his girls are working with one another and making sure they all are performing at the best of their ability.

“The whole group of girls is just gelling so well together right now,” he said. “They are talking with each other, they are helping each other make adjustments that they know they need to make.”

The last two outings have been the best of the season so far for the Bobcats, as they just missed out on topping their season-best total score by 44 points. Schwandt said the team still has some improvement yet to do, specifically when it comes to picking up spares.

“We were five-pins better in our first two games than last time but we were off a bit on our bakers,” Schwandt said. “We were down from 821 to 772, and how do you fix that? Again, that’s just picking up spares. Everybody is cheering everybody on, no one is getting down on anyone and you know how competitive they are because they get down on themselves. We are constantly working on that too, it’s a mental game as much as it is a physical game.”

Marshalltown will need to be on the top of its game in its next matchup, however, as they welcome in a strong Mason City team on Thursday.

“We have a challenge coming up against Mason City,” Schwandt said. ” If you look at their stats, they are averaging around a 2,600 right now. We are averaging around a 2,400, which is really good for us, we’ve had a couple games now where we are at 2,400, but Mason City has some good girls coming up. They’ve always had a really strong program up in Mason City, and we are continuing to build on what we have here.”

Both the Marshalltown girls and boys will square off with the Mohawks on Thursday, starting at 3:45 p.m. at Wayward Social.