MHS girls sink Maroons for second-straight win

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown sophomore Kylee Witt, left, is congratulated by teammates Ashlyn Rutledge, Emily Diggins and Ashly Wiegand after picking up a spare in the Baker games during the Bobcats’ 2,206-1,588 over Dowling Catholic on Tuesday at Wayward Social.

The Marshalltown girls bowling team is hitting its stride after earning a second-straight victory with a win over Dowling Catholic on Tuesday at Wayward Social.

The Bobcats took home a comfortable 2,206-1,588 over the Maroons, led by Ashly Wiegand’s season-high series of 358.

MHS head coach DJ Wilder said Wiegand did a great job of picking up spares throughout her two games, particularly in her second game which finished with a 190.

“I was very impressed with Ashly’s clean game, her 190,” he said. “She is focused on spares and those are the type of things that happen. Last week Kylee [Witt] had a clean game and shot a 196 and it’s the same thing, when we start seeing clean games and 190s they start saying, ‘oh, I have to get spares.'”

While Witt didn’t quite replicate her team-high series of 368 from a week ago, she did finish with a solid 309, turning in scores of 154 and 155 in her two individual games.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - Marshalltown junior Ashly Wiegand sends her ball down the lane during the individual sets in the Bobcats’ win over Dowling Catholic on Tuesday at Wayward Social.

Sydney Dannen was second on the team with a 311, including a 171 in her second game, while Emily Diggins had a 293, Ashlyn Rutledge a 236 and Jordan May a 217.

In the Baker games, Marshalltown went 140, 173, 130, 119 and 137, totaling a 699.

After a good start to the Baker games and beating Dowling by at least 50 pins in the first two, the Maroons actually won the third Baker by one pin, which prompted Wilder to have a quick talk with his girls.

“I challenged them, they lost the third Baker game by one pin and struggled to win the fourth, so I sat them down before the fifth and said, ‘hey, the one thing that I see consistently throughout the season is this team can’t finish, we get to this point then hit a brick wall,” he said. “‘You need to push through, you need to have a clean game right here.’ and I think they ended up getting six or seven spares.”

The Bobcats responded to that challenge well with a 137 to close out, which was 45 points higher than the Maroons’ final Baker game.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Marshalltown has been solid in the early parts of meets but has struggled down the stretch, particularly in the Baker games, and Wilder said that comes down to keeping their minds on the task at hand until the meet is over.

“As a team that’s what they need to work on, just finishing,” he said. “You start real good, you are real good for the first two or three rounds of Bakers then hit a brick wall, your focus gets lost. We just need to stay focused for two more games, this team missed qualifying for state last year by two Bakers system games. We just have to reel it in and get them to finish.”

As for any in-game adjustments, Wilder said his girls have already come a long way in their ability to close frames, with Wiegand and Witt having an entire game with closed frames in the last two meets, but that is still a place he said they need to strive to get better.

“It just comes down to sparing, there are a lot of simple spares in the middle of the lane that we are just not getting,” Wilder said. “I am not worried about the individual 10 pins, but something like a 2-4 or a 3-pin, that’s right in the middle of the lane and a simple adjustment just throwing and get it. If we are not doing that, to me there’s several times we are leaving 50 points a game just right there.

“That’s where we are at, you’ve got to kind of trust the process and have faith that what I am telling them is going to work. It’s not a steadfast rule, but it’s a starting point.”

The Marshalltown girls will be back in action on Thursday with a home meet against West Des Moines Valley, starting at 3:45 p.m. at Wayward Social.