SHENANDOAH – The Shenandoah Mustangs started and finished strong, breaking three school records in a win over Red Oak, Monday, Jan. 6.
The Mustangs broke the overall school record with a total pin count of 3,030. They also finished with the best Baker series in school history at 1,072 and the top Baker game at 265. The Baker series record had stood for seven years.
The 3,030 was good enough to beat the defending state champions from Red Oak. The Tigers scored 2,769.
The Red Oak girls made it a split, scoring 2,199 pins to Shenandoah’s 2,087.
The fans who packed Little Waite Lanes nearly saw history to begin the match as Mustang senior Devin Morelock started his day with eight consecutive strikes, leaving him four away from a perfect 300. He left the 10-pin standing with the first ball of his ninth frame and finished with a 255, which was good enough for overall high game.
“When Devin let go of it, I had a worry the 10-pin would stand,” Mustangs coach Darin Pease said. “It was in the lane a little longer than needed and was a little bit of bad luck.”
Morelock was one of three Mustangs to break 200 in the opening game with Zayne Zwickel shooting a 246 and Zander Steiner a 213.
The Mustangs weren’t nearly as strong in game two with Wyatt Aufdenberg’s 200 the top score. Zwickel ended with the top overall series at 436, beating Morelock by 12 pins.
Additionally in the individual games for the Mustangs, Dylan Gray shot a 266 second game in the junior varsity part of the competition.
The Mustangs led by 106 pins entering the Baker series and extended that lead with a 200, 192 and 171 in the first three games.
They caught fire again after that with a 244, and then a 265 in the final Baker game, a game that featured eight consecutive strikes.
“You don’t see that very often,” said Pease. “They just got really hot and broke the Baker series and Baker game record, a 265 is pretty special.
Zwickel and Morelock were joined as individual scorers by Steiner’s 388, a 358 from Aufdenberg and Payton Stephens’ 352. Treye Herr added a 274. Pease said it was a good night for the boys.
“The kids got hot at the right time and crushed their three-week old record by 100 pins,” said Pease. “I knew they had 3,000 in them. If we can take this momentum and continue to grow out of town, then the sky is the limit for them, but we still have to approach it one day at a time.”
The Fillies lost by 112 pins, but were in striking distance until late. Red Oak led 1,477 to 1,442 after the individual games. The Fillies opened the Baker series with a 157 to cut Red Oak’s lead to 25 pins, but the Tigers extended the lead every game from there. The 157 was Shenandoah’s top Baker game.
“One spare here or there is a 15 to 20 in swing in the Baker,” said Pease. “I told the girls when we had two games left, they just needed three more spares (to make up the difference), but it didn’t happen.”
Ireland Palmer opened her day with a 168 for the Fillies, which held for Shenandoah’s top game. She added a 158 for a 326 series.
Red Oak’s Carrington Meek finished with overall top game of 191 and top series of 350.
The next three Fillies were within six pins of each other for series score with Alyssa Dukes at 289, Natalie Gilbert at 285 and a 283 from Bailey Maher. Alexa Munsinger’s 259 also counted for the Fillies. Emma Herr added a 223.
“They’ll be fine,” Pease said on the performance from the girls. “They had a little bad luck and there are a couple girls with some low confidence right now, which we’ll work on.”
The loss was the first in dual competition for the Fillies this season while the Mustangs improved to 3-0. Both teams continue their home schedule with their next match, Saturday, Jan. 11 against Denison-Schleswig.