YAKIMA - With neither club giving any quarter, both the Sunnyside and Selah bowling teams came out guns a'blazin yesterday afternoon in a fight for the No. 2 and 3 seeds into next Tuesday's District playoffs.
Thursday's match-up, the third such meeting between the two prep bowling teams this season, eventually went the Vikings' way. But had yesterday's shootout actually been a Wild West, knockdown, drag-out affair, several of the combatants on both sides would have been winged in the process.
Having split their two earlier regular season matches by identical 4-0 scores, yesterday's battle ended, appropriately enough, in a 2-2 tie. That sent the outcome to a total pin fall count - requiring the sum totals of each of the four games to be tallied together to determine the winner. Once the pencils were sharpened and the numbers were added, then rechecked, Selah surfaced with an 84-pin advantage.
The Vikes, by virtue of their No. 2 seeding, will now host the Connell Eagles in a loser-out District tourney match at Yakima's Minda Lanes next Tuesday, Jan. 22. Sunnyside, with its No. 3 seeding, will have to take to the road next Tuesday and travel to Richland's Atomic Lanes to face the Hanford Falcons in a winner-to-Regionals, loser-out competition.
In facing the Selah squad at Minda Lanes yesterday the Lady Grizzly bowlers shook off one of their poorer outings of the season from just two days earlier, albeit they prevailed in that one over a hapless Ellensburg team.
Sunnyside opened Thursday's District play-in match riding the hot shooting of the trio of Shantana Schneider, Brianna Esqueda and Johanna Chumley, who fired off games of 162, 161 and 154, respectively.
Selah had three sharpshooters of its own, however, as the Vikes countered with performances of 171, 169 and 166 - from Mikayla Ball, Leala Mangano and Ceci Estela - in that order. Coupled with efforts of 143 and 138 from Selah teammates Emily Imberg and Sara McDowell, compared to the 124 and 111 scores Sunnyside got from Maria Casas and Adriana Lopez, the Vikings emerged victorious in the opener, 787-712.
Wounded, but not bloodied, the Sunnyside team fired back in game two. When the smoke cleared, the Lady Grizzlies had a 714-672 victory of their own.
Leading the Sunnyside charge was Chumley, who clutched up and tossed the high individual game of the day...a 202, which also propelled her to notching the high two-game series yesterday, a 356. Schneider, who finished with a 326 two-game series of her own, added a rock-solid 164 in the second game for the Lady Grizzlies. Esqueda, Lopez and Casas closed out the second-game scoring for Sunnyside with efforts of 128, 115 and 105, respectively.
The best Selah could muster in game two was a 158 by Ball. The rest of the Vikings' individual scores ranged from a 147 to a 116.
Sunnyside took a 2-1 lead in the match by lassoing the Vikes, 177-157, in the first of the two Baker games. The Baker bowling format, instead of having each member of the five-girl squad toss a complete game of their own, calls for each bowler to alternate taking shots in a single, 10-frame contest.
In the second Baker game, however, Sunnyside's bowlers struggled in connecting with their targets. They managed to piece together a 101, but the Vikings' sights proved to be more on the mark, as they tallied a 172.
That left the match squared at 2-2, sending the outcome to total pin fall.
Despite absorbing the narrow defeat, the Sunnyside squad is very much in the playoff hunt for a State tourney berth. The Lady Grizzlies (4-11) need only shoot down the Falcons on Hanford's home lanes next Tuesday to advance to a four-team Regional playoff, which is scheduled for the following day at Yakima's Nob Hill Lanes. The top two finishing teams at Regionals will then move on to State.