Four Alberni bowlers win gold, advance to provincial championship

Four Port Alberni girls are headed to the B.C. provincial championships for youth bowling after winning gold medals at their zone playdowns, last weekend in Nanaimo.

Gold medal-winning bantam girls Taylor Stern

Four Port Alberni girls are headed to the B.C. provincial championships for youth bowling after winning gold medals at their zone playdowns, last weekend in Nanaimo.

Eight other players representing the bantam boys and junior girls won silver medals at the competition at Brechin Lanes.

Kasandra Bouvier, Mackenzie Moore, Mackenzie Bonnar and Taylor Stern—who have all bowled for three or four years—will represent Vancouver Island at the provincial YBC bowling championships in Kamloops on March 5.

The bantam girls “did really awesome,” coach Crystal Nuttal said. “I was really impressed with their ability to adapt to bowling on acrylic lanes instead of a wood surface.”

Rainbow Lanes, the Port Alberni bowlers’ home facility, has wooden lanes, while Brechin Lanes in Nanaimo has acrylic, she explained.

“The balls perform differently (on acrylic) and it’s a lot harder to adapt.”

Led by Bouvier, who bowled a high game of 228 (out of 450), the bantam girls surprised opponents Brechin Lanes by winning the first game by 83 pins. Brechin responded by winning the second game by 30 pins and the third by 60 pins.

Nuttal helped the girls refocus, reminding them that they only had to win the fourth game by eight pins to take the gold medal.

The bantam boys—Cooper Smith, Dawson Moore, Sheldon Unger and Riley Styan—earned a silver medal, losing a well-fought series to gold medal winners Brechin Lanes.

The boys, some of who only started bowling a year ago, got off to a slow start, falling behind powerhouse Brechin Lanes by 116 pins in the first game. “They had a hard time the first game because they were a little nervous,” coach Simone Hammel said. “The second game they beat the Nanaimo bowlers and they gave it all they had.”

They won the second game by 15 pins, lost the third game by 35 pins and lost the final by just three pins for a total pin fall of 2084 (139 behind Brechin).

The junior girls—Mckenzie Matthews, Shandraya Grist, Chloe Schwaier and Lauren Provencal—were at their first-ever team tournament, and their inexperience showed, Rutherford said. The girls fell behind by 199 pins in the first game, however, all the girls exceeded their house league averages. They still managed to win silver.

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