Standing in second place behind Southeast Career Technical Academy in the Division I-A conference standings is an unfamiliar place for the Boulder City boys bowling program. Boulder City head coach Rodney Ball, however, likes the change for his team.
“When you’ve been on top for as long as we have, it’s nice to change things up every now and again,” Ball said. “We know the standings suggest otherwise, but we feel confident about being the best team heading into regionals. Hopefully being placed second this time around will motivate the boys to play up to their capabilities.”
The gold standard for bowling in the Division I-A ranks, the Eagles have made the state finals three years in a row, finishing as the state’s runner-up twice, last season and in 2013, while winning the state crown in 2014. Ball feels there’s no reason to count his team out this season on making a fourth consecutive trip.
“I like the way our roster is constructed,” Ball said. “At the top we have two of the division’s top bowlers in senior Teagan Smale and junior Ed Rassuchine, while our third and fourth bowlers, Dylan Amico and Samu Jancuk, are capable of carrying the load as well. Even our junior varsity kids are ready to compete if needed during tournament play.”
Coming off a sound 2,371-1,681 victory over Sunrise conference third-seed Desert Pines, it seems like Ball has good reason to be confident in the Eagles’ postseason chances.
Back from his tryout with Team USA, Smale looked unstoppable on the lanes at the Silver Nugget, leading all bowlers with a score of 650, including a high game of 233.
Not far behind Smale was Amico, who bowled well above his average against the Jaguars, rolling a 610, including a high game of 224.
Rassuchine and Jancuk must have also liked the lanes at the Silver Nugget, bowling 565 and 546,respectively. Rassuchine was consistent on the day, rolling a pair of games with a score of 181 and a a high of 203, while Jancuk led all bowlers that day with a high game of 243 in his second match.
With regionals looming at the end of the month, it seems almost destined for the Eagles to extend their season into earlier February for another state tournament appearance.
The girls are also looking to make an extended postseason run after tasting success last season. Currently slotted as the conference’s second seed behind Southeast Career Technical Academy, Ball feels confident in their ability to capitalize on their regular season success.
“This has been one of our finest seasons for the girls program,” Ball said. “Heading into the postseason in a few weeks, I’m really excited to see how these girls handle the pressure of being one of the top seeds and see how they respond to expectations. We’re capable of making a long run, if we stay consistent.”
Taking care of the Jaguars soundly 1,730-1,353, the Lady Eagles are peaking at the right time, behind a stable of girls who are bowling their personal bests.
Senior Emily Owens, usually the team’s second or third option, proved she could win a match by herself against the Jaguars, leading all bowlers with a 545 for the day, including a high score of 205 in her first match.
Sophomore Bailey Bennett-Jordan also had a nice outing, bowling a 451 which was the second highest overall score of the day. Staying consistent with games of 152, 149 and 150, Bennett-Jordan seems locked in moving toward the postseason.
Juniors Alexis Cable and Abigail Harling were also at their best, bowling 371 and 363, respectively.
“This year’s group is solid,” Ball concluded. “They’ve been working hard all season to get up to this point and I know they have a lot of fight left in them. Everyone seems to be clicking at the right time and enjoying the game. We expect great results.”
Results from the team’s senior night match against Del Sol will be reported in next week’s issue, along with playoff matchups.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.
Wednesday, vs Del Sol at Boulder Bowl, 3 p.m., varsity