GBHS Paige Wagner
WICHITA — Perfection was within "striking distance."
Great Bend Panther Paige Wagner rolled 10 perfect strikes at North Rock Lanes to give herself a chance at Kansas high school state bowling history.
One more strike meant Wagner would be crowned the 5A state bowling champion. Two more strikes and Wagner would roll her first perfect 300 game.
A gathering crowd watched in anticipation as Wagner threw her another sharp-looking ball that left a 10 pin standing. A 5A state championship came up shy as Wagner's 725 series (201/235/289) was runner-up to Wichita Carroll's Kaylee Back's 734 series (244/248/242).
Wagner earned Great Bend school records for high game (289), high series (725) and best all-time season average (209).
"I hit my marks all day. I threw a good ball, just left a 10 pin," Wagner said. "When I was getting toward the end, I was starting to shake a lot. That was really fun. It was a really great day for all of us."
Wagner missed valuable practice time recently. She was treated with antibiotics for a finger that grew infected after cracking in the recent cold weather.
"Paige surprised me because she stepped it and bowled like she knows how," said Great Bend coach David Feldbauer. "We had to do a lot of treatment to get Paige back."
Wichita Carroll's 3,347 pin total captured the 5A state championship ahead of runner-up Great Bend (3,188), which spotted the Golden Eagles a 186-pin lead after three games. Carroll fired games of 896/801/892 for a 2,589 total. The Panthers shot scores of 719/857/827 for a 2,403 total.
Great Bend Panther Nicole Griffin earned 14th medalist honors at 567 (159/235/173) and Sahara Rhiza placed 17th at 548 (173/203/172). The Panthers shot Baker scores of 188/194/224/179 for a 785 total that gained 27 pins on Carroll's games of 195/179/203/181. The Panthers were on record pace during the third Baker game with six consecutive strikes. But Addison Ehrlich and Kaylin Wahlmeier missed back-to-back spares during a 224 game.
Rounding out the Panthers' scoring were 31st Kaylin Wahlmeier, 496 (150/159/187); 31st Addison Ehrlich, 496 (134/184/178) and 36th Kristy Wittig, 488 (186/158/144). All five players contributed during the series games by converting quality spares. During Bakers, Wagner was spectacular with 10 consecutive marks. Ehrlich converted seven of eight marks and Griffin posted six marks.
The Panthers posted season-best scores.
"It's the highest we've scored all year," Feldbauer said. "I'm very proud of them. The girls played awesome. They all bowled well when they needed to. They picked it up the second and third games to push for second. Carroll had a heck of a day. Our girls bowled outrageously well. Everyone contributed and that's what matters today."
5A GIRLS STATE
TEAM TOTALS—1—Wichita Carroll, 3,347 (2,589/758); 2—Great Bend, 3,188 (2,403/785); 2—Paige Wagner, 725 (201/235/289); 14—Nicole Griffin, 567 (159/235/173); 17—Sahara Rhiza, 548 (173/203/172); 31—Kaylin Wahlmeier, 496 (150/159/187); 31—Addison Ehrlich, 496 (134/184/178); 36—Kristy Wittig, 488 (186/158/144); 3—Goddard Eisenhower, 3,151 (2,371/780); 4—Topeka Seaman, 3,035 (2,303/732); 5—Augusta, 2,857 (2,150/707); 6—Salina South, 2,762 (2,120/642); 7—Shawnee Heights, 2,637 (1,943/694); 8—Leavenworth, 2,393 (1,776/617); 9—Mill Valley, 2,389 (1,847/542); 10—Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, 2,182 (1,622/560)
TOP 20 MEDALISTS—1—Beck, Carroll, 734 (244/248/242); 2—Wagner, Great Bend, 725 (201/235/289); 3—Morris, Eisenhower, 619 (200/206/213); 4—Millard, Seaman, 612 (232/159/221); 5—Miller, Augusta, 612 (220/178/214); 6—Wise, Carroll, 606 (245/212/149); 7—Nguyen, Carroll, 604 (202/179/223); 8—Guinn, Eisenhower, 601 (199/190/212); 9—Evans, Seaman, 599 (183/215/201); 10—Alvarado, Augusta (183/213/194); 11—Warden, Eisenhower, 588 (223/211/154); 12—Busch, McPherson, 574 (191/218/165); 13—Wise, Carroll, 569 (205/162/202); 14—Griffin, GB, 567 (159/235/173); 15—Huiett, Buhler, 560 (171/200/189); 16—Turkin, Seaman, 549 (178/189/182); 17—Rhiza, GB, 548 (173/203/172); 18—Gestl, SS, 546 (168/178/200); 19—Pamatmat, Wichita Trinity, 542 (223/187/132); 20—Prockish, Shawnee Heights, 540 (168/190/182)