Saturday, 27 February 2021 11:23

Raiders, Lady Raiders bowl to second-place finishes in Lumberton

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LUMBERTON — Playing their second match this week on Thursday, both of Richmond Senior High School’s bowling teams rolled their way to second-place finishes.

Competing at Lumberton Bowling Center for the first time this winter and wrapping up regular-season team play, the Raiders and Lady Raiders bowled against Lumberton and Purnell Swett high schools.

Head coach Ralph Butler and the boys’ team collected their second second-place finish of the season with a final pinfall of 653 and an average of 130.6 pins per game. Although it was their lowest pin count this season in three matches, the Raiders scored 16 points and held off Purnell Swett, which finished with 14 points.

The Lady Raiders and assistant coach Lily Sager picked up 17.5 points, enough to edge the Lady Rams by 4.5 points. Richmond’s girls bowled a team score of 600 pins, averaging 120 pins per game.

Lumberton’s teams would sweep the competition, seeing the Pirates earn a perfect score of 24 points and the Lady Pirates taking home 23.5 points.

“Lumberton had a really good evening, finishing with 852 pins,” Butler said. “That’s credit to them. They are a great program. 

“We didn’t have as good an evening as we would’ve liked, but I feel like we’re at a point where we can compete with anyone if we get hot,” he added of the Raiders. “It was our first trip to Lumberton this year so they didn’t get adjusted to the lanes too well. 

“Fortunately, that is where the boys will be for the singles and team tournament, so we’ll be able think about what we need to do differently.”

It was an afternoon of spares for the Raiders, who knocked down a season-high 20 spares, while adding eight strikes. Butler noted the team closed out 54 percent of its frames.

Junior Colin Wheeler remained consistent, closing out 5-of-6 frames, while fellow junior Cameron Way closed out 4-of-6. Senior Mitchell Massey contributed by closing out 5-of-8 frames, and led the team with five spares.

Senior Joseph Grant had four spares and a strike, while Wheeler added three spares and two strikes. Sophomore William White closed out four frames and had a team-high three strikes and one spare.

Other Raiders to help the team place second were Way (one strike, three spares) and junior Alston Johnson, who added three spares. Senior Hunter Hancock had one spare and one strike.

“I rotated the lineup a little more, trying to see who will be able to step up for the conference tournament next week,” Butler said. 

“I do think it will help actually playing against someone instead of the points system. A lot of our guys thrive off the competition and need an opponent beside them. It should be fun.”

In Lady Raider action, Sager kept a pretty consistent lineup, starting with sophomore Ashlyn Bouldin at anchor for four of the five games. She had two strikes and three spares on the afternoon.

Senior Josie Standridge cemented the fourth and ninth frames for Richmond in all five games, rolling a strike and three spares. Fellow senior Autumn Hoffman had her best outing of the season, collecting a team-best four strikes and adding three spares.

Hoffman rotated between the No. 2 and No. 3 spots for the Lady Raiders in the first four games, but was moved to the anchor position in the final game. There she bowled two strikes and a spare.

Sophomores Cadence Thompson and Molly Erwin contributed two spares and a strike, respectively.

“Overall, the girls continue to improve and hold their own against fierce competition,” Sager said. “One game, the girls tied with Lumberton at 151 pins, forcing a splitting of the points.” 

“The girls continue to work together as a team, cheering each other on and helping when a teammate needs it,” Sager said. “The girls are still adjusting with consistency, but I have hope that if they keep working hard, like they have been, then there isn't anything they can't achieve.” 

The Richmond bowling teams will return to Lumberton on Thursday for the first of two singles finals.

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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