Carter girls roll past Gibbs ‘again’ to take region title

By Steve Williams

It’s not easy defeating a rival five out of five times in a season.

But that’s what Carter High’s girls bowling team had to do Jan. 8 to wrap up the Region 1 championship at Fountain Lanes.

Coach Ray Wynn’s Lady Hornets posted a 20-7 win over Gibbs, but the match was closer than the final score indicated. The overall total pin fall in their four games was 1,962 for Carter and 1,945 for the Lady Eagles – a difference of only 17 pins.

“It’s kind of rare that in one season of any kind of athletic competition you play the same team five times,” said Wynn. “So it’s just one of those things that we know we have a pretty decent team and we know Gibbs has got a real good team. And we figured it would probably come down to us two, but we knew that if we played our game like we’re capable of we would beat them.”

The two teams also played each other in the region finals last year when they were in Region 2 and the Lady Hornets prevailed to earn their second trip to the TSSAA state tournament.

Gracie Miller of Carter started out this year’s region finale with a 200 game to win her individual match in Game 1 and teammates Maddie Lewis, Loren Chamberlain and Kali Gentry-Foye (152) also scored wins over their opponents. Including two bonus points for best total pin fall, Carter took a 6-2 lead in the match.

In Game 2, Gibbs’ Maliyah Smith rolled a sizzling 214. The two teams split the six individual matches, but Smith’s big pin fall total got the Lady Eagles the two bonus points for a 5-3 win.

A junior, Smith is in her second season on the Gibbs bowling team. She also is a standout shortstop in softball for the Lady Eagles.

“It’s hard to balance, especially going to school and stuff,” said Maliyah. “But softball is like year-round. We start working out early in the year. Bowling is just fun. It is a sport and we do compete, but it’s more fun especially with a bunch of sophomore girls, too.”

Kayla Rucker (166), Lewis and Gentry-Foye won Carter’s three matches in Game 2.

Carter prevailed in both of the Baker games. Rucker’s strike to start the 10th frame following Miller’s strike in the ninth produced a game-winning double for the 138-128 final score in the first Baker battle, where five players on each team bowl two frames each.

Rucker and Miller also have been good softball players at Carter offensively and defensively, with Rucker playing shortstop and Miller third base.

The Lady Hornets won the second Baker game, 164-121.

In the semifinals, Carter eliminated Dobyns-Bennett 16-11 and Gibbs ousted Cherokee 19-8.

Both teams advanced to the Girls’ Sectional round Friday, with unbeaten Carter (20-0) hosting Region 2 runner-up Oak Ridge at Fountain Lanes and Gibbs traveling to play Region 1 champion Bradley Central at Cleveland.


REGION 1 BOYS: Carter lost a 14-13 squeaker to Chuckey-Doak in the semifinal round, while Dobyns-Bennett crushed Sevier County 24-3.

D-B went on to topple C-D by a score of 22½ to 4½ in the title match.


BEAVERS ADVANCE: Karns defeated host Cleveland Jan. 9 in the Region 2 semifinals, but lost to Walker Valley in the finals. The Beavers were scheduled to play Dobyns-Bennett in the Boys’ Sectional round Saturday at Kingsport.


STATE TOURNEY: The TSSAA State Bowling Championships will be Wednesday (Jan. 17) through Friday this week at the Smyrna Bowling Center.

Boys’ and girls’ individual state qualifiers in Divisions I and II will compete Wednesday.

Thursday’s action will be the team quarterfinals, with the semifinals starting Friday at 9 a.m. (CST) and the finals at 12 noon.

In previous years, the TSSAA hosted the Unified Bowling Invitational. Unified Bowling was recently sanctioned as an official sport, therefore this year will be the inaugural TSSAA Unified Bowling State Championship.

Lady Hornets going to state for third time!

Carter will be making its third straight trip to the TSSAA State Bowling tournament this week.

Coach Ray Wynn’s Lady Hornets (21-0)  defeated Oak Ridge 23-4 in the Division I Sectional Round Friday at Fountain Lanes, finishing with a 2,058 pin fall to Oak Ridge’s 1,855 total.

Senior Gracie Miller had a high game of 207 for Carter. Freshman Kali Gentry-Foye also stood out with a 175 game. Maddie Lewis added a 165 and Kayla Rucker a 159.

Gibbs, the Region 1 runner-up to Carter, was eliminated by Region 2 champion Bradley Central in the Sectionals Friday at Cleveland.