Saturday, Jan 27, 2024: The North Scott invite has arrived. Teams from all over the MAC come together to compete in the tournament. The teams, from 13 different schools, fill 46 lanes at Rose Bowl, the bowling alley hosting the invite this year. The games are played in baker format—six bowlers on a team, five bowl while one sits out. The five bowlers each bowl two frames in a single, shared game. It’s bowling, but as a team.
All the teams bowl 15 games, swapping lanes after every five games. After they finish, their scores are totaled and compared against other teams in their division—the varsity boys against other varsity boys, the varsity girls against other varsity girls, etc. Only the top eight scoring teams in each division advance to bracket play. In the next round, teams bowl a best of three games against one other team in their division, repeating until one team takes first place. The JV Scarlet boys are the only North Scott team to advance to bracket play.
Dillion Learn, Gustavo Perez-Espina, Cole Wolf, Cameron Dobereiner, Kale Blodig, and Quinten Saunders are the first North Scott JV bowlers to make it to bracket play at the North Scott invite in four years.
Their first match goes well. They win the first two games with scores in the high hundreds nearing 200, thus winning the match. The second match begins, whoever wins this will go into the finals. North Scott wins the first game, but loses the second. In the final game, North Scott manages to take victory after a close game.
Things are even more tense for the other two teams in the semi finals. They each take one game and have a tie game for their second. They both bowl a few frames to determine who will continue on. At first it’s believed that they have tied again, but the tie was the result of a scoring error, so Muscatine will face North Scott in the finals.
After a rocky start for North Scott in the first game, Muscatine takes the first game. North Scott began getting back into a rhythm towards the end of the first game. They carry this rhythm into their second game and win with it. The final game will determine whether North Scott or Muscatine wins the JV boys division.
Halfway through, both teams are relatively even. Muscatine has a higher score, but both teams' scores are close to each other. Both teams bowl well—strikes and spares all around. After Muscatine bowls their tenth and final frame, their score of 141 pops up on the screen. The final score for North Scott: 140—one pin away from a tie and two pins away from victory.
While a one pin difference is certainly crushing, the North Scott JV Scarlet team still achieved second place in their division and bowled well. Second place out of all the JV teams is seriously impressive and the team is the first North Scott JV team to advance to the second round in the North Scott invite in four years. Quinten Saunders, Kale Blodig, Cameron Dobereiner, Cole Wolf, Gustavo Perez-Espina, and Dillion Learn should be proud of their accomplishment. I’m sure the coaches are proud of them too.
Special thanks to: Marie Tharp, head coach of the North Scott bowling team, for information about the invite and team, Maritza Espina for the team photo, Gustavo Perez-Espina for sending me the photo his mom took, and all of the North Scott JV Scarlet team for giving me permission to use their photos.