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February 20, 2014

High school bowlers headed to state

DUNCAN — Seven Duncan High School students are headed to a state bowling tournament in Oklahoma City Saturday.

The bowlers qualified for the state tournament after winning a regional tournament at Twin Oaks Bowling Center in Fort Sill last Saturday. The Duncan team placed third at regionals the past two years.

The tournament is sanctioned by the National High School Bowling Association. The top two teams in each region advance to state.

“Our goal was to make the top two, and then we won,” said bowling coach Jean Brund. “They were amazing last weekend.”

The Duncan team is one of four teams that competes in association-sanctioned tournaments. Marlow has a boys and a girls team and Comanche has a boys team. The Comanche team is coached by Jean’s husband Kent Brund and her daughter Sarah Clifton coaches the Marlow teams.

Girls compete on boys teams if there are not enough girls to form a team. Duncan’s team has five boys and two girls.

What makes the tournament unique is that five bowlers alternate frames in a single game. That means each bowler needs to be strong to do well in team competition, and Duncan has such bowlers, Brund said.

“They don’t get to bowl the whole game,” she said, “but we have a very strong team. We have a lot of depth.”

Junior Drey Triche averages 200 a game, and fellow juniors Jared Norton and Blake Lugo averages 190 and 185. Sophomore Sheldon Yeargan averages 165 and junior Clayton Moore averages 150. Rounding out the Duncan squad are juniors Bobbie Fowler and Ronnie Heare.

Regionals opened with each team bowling eight games, with the top teams seeded into an eight-team bracket. Teams then play a best three-of-five series. Duncan was seeded second, beat Comanche in three straight in the first round, then beat Lawton High in three straight in the semifinals. Duncan faced Lawton Eisenhower in the finals, winning in four games.

There will be 16 teams competing at state, where teams will again bowl eight games to qualify for an eight-team bracket.

Jean Brund, the proprietor for the family-owned Freedom Lanes in Duncan, has coached in youth bowling leagues for 30 years and high school bowling for 10. She said bowling is a good sport for individuals who may not be interested in other sports .

“I think high school bowling is one of the best youth programs ever developed,” Brund said. “Not only does it teach you how to bowl, but it teaches you teamwork and social skills.”

The national association’s purpose is to get kids involved with bowling and can help individuals prepare for collegiate bowling, if they are interested in it. The bowling alley sponsors the Stephens County teams, with assistance from other local sponsors.

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