MHS bowling teams seeking state gold

By Steve Sell
March 05, 2014

In 1999, McPherson High’s basketball teams pulled off the almost-unfathomable double of winning both the boys and girls Class 5A state championship.

On Friday, the Bullpup bowling teams have the opportunity to do the same thing as the goal is to hang another banner or two in the Roundhouse rafters.

At Wichita’s Northrock Lanes, both MHS teams will be prime contenders for state gold in the Class 5-1A finale.

The MHS boys bowl at 9:30 a.m., with the girls hitting the lanes at 2 p.m.

MHS coach Herb Halinski is stoked about the prospects of his teams, as the Bullpups have been pointing to this day since the very first practice in December.

“It is going to be an exciting day,” said Halinski, whose boys won the state championship in 2008, but this is the first time both teams have qualified in the same year. “Spares will be the issue. Focus is going to be the key as to how the lanes transition.”

The boys go first. The Bullpups were second in last week’s regional at Sacred Heart, though the Knights had a big advantage because they were bowling at home. In fact, Halinski sees some other teams as those to watch.

“The contenders will be Bishop Carroll and Goddard Eisenhower as well as KC Turner on the boys’ side,” he said.

MHS was led at the regional by Jeff Reed (693) and state veteran Joel Morey (663). Newcomer Carl Frazier dropped into the Bullpups’ lap as he moved in this year and has put up some big numbers. Jacob Helmer, Austin Mitchell and Brett Hartzell round out the lineup.

The Bullpup girls were regional champions by a healthy margin, led by state championship contender Crystal Nutter, who is an old hand at state. She had a 648 last week, but everybody might be bowling for second as Wichita Heights’ Becca King is head and shoulders the favorite after her 778 at regional, which included a 300 game.

Halinski said Carroll and Andover are the teams to watch along with the Bullpups, whose lineup also includes Jasmine Wann, Mayce Nightingale, Makenzie Benson, Alexis Kieffer and Rhianna Smith.

• Boys Team Qualifiers •

Emporia, Goddard Eisenhower, Kansas City Turner, Leavenworth, McPherson, Sacred Heart, Circle and Carroll.

• Girls Team Qualifiers •

Andover Central, El Dorado, Kansas City Piper, Lansing, McPherson, Topeka West, Carroll and Wichita Heights.