La Vergne's Martin, Siegel's Jahns reaches bowling state finals

La Vergne's Martin, Siegel's Jahns reaches bowling state finals

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La Vergne's Martin, Siegel's Jahns reaches bowling state finals

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SMYRNA

A Martin and a Jahns are back into the finals of the TSSAA Bowling tournament, but it is a different Martin and a much different climb to the top the two will have to make to give Rutherford County its third straight state champion.

La Vergne senior Kylah Martin, a four-year qualifier, finally made the final six that will compete this morning at the Smyrna Bowling Center. She is the younger sister of two-time top-six finisher and 2012 titlist, Keysha Martin. Sydney Jahns, a Siegel sophomore made her second straight finals, but winning this year’s title will be unlike any path the previous seven winners took.

The oil pattern for the lanes was Sport shot for every round — a more difficult pattern that brought the scores down lower than they had ever been in the individual tournament. Also gone is match play. The tournament will run in a ladder format this morning, meaning the sixth seed will have to win five matches to claim the title, and the top seed needs just one win.

“We’re just looking at multiple changes in the format of the entire tournament,” TSSAA Assistant Director Matthew Gillespie said. “From Sport shot to 12 wildcards (qualifiers), it was multiple changes to look at something different.”

“I don’t really care how I do it as long as I do my best,” Martin said of the path to first place.

Martin, whose three previous trips included failing to make top 24 in the quarterfinals twice and finishing last in the semifinals once, turned it around this year. She bowled a 1,389 over the first two rounds to earn the No. 2 seed. Her 226 in the fourth game of the quarterfinals was the second-best game of the day among the 75 bowlers competing.

“I got a new ball drilled for long patterns and that really helped me out so my ball reacts earlier than it usually does,” Martin said.

Jahns, last year’s third-place finisher, is the fifth seed after a total pinfall of 1,345 over the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. Despite finding out about the Sport shot pattern 10 minutes before the tournament began, her 215 in the fourth game of the quarters was the third-best game of either round.

“Last year was a lot easier than this year even though last year was really hard because it was my first year, a freshman going into state and I didn’t really know what I was going into,” Jahns said. “This year, I knew what I was going into but the shot was harder.”

Sevier County sophomore McKenna Shaffer is the top seed after rolling a 1,449 through the quarterfinals and semifinals.

Riverdale senior Taryn Taylor, arriving with the third-best average in the state (196.19), rolled a 662 in the quarterfinals to place seventh, and followed with a 641 in the semifinals to finish tied for eighth. Her 227 in the opening game of the day was the tourney’s best. Siegel sophomore Madeline Woods posted a 647 in the quarterfinals to place 11th, and also had a 641 in the semifinals to finish 10th.

On the boys’ side, Stewarts Creek sophomore Aaron Hall was the county’s top boys bowler after his 716 tied him for 18th in the quarterfinals. He followed with a 700 in the semifinals to finish 15th. Siegel freshman Hunter Whitaker rolled a 713 to finish 20th out of the 79 boys participating in the quarterfinals, and had a 539 in the semis to finish 24th.

Reported earlier

Six Rutherford County bowlers are through to the semifinal round of the TSSAA Bowling tournament after their quarterfinal performances Thursday morning at the Smyrna Bowling Center.

The top 24 on the girls’ and boys’ side advanced to this afternoon’s semifinals, and the top six move on to Friday’s match play round.

La Vergne senior Kylah Martin rolled a 718 over the first four games to finish second to Hardin County freshman Ashley Channell and her 723 — the lowest quarterfinal high score in the eight years the TSSAA has had the individual tournament.

Siegel sophomore Sydney Jahns, Riverdale senior Taryn Taylor and Siegel sophomore Madeline Woods also advanced, each finishing in the top 11 of the 75 bowlers that participated.

On the boys’ side, Stewarts Creek sophomore Aaron Hall was the county’s top boys bowler after his 716 tied him for 18th. Siegel freshman Hunter Whitaker rolled a 713 to finish 20th out of the 79 boys participating.

Martin saved her best game for last, rolling the highest girls game of the day at 226. It was the highest game the four-time state qualifier has had in any trip to the state tournament.

“It’s pretty awesome. I’m never usually up there with the high score; I’m usually at the bottom,” said Martin, who entered with the fourth-best average in the state (196). “My goal today was to get a 200 every game. I didn’t really achieve that until the last game. I’ve just got to keep my ball speed up, trust my ball and do the best I can.”

Martin also qualified for July’s Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo after her Thursday morning performance.

Jahns, who finished third in the state last year and had the second-best average (200.13) coming into the tournament, was sixth in the quarterfinals after a 667. Her 215 in the fourth and final game was her best of the day and the second-best amongst any girls quarterfinal round.

Jahns had her eye on her game and that of White Station junior Chelsie Cleaves, who had the highest average entering the tourney (204.81), and finished third Thursday morning (695).

“I know that she’s my competition, my biggest worry right now,” Jahns said of Cleaves, who had the highest quarterfinal and semifinal rounds from a year ago before finishing second overall to Smyrna’s Kara Ford. “I come in focusing on her — focusing on my gamer and her game — to make sure I’ve got it.”

Taylor, arriving with the third-best average (196.19), rolled a 662 to finish seventh, and Woods had a 647 to finish 11th.

Upperman junior Kenzie Bowman took the last girls spot with her 610.

Cane Ridge’s Aaron Ruiz, last’ year’s runner-up, finished first in the boys’ quarterfinal round. The senior rolled an 846 — also the lowest top score amongst boys quarterfinalists in the eight-year history of the tourney — to finish 36 pins better than Columbia freshman Cole Flatt. Brentwood sophomore Kamron Doyle, the reigning champ, shot a 759 to finish eighth in the quarterfinals.

Sevier County senior Ryan Hollon and Chattanooga Central junior Reggie Long tied for 23rd as their 698s gave them the final semifinal qualifying spot for the boys.

Rutherford County bowlers also competing Thursday in the girls’ quarterfinals but not advancing were Oakland’s Jamie Shattuck (576, 37th) and Emily Wilson (585, 31st); Smyrna’s Aleesia Hunt (591, 28th), and Stewarts Creek’s Ieasha Hopkins (561, T42).

On the boys’ side, Siegel’s Aaron Jedlicki (639, 50th), Billy Lampley (649, 48th) and Thomas Lewter (536, 74th), and Smyrna’s Brandon Campbell (691, 27th), Lane Dawson (674, T33), Joey Phinney (685, 30th) and Gaelyn Wood (671, 39th) did not advance out of the quarters.

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