SMYRNA – Oakland’s best girls bowling season in more than 10 years will get a chance to continue.
The sixth-ranked Lady Patriots finished as Region 4 runner-up to Columbia on Monday night, falling 17-10 at Smyrna Bowling Center. Oakland (12-1) will play at 10 a.m. (CST) Saturday at Leisure Time Bowling in Cleveland against fifth-ranked Walker Valley (23-0) in a TSSAA sectional match.
All sectional winners advance to the TSSAA state tournament, set for Jan. 22-25 in Smyrna.
Walker Valley defeated Soddy-Daisy in the Region 3 championship match.
Oakland is vying for its first TSSAA state tournament since it reached the 2002 and 2003 state tournaments. The Lady Patriots were a state semifinalist in 2002 during bowling’s inaugural season as a TSSAA sport. Sixteen teams advanced to the state tournament until 2006, when the TSSAA trimmed it down to eight teams like the majority of the high school athletic association’s other sanctioned sports.
“This is really awesome,” said Oakland senior Emily Wilson, who is one of seven bowlers to have qualified for the TSSAA girls bowling individual state tournament. Eight qualified for the boys individual tournament. “I’ve been on the team for all four years. This is really gratifying to get here my senior year.
“Hopefully, we can go even farther. It’s been a lot of hard work. It’s been a lot of practices. But it’s been a lot of fun.”
Oakland reached the region final with a 22-5 win over Tullahoma in the region semifinals.
The Lady Patriots were the lone Rutherford County team to reach the region championship. Columbia defeated Siegel 20-7 in the other girls semifinal.
Columbia, which swept the region tournament, beat Smyrna 21-6 in its region boys semifinal. The Lions set a school record with 1,478 total pins in the first of three games and finished with 3,937 total pins, which was more than 300 total pins than what Smyrna finished with in the match.
Tullahoma upset District 7 tournament champion Stewarts Creek 16-11 in its region semifinal.
Oakland fell behind 6-2 early to Columbia in the championship match, and trailed by 100 total pins. But the Lady Patriots slowly whittled away at the lead.
“We knew when we got to this one it was going to be tough,” Oakland coach Josh Clifton said. “They fought hard. We smoothed out after the first game and caught our feet. We battled until the end.”
Contact Tom Kreager at 615-278-5168 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Kreager.
Region 4 Bowling Tournament
Columbia 24.5, Tullahoma 2.5
Total pins: Columbia 3,556. Tullahoma 3,179. High series: Columbia: Jacob Keyser, 569. Tullahoma: Luke Mitchell, 575
Columbia 17, Oakland 10
Total pins: Columbia 2,946. Oakland 2,826. High series: Columbia: Ashlynn Moyer, 556. Oakland: Emily Wilson, 543.
Tullahoma 16, Stewart Creek 11
Total pins: Tullahoma 3,469. Stewarts Creek 3,276. High series: Tullahoma: Dylan Petty, 673. Stewarts Creek: Aaron Hall, 607.
Columbia 21, Smyrna 6
Total pins: Columbia 3,937. Smyrna, 3,603. High series: Columbia: Jonathan Colbaugh, 739. Smyrna: Lane Dawson, 662.
Oakland 22, Tullahoma 5
Total pins: Oakland 2,571. Tullahoma 2,269. High series: Oakland: Emily Wilson, 503. Tullahoma: Jesse Northcutt, 457.
Columbia 20, Siegel 7
Total pins: Columbia 2,788. Siegel 2,628. High series: Columbia: Alexis Lovett, 552. Siegel: Sydney Jahns, 572.
Oakland (12-1) vs. Walker Valley (23-0)
When: 10 a.m. (CST), Saturday
Where: Leisure Time Bowling, Cleveland