By the tiniest margin possible, Chittenango girls bowler Casey Smith took the top prize in Section III’s biggest individual tournament of the winter.
Smith outlasted Fulton’s Kate Ely and 13 other top bowlers during last Friday’s Section III Shoot-Out at King Pin Lanes in Rome, and as it turned out, every single shot counted.
Amid tough conditions, Smith began with a 170 game, and then produced a 183 game, improving to a 204, her best game of the tournament, in the last game of the first session to go into the next part with a pinfall of 554.
In the afternoon, Smith remained consistent, putting together games of 202 and 200 before finishing with a 176 game, leaving her with a final total of 1,135.
As for Ely, she had morning games of 165, 190 and 188 to go into the afternoon with 543, just 11 pins behind Smith. A 177 pushed her further behind Smith, and though she finished strong with 209 and 205 games, she needed 206 because, at 1,134, she was a single pin behind Smith.
It was close throughout the top five as Auburn’s Kaylee Fallat was third with 1,129, just six pins behind Smith, while Utica Proctor’s Marguerite Fish was fourth with 1,104 and another Fulton bowler, Kendra Tryinski, was fifth with 1,102.
With this win, Smith earned a berth on the Section III All-Star team that will compete March 1-2 in the state championship tournament at Babylon Lanes in West Babylon, on Long Island.
Both of Chittenango’s teams had a match against Solvay last Tuesday afternoon, which the Bears handled with relative ease, sweeping the Bearcats by equal 3-0 margins.
Smith, warming up for the Shoot-Out, managed a 603 series and a 237 high game. For the Chittenango boys, Jason Randall had a 595 series and 233 high game, with Solvay’s Ryan Diggs managing a 546 set to lead his side.