Lady Commanders rally over Lipscomb Acad.
SMYRNA – Down 9-7 after two games, Friendship Christian School's Lady Commanders rallied for a thrilling 15-12 win over Lipscomb Academy Saturday morning in the finals of the Division II Girls' State Bowling Tournament at the Smyrna Bowling Center.
Trailing by 29 pins, FCS outscored the Mustangs 950-909 in the third game, earning the victory by a scant 12 pins (2702-2690).
Friendship's Olivia Rush finished her third game with three strikes and an 8 for a 183-177 win over Lipscomb's Zeen Ari.
Freshman Landry West then dominated Lipscomb's Anna Sullivan 213-128 and Olivia VanHooser eked out a 158-150 decision over Sydney McPherson to clinch Friendship's third state bowling crown over the past four seasons.
“Last year, Lipscomb's No. 1 finished up with four strikes in a row and they beat us by 23 pins. It was sweet for us to finish the way we did,” said FCS coach Jon Shoulders. “I'm awfully proud of these ladies, and nobody graduates, they're all coming back.”
Individual scoring leaders: West (213, 160 & 133); Rush (182, 130 & 145); VanHooser (158, 191 & 156); Casie Cottrell (166, 174 & 152).
Jenna Hedgepath paced the 7-4 Lady Mustangs with a 597 series (197, 162 & 189). Ari bowled a 495 (152, 166 & 177).
The top-seeded Lady Commanders finished the season 12-2 overall.
FCS reached the finals with a 17-5 to 9.5 win over Chattanooga Girls Prep in Friday's semifinals.
The Lady Commanders won by a pin count of (2698-2589) +109 pins.
Friendship Christian opened the eight-team tournament with a 21.5-5.5 victory over Ezell-Harding (+429 pins).
A relative newcomer to the sport, Friendship Christian junior Casie Cottrell finished third in the Division II individual tournament, falling to Jenna Hedgepath of Lipscomb Academy 213-162 in the semifinals.
Cottrell, a cheerleader and gymnast, took up bowling because of brother Cole's interest and participation with the FCS bowling team.
FCS boys -
The Commanders ended the season with a 16-11 loss to Boyd Buchanan Jan. 22 in the state quarterfinals.
Former FCS bowling standout Luke Shoulders, son of Jon Shoulders, is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Boyd Buchanan squad.