Peoples finishes No. 1, Leads Tigers to a 5th place finish At Muskingham Invitational

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The North Allegheny Varsity Boys Bowling Team traveled to Canton, Ohio this past weekend to take part in the 2023 Muskingum University High School Invitational hosted by AMF Hall of Fame Lanes and the Perry High School Bowling Team.

The 25-team tournament pitted some of the best teams in Ohio against each other in an early season competition.  The Tigers were the only team from Pennsylvania to compete.  The 2023 Ohio High School Athletic Association Sectional and District Tournaments sport series oil pattern was used.  This 39-foot pattern was designed so that even the most experienced bowlers would have a hard time figuring out their technique and timing, allowing no room for error.

The Tigers eased into a natural rhythm early in Game 1.  Senior Cole Scott had the first double strikes for NA.  After Scott began to strike so did senior Jacob Feiling with the first turkey of the tournament.  Senior Connor Peoples add the first hambone (4 strikes in a row).  Junior Luca Thomas then added a double.  At this point, Peoples put on a clinic of proper bowling fundamentals and proceeded to throw a Yahtzee of strikes, 5 in a row to be exact.  His 256 was the highest game 1 thrown and catapulted NA into first place with 881 pins knocked down.

Peoples continued his striking ways throwing 3 perfect frames to begin Game 2.  Senior Nate Redondo caught fire and added another turkey to the table in frames 4, 5, and 6.  As the oil pattern began to transition the North Allegheny spare shooting took over and carried the team until Redondo found his new focal point and had a strikeout in the 10th frame, three throws, three strikes.  Redondo led NA in the second game with a final score of 216.  He was followed closely by Peoples with a 191.  The 829-team total was enough to keep NA in the top 2 after 2 games.

For Game 3, the streak of Tigers pulled together and rallied around senior Noah Lemmon’s strike to begin the game.  This reinvigoration of team spirit and camaraderie was just what the Tigers needed.  Peoples quickly doubled.  Scott threw a hambone.  Both Redondo and Peoples served up turkeys in frames 4-6.  The Tigers saved the best for last and threw their highest game of the day, 897.   Peoples again led the attack with a 226, with Scott close behind with a 202.  The Tigers remained in the top 3 at the conclusion of the traditional bowling games.

For the day, Peoples was the best individual bowler out of over 125 competitors.  He was named the #1 bowler and recognized to the All-Tournament Team.  He received a medal for his successes.

For round 2 of qualifications, the game changed from the traditional bowling game, into a best of three Baker game series.  Baker competitions are unique because they are always bowled as a team and every member must work together on the same bowling game. Typically found in Collegiate tournaments, the Baker format comprises of a team of bowlers who rotate bowling in each frame in a game. The leadoff person bowls frames one and six, the second person bowling frames two and seven, and so forth. In a Baker format, a higher emphasis is put on bowling as a team as each shot is crucial to the team’s success; emphasizing the idea of performing as a team by capitalizing upon each other’s strikes and spares for team count.

For the baker games NA used the line-up of Redondo, Scott, Thomas, Feiling, and Peoples.  They struggled in the first game not being able to close out their frames and string a series of sequential marks together.  Feiling and Peoples did manage to put back-to-back strikes together in frames 4 and 5.  NA managed a subpar 139 score.  Game 2 went much the same as Game 1, however the Tigers did manage to convert many of their spares and bowl a respectable 168.  The Tigers started to work as a cohesive unit in Game 3 with six marks in a row.  Scott converted the 1-2-7 spare.  Double strikes were then thrown by Thomas and Feiling.  Peoples’ spare was then bookended with double strikes by Redondo and Scott.  Feiling added another strike in the 9th frame.  The Tigers third baker game finished at a 176.

After a long five hours of qualifications, NA finished with 3090 pins, +92 pins about the cut and were moving on to the head-to-head single elimination finals.  In the quarterfinals, NA was placed up against Mansfield Senior High School from central Ohio.  In Game 1, the Tigers were able to rally and put up a united front against the Tygers.  Scott and Thomas combined for double strikes early in the game.  Redondo, Scott, and Thomas combined for a turkey and NA took Game 1 breaking the 200-pin threshold.  In Game 2, the teams were tied after three frames, but a miss by Feiling shifted the momentum to Mansfield.  The Tigers then had a lane malfunction, and their play was suspended.  Mansfield continued to play and proceeded to put together a Yahtzee of strikes before NA would throw another ball.  The Tigers were unable to match the 5 strikes and game 2 went to the Ohio team.  The momentum clearly favored Mansfield Senior, and NA was unable to stop their strong contingent of 2-handed bowlers.  Game 3 also went to the Manfield Senior Tygers.

NA competed well in their first tournament of the season and will build on this 5th place finish as they continue to adjust for this bowling season.