After letting lead slip at Milwaukie Bowl, Wildcats eager to compete at tournament in Klamath Falls

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The bowling teams will head to the state tournament in Klamath Falls after taking second place in the district tournament. For Wilsonville's bowling team, the future seems promising. After claiming the second place finish in the districts competition at the Milwaukie Bowl, the team has its eyes on the state competition set to take place in Klamath Falls from Feb. 23-25.

Wilsonville's girls team took second place out of four teams, and the boys team claimed second place out of eight. It was a tough second place for the boys team though, according to boys head coach Mick McMahon.

"The Wilsonville boys are angry, and fired up, because they led the districts by 256 pins and had sit out for a half an hour or so while the third place team bowled the second place team," McMahon said. "The second place team really figured out the lanes while they were bowling. Our boys came over and they weren't quite prepared for the lanes hooking as much as they were. It started off with a couple of wide open splits, and that was it, it was kind of over."

To avoid these sorts of things in the future, McMahon is going to try and get his boys to continue something that they started at the district meet. Being crazy, having fun, and enjoying the process.

"We tried a couple of things at the district tournament and it really worked," McMahon said. "One of the keys to bowling big team tournaments is to relax, have fun, and joke a lot. It makes the time go by faster, and it keeps the tension levels down. I learned that many years ago. We were probably one of the noisiest teams in the district tournament, they probably thought we were crazy we were laughing so much. But the kids averaged almost nine pins a game higher than the second place team at districts."

For the boys team, this will be their second trip to the state tournament. The girls team will also be joining the state tournament, in its first year of existence, impressively enough.

"This is their first year," McMahon said. "They finished second, there were four teams involved in districts. Actually, for a while, they were leading the tournament. But the stress of it, towards the end there they started feeling the stress, the tiredness, the fatigue, and the pressures. But they still finished second so they're also going to Klamath Falls."

It is also a first for girls bowling coach Loree Ruby, who is enjoying coaching her charges as they compete.

"This is my first year coaching, I've never been a coach before this year," Ruby said. "It's a lot more rewarding than I thought it would be. They figure it out, it clicks. Four out of six of our girls started bowling in October. They'd gone out socially with their families or friends over the years, but never had a lesson, they didn't have any equipment. We rummaged through the bowling alley, trying to find them old bowling balls."

Despite making the state tournament, Ruby is realistic about the chances her new team has against the more experienced competitors in the tournament.

"I think it's going to be more of an experience for the girls than necessarily placing," Ruby said. "There's going to be a lot of girls at state that have been bowling for years."

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