By Blake Long/Special to the Journal
BRANDON – After knocking down two strikes in his final frame in a Tupelo uniform, Tim Hartigan shared a moment minutes later not many can say they’ve had.
Hartigan received the Class II bowling championship trophy from his father, Kevin, after the Golden Wave defeated Petal 3-1 in a best-of-five Baker-style series to claim their sixth straight state title.
“It was a great way to end my career,” Hartigan said. “That’s kinda how it’s always been. He’s always taking care of me. He’s the one that got me started in bowling and it’s great.”
Hartigan set the tone for the rest of the day in the first game of the qualifying round by rolling a 289, coming up 11 pins short of a perfect game.
“I don’t think there’s been one (perfect game) shot in Mississippi high school athletics,” he said. “I definitely wanted a 300, but 289 got us going.”
With the win, Hartigan became the first Tupelo bowler to win five state titles in a career. The last two he’s had the help of his younger brother Lucas, who was quite impressive himself.
In the finals, Lucas Hartigan knocked down five strikes in ten trips to the lane, including a clutch strike in the Golden Wave’s decisive fourth game.
“That was probably the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in bowling,” older brother Tim said. “It was awesome just to watch him get fired up and it fired the team up.”
The Golden Wave made the championship series by rolling a total of 4,029 over four qualifying games, an average of 250 per Tupelo bowler.
Lady Wave finish hot
With Tupelo on the verge of missing the championship series going into the final qualifying game, Taylor Russell rolled seven straight strikes to spark the Lady Wave.
“I don’t think we compete nearly as well as we competed without her,” Tupelo coach Susan Dudley said. “She’s an awesome bowler, especially to be an eighth grader.”
Tupelo won the fourth game by nearly 100 pins before sweeping Petal 3-0 in the Baker-style championship for their second straight state title.
In the Class I state championships at Paradise Lanes in Jackson, East Webster’s boys fought back from a 2-0 deficit against Kossuth to defeat the Aggies 3-2 for their first bowling title.
Itawamba AHS downed East Union 3-1 in the girls’ title series for their first Class I title and third overall.