By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – At the end of a long day of action at Rebelanes on Friday, the Tupelo boys and girls had each won MHSAA North Tournament titles.
The Lady Wave defeated the defending state champs, Itawamba AHS, 3-0 in the Baker-style finals in the early afternoon. Tupelo’s boys beat Olive Branch 3-1 in their final in the early evening.
Both Tupelo teams, along with the IAHS girls and both Pontotoc teams, advance to next Friday’s state championship matches, also at Rebelanes.
“I was expecting a big day from our girls, but I’m also very pleased with the performance of our boys team,” said Tupelo coach Susan Dudley. “They really worked well together today as a team.”
Tupelo’s boys will be shooting for a fifth consecutive state title on their home floor.
In Class I, the East Union boys – the defending state champs – and West Union girls were winners. They’ll lead eight teams from Northeast Mississippi to the state championships at Paradise Lanes in Jackson next Friday.
The action began with girls competition at 8:30 a.m. The last frame, a playoff between the East Union and West Union boys, wrapped up about 7 p.m.
“It makes for a very long day,” said Dudley.
But it was very productive for the home team. Tupelo’s girls piled up a 3,294-2,702 edge in pins in four preliminary games before sweeping the Baker-style final. Taylor Russell of Tupelo had the morning’s second-best series (692), trailing only Lynnsey Cromeans of IAHS (727).
Tupelo’s boys held a 3,798-3,640 edge over Olive Branch in the preliminaries before losing the first game of the Baker-style final, in which five teammates take turns bowling frames.
Olive Branch won the first 181-177. A fired-up Tupelo squad swept the next three, 188-164, 163-156 and 181-164.
Hartigan, the Golden Wave’s clean-up hitter in the fifth and 10th frames of the Baker-style matches, finished the prelims by tying for high series (928), including the day’s high game (266). “All four of Tim’s games today were over 200,” Dudley said.
The losing teams in both championship matches advance to the state championships, along with the Pontotoc boys and girls as wild-card entries.
In Class I competition, the East Union boys beat West Union 3-2 after compiling a 3,135-3,081 edge in the prelims. Tremont (2,852) and East Webster (2,828) also advanced as wild cards.
The West Union girls beat Kossuth 3-1 after trailing 2,605-2,436 in the prelims. East Union (2,287) and Tremont (2,184) also advance to Jackson as wild cards.