STATE BOWLING: You’ve got to hand it to him …

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Lane Posey’s preseason tumble down a flight of stairs, which resulted in a broken right hand, has helped lead Tupelo High’s bowling team to the state tournament.
Posey, a senior, took the spill at school in September, one month before the season.
“I’d bowled right-handed for 13 years,” Posey said, holding up his cast-covered hand. “I wanted to bowl, so I picked up a ball left-handed to see what I could do.”
As expected, the results were not very pretty. Posey, who averaged 160 pins per game right-handed, rolled a 90 in his first left-handed attempt.
“He told me he could bowl left-handed,” THS coach Susan Dudley said. “I didn’t believe him. It changes your timing, your feet, everything. I didn’t think there was a way for him to do it.”
Posey kept practicing and his scores kept getting higher. By the time the season started in November, he was in the Wave’s starting lineup.
“It took me about three weeks to get my scores back up,” he said.
Rebelanes owner Kevin Hartigan was amazed by Posey’s mastery of the lanes with a left-handed delivery.
“That injury was the best thing that could have happened to him,” Hartigan said, then laughed. “He’s a much better left-handed bowler.”
Posey averaged 202 pins per game during the season and rolled an 808 series – third best on the team – in the Class II North Mississippi tournament Feb. 11 at Rebelanes. He rolled a 289 left-handed in a league game and a season’s-best 279 in a high school match.
Until he suffered the injury, he had no idea he was ambidextrous – at least in bowling.
“I had no clue I could throw the ball better left-handed,” Posey said. “I do just about everything else right-handed.” That includes throwing a baseball, batting and writing. He does shoot a basketball left-handed.
The only real change he made was to his bowling ball. He had to have the right-handed holes plugged and new ones drilled for a left-handed delivery.
He’ll have his cast removed next month, but don’t look for him to change his bowling style.
“I’ll probably stick to bowling left-handed,” he said.

Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or gene.phelps@djournal.com

MHSAA Bowling Tournament
Saturday’s State Championship
Class I Tournament
Rebelanes, Tupelo
Girls: West Union, East Union, Kossuth, North Pontotoc, Raymond, Madison St. Joseph, Cleveland, Pisgah
Boys: West Union, East Union, East Webster, Tremont, Raymond, Florence, Cleveland, Pisgah
Class II Tournament
Paradise Lanes, Jackson
Girls: Tupelo, Itawamba AHS, Lafayette, Ridgeland, Northwest Rankin, Clinton, Petal, North Pike
Boys: Tupelo, Itawamba AHS, Pontotoc, Starkville, North Pike, Petal, Northwest Rankin, Clinton
Tournament format
Eight teams – two North, two Central, two South and two wild card – are entered in each class, boys and girls.
Teams will compete in a four-game match play event. The top two teams then compete in a best-of-five Baker bowl scoring match for the state championship.