Jacob Hartman

CLINTON--Baker games proved crucial in a home bowling match for Clinton on Saturday, and both the River Kings and Queens performed in order to roll to a sweep of North Scott at the Plaza Bowl.

Both matches came down to the team-oriented Baker rotations.

"It puts a lot more pressure on them because they know they need to execute their shots a little better and make sure they're picking up their spares, not leaving easy single pin spares out there," Clinton bowling head coach Mark Richardson said. "They had a real good Baker round, one of the better ones of the year."

The usually dominant girls threw numbers a bit lower than normal during the two individual rounds. They ended that behind, just 18 pins behind the Lancers. Still, this is a place the Queens rarely find themselves.

"The girls struggled a little bit, that's one of their lowest meet scores of the year so far," Richardson said. "But they pulled it out in the Baker game."

Tannah Bowman led that round with a 283, rolling the only 200 game of the individual rounds for the River Queens in her first. Frankie Hansen finished with a 324 and Anna Kurtz with a 319. Annelise Dickinson came in with a 306, and Jazlyn Whitaker and Hannah Hartman bowled a 248 and 271 respectively.

When it came to the fast-paced team games, Richardson was confident.

"Overall, the girls are pretty steady out there," Richarson said. "When it's close like that, I think we can almost always pull it out in the Baker rounds. They're good, they listen, they execute like that have to, they do everything I ask them."

They rolled a 213 to start it out, then followed it up with a 168, 179, 162, and 146. They beat the Lancers by 60 pins to take the overall series 2471-2430.

The boys also went into the Basket rounds down, but they were behind the Lancers over 50. Jacob Hartman rolled a 225 and 231 in the solo games to finish with a 456 but no one else was within 70 pins of that.

Keaton Hudson had a 388, Keagan Fox a 382. Joe Simpson rolled a 376, Carter Hudson 369 and Connor Hyde rounded things out with a 357.

The Kings dominated the five Baker games, getting outscored in just one of them. The scored 202, 205, 169, 190 and 214 to take the meet 2951-2949.

"They were excited," Richardson said. "North Scott, they're a tough team and a high scoring team. They kept the pressure on them the whole time."

Both the Kings and Queens take their holiday break now, and look to improve before heading into the new year. Before they know it, substate bowling will be upon them.

"There's some corner pin shooting we need to practice on," Richardson said. "Our seven and ten pin spare shooting has been a little bit off here the last few weeks."

The River Kings and Queens celebrate Senior Day with a home meet against Burlington to start out the new year on Jan. 5.

BASKETBALL

Fulton splits at Erie Warkins

ERIE, Ill. -- The Fulton girls started out holiday tournament play this weekend, going 1-1 at the annual Erie Warkins Tournament in Illinois.

The Steamers started with a win over Erie-Prophetstown by 54-40, led by Kearston Norman. Norman ended the contest with 15 points and seven rebounds.

"'We executed well and created great spacing right away and I thought we did a great job of kicking on drives and knocking shots down," head coach Mike Menchaca said.

With Norman at the head, other Steamers scored from top to bottom too. Liz Fish also reached double digits with 10 points, while Emily Schipper and Rylee Leitzen pitched in eight a piece. Macy Puckett had six.

"Macy has been a huge spark for us off the bench," Menchaca said. "She's been working hard, fighting through some inconsistency early in the year and now I feel like she is getting set and comfortable which will be a huge deal for us as we face a lot of zones."

It wasn't always and easy task for the W. They led at half, but started the second half allowing a 6-0 run.

"We let them know in the time out what we thought and it was mostly defensively being timid," Menchaca said. "We weren't playing that way early so we had to stick with the plan."

The Steamers went 9-10 from the line, and Menchaca was especially impressed with how the girls finished the game.

The loss on the day was a 58-46 Knoxville defeat.

Knoville was leading by eight with one minute left in the first half, then forced turnovers and finished with a run and a big momentum shift. That proved crucial with Knoxville going into the lock room with a 14 point lead.

Fulton never really found their momentum on offense.

Their next foe in the tournament in Rockford Christian on Thursday afternoon.