CLINTON – The fast-paced Baker rotation, which is played by each team's top-five scoring individuals at the end of match, played in the favor of the Clinton High School boys bowling team's win over Pleasant Valley last week.
No such luck Saturday afternoon.
The River Kings failed to overcome a 41-pin deficit after the individual rounds as Davenport North rolled to a comfortable 3,034-2,851 victory in a Mississippi Athletic Conference meeting Saturday afternoon at the Plaza Bowl.
Clinton coach Mark Richardson suggested the team over-thought Saturday's closing round.
"The lane started transitioning and we didn't keep up with it," Richardson said. "During Baker, they were playing the wrong lines and wrong ball and that did it... they put too much pressure on themselves."
The trio of Carter Hudson, Joe Simpson and Connor Hyde led the River Kings during the individual series. Hudson led the way with a two-game score of 434 while Simpson and Hyde both added 415.
Richardson was pleased with his team's performance across the board, especially in the early part of the match.
"Through the first two games, I thought everyone was doing well," he said. "That was pretty good bowling against a team like state-ranked Davenport North."
Clinton is just two matches into its schedule this season, posting a 1-1 record against a pair of Class 3A programs. The River Kings will compete at the 2A level in the postseason.
Meanwhile, in the far lanes, the River Queens notched their second win this season in as many tries.
Behind strong showings from Annelise Dickinson and Fransis Hansen, Clinton coasted to a 2,828-2,434 victory over Davenport North, building off an impressive win against Pleasant Valley last week.
Clinton, who is ranked No. 13 in the entire state in scoring average, is expected to climb in the rankings following Saturday's performance.
Richardson has regularly tweeted #statebound on the team's official Twitter account and says he believes the team is in the running for a bid on the grand stage.
"If they keep going the way they are, which I think they will because they are very capable of it, they should have a good chance to make it to state," Richardson said.
Clinton led 1,921-1,603 after the individual round and defeated Davenport North by an additional 100 pins in the Baker rotation to seal the victory.
Both teams return to action with a trip to Muscatine on Tuesday.