Monday, 08 March 2021 12:52

Raiders, Lady Raiders impress in SAC team and singles tournaments

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The Raider bowling team, pictured here, took 3rd overall in the SAC team tournament. The Raider bowling team, pictured here, took 3rd overall in the SAC team tournament. Contributed photo.

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior High School’s bowling teams wrapped up their respective seasons with a conference tournament and a singles tournament last week in Lumberton and Aberdeen.


Teams from across the Sandhills Athletic Conference met on Wednesday (boys) and Thursday (girls) to complete the shortened 2021 bowling campaign. Each team bowled three qualifying games in the Baker format, which seeded teams for the single-elimination portion. 

The Raiders and head coach Ralph Butler took third in the SAC team tournament after falling to Scotland High School in the semifinal round. Richmond outlasted Hoke County High School in the quarterfinal round.

Junior Cameron Way was the leading Raider in the singles tournament, placing eighth overall out of 50 bowlers with a combined score of 581 pins. His finish saw him named to the All-SAC team.

“The boys had a great day in Lumberton on Wednesday,” Butler said. “They performed well in the team tournament and in the singles tournament. Unfortunately, there will not be a state tournament this year, but if there would have been the team would have qualified and Cameron would have represented Richmond in the singles. 

“I was hopeful at the beginning of the season we would have someone qualify,” he added. “I felt like there were several guys who could if they got hot. Cameron bowled great all day in the singles and the team event. He was phenomenal.”

In the singles tournament, Way bowled games of 165, 178 and finished with an impressive game of 238 pins. His pin total was four shy of tying Brayden Jacobs for seventh place. Senior Mitchell Massey also performed well, bowling games of 183, 183 and 142 (508 pins) to take 13th overall. 

“Mitchell nearly qualified for All-Conference as well, finishing just outside the top ten at 13th,” Butler said. “I really felt either one those could make all-conference. He finished 18 pins off of a 10th-place finish. Joseph Grant and Hunter Hancock both finished in the top half of the field.”

Seniors Grant (118, 144, 186) and Hancock (117, 138 and 177) placed 18th and 20th, respectively, with scores of 448 and 432 pins. Juniors Colin Wheeler (427) and Dexter Mabe (419) earned 21st and 23rd place.

In the team competition, Way anchored for the Raiders and collected a team-high six strikes and added three spares between the qualifying and single-elimination games. Massey impressed with four strikes and two spares, and Hancock and Mabe both had three strikes and a spare.

Junior Alston Johnson rolled a strike and two spares, while Grant, Wheeler and sophomore William White each added two spares in the third-place finish. Lumberton High School took first overall. 

“It seems like we’ve had one bad game all year and this just happened to be in the single elimination portion of the team event,” Butler explained. “Lumberton won in the finals with a score of 177, which we’re very capable of doing. 

“This was a strong group this year. My first year doing this, I felt like Lumberton was head and shoulders above everyone. We beat them in week two of the regular season this year though and I felt like this group could compete with anyone.”

Left to right: Autumn Hoffman, Ashlyn Bouldin, Cadence Thompson, Molly Erwin and Josie Standridge.

In the Lady Raiders’ afternoon of bowling on Thursday, the team bowled scores of 124, 131 and 117 during qualifying. Named the No. 6 seed, Richmond competed against Purnell Swett and was eliminated in the first round with an uncharacteristically low score of 87 pins.

Senior Autumn Hoffman closed out the most frames in the qualifying rounds, closing out 65% of her frames, followed by sophomore Cadence Thompson at 60%. Fellow sophomore Ashlyn Bouldin closed out both of her frames in the Purnell Swett game, and first-year bowler Molly Erwin showed progress bowling better than her yearly average.

“We  just didn’t bowl well in the first game against Purnell Swett,” girls’ coach Lily Sager said. “They’ve bowled some great games this year, but just couldn’t seem to catch a break in the single elimination portion. 

“Autumn was really good for us in the team portion closing out most of her frames, and Cadence was good as well. During the singles tournament, the lane conditions were pretty tough. We had some stoppages several times and none of the girls could get into a rhythm it seemed.”

Thompson did the best for the Lady Raiders in the singles tournament, placing 18th out of 48 bowlers. She rolled games of 118, 157 and 131 for a pinfall total of 406. Senior Josie Standridge placed in the top half as well, finishing 22nd with a pin total of 377 pins (109, 143 and 125).

“Coach Sager and I were pleased with their attitude and effort,” Butler closed. “They kept trying to make adjustments, but simply caught some bad breaks. They threw some great balls, but had some tough spares to try and pick up.”

Last modified on Monday, 08 March 2021 20:48
Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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