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Sparkman boys win AHSAA State Bowling Championship; girls finish as runner-ups

The Sparkman boys bowling team won the state championship Friday in Gadsden. The Sparkman girls finished as state runner-up

GADSDEN, Ala. — Sparkman High School beat Spain Park 4-3 in a grueling Class 6A/7A Boys’ State Bowling finals Friday and Etowah beat West Point 4-0 in the Class 1A/5A Boys’ championship match. The AHSAA 2023 State Bowling Championships was held at The Alley Bowling Center in Gadsden for the second straight year.

The Senators of Coach Lisa Ivey roared through Friday’s championship bracket going 3-0 with first-round win over Auburn 4-0 and a semifinal 4-1 victory over Vestavia Hills to reach the finals. The lineup of Rory Donnelly, Dalton Robinson, Zacary Swain, Alfonso Carrington III, and Dalton Tolgo fended off a strong challenge from the defending state champion Spain Park to force game 7 in the championship match. Led by senor Ethan Lee and junior Michael Kimble, the Jags had eight strikes in game six to post a 245-185 win to force game seven. The Senators closed out the match with a 181-177 win in game seven to close out the championship.

The Jaguars, coached by Stephen Hobbs, came out of Thursday’s traditional round as top seed for Friday’s championship bracket, and the Senators earned No. 2 seed. Spain Park reached Friday finals with a pair of 4-1 wins over American Christian and Hartselle in the quarterfinals and semifinals to set up the title match. Spain Park also had a 245 in the second game and won game three 194-144 to take a 2-1 lead, but Sparkman’s consistency produced narrow wins in games fourth and five. The Jags finished with 1,339 pins and the Senators had 1,267 – but Sparkman won by making the rolls when they needed to.

In  the 1A/5A finals Friday, Kaed Bradley was red-hot for the winning Blue Devils throughout the championship match. Rolling the fifth and 10th frames for Etowah, he closed out two  consecutive strikes in his final roll. Coach Shawanna Roper then subbed Ben Beitel to make the final roll of the season, and he also delivered a strike to close the championship run for Etowah.

The Blue Devils won all four games by a comfortable margin winning the pin battle 813-581. West Point, coached by Alana Drinkard, was the No. 8 seed heading into the championship round Friday, but advanced to the finals with a 4-0 win over top seed Elberta in the quarterfinals, and downing Southside-Gadsden 4-2 in the semifinals – winning the pin count 1,004 to 928 with a strong 208-156 win in game six.

Etowah reached the finals beating Satsuma 4-2 and Marbury 4-2.
The girls’ championship round was being played Friday afternoon with the championship match set to be televised at approximately 3:30 p.m., over the AHSAA TV Network and live-streamed over the NFHS Network with WOTM TV producing the finals.

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