Throughout the season, Centennial’s boys bowling team has called Garrett Page “Mr. 10th Frame.”
The freshman lived up to his clutch nickname Friday.
Page rolled a 646 series to carry Centennial to its first state championship at The Orleans with a 5-4 win over Tech.
The Bulldogs lost two games of the three-game match to the Roadrunners but won the title thanks to a total pinfall of 2,491 to Tech’s 2,490.
Teams get two points for winning a game and three for having the top overall pin total.
“All season, (Page) has consistently thrown strikes in the eighth, ninth and 10th frames,” Centennial coach Greg Seiden said. “He always starts the game off slow, then comes in strike-strike-strike at the end.”
Page followed that formula, rolling a 195 in the first game as the Roadrunners rode Dallas Leong’s 279 to the early margin. Leong, who bowled a 300 game Monday, rolled strikes through the first nine frames before a stubborn 10-pin at the start of the final frame kept him from perfection.
The Bulldogs rebounded in the second game, with all four bowlers rolling 215 or better to carry a 113-pin lead into the final game.
“For some reason, in our first game we usually do bad,” said Conner Lilley, Centennial’s lone senior. “But then in the second game, we come right ahead. We’ve always done that. I think we just felt like we weren’t going to lose it.”
Lilley rolled a 244 in the second game. Then, right on schedule, Page took over. He nailed seven strikes in the third game en route to a 236, and Centennial held off a late push by Tech.
“I was psyched because I was putting the strikes together and holding my team up,” Page said. “It just happened when it needed to — had a good carry, everything.”
Lilley added a 637 series for Centennial, and Ryan Campbell rolled 619.
Lilley said the win helped validate his career, after recalling a haunting memory of bowling a 90 as a freshman in a 5-2 loss to Durango in a Sunset Region semifinal.
“I feel like I ruined it. They had the best team in town, and then I bowled a 90, which won’t win it for you,” said Lilley, who has raised his average 40 pins in the four years since. “I completely redeemed myself.”
Leong led Tech with a 790 series, and Travis Canfield had a 621.
Basic won the girls title with a 5-4 victory over Cimarron-Memorial.
The Wolves won only the first game but held on for the win by outscoring the Spartans 2,114 to 2,027 on total pinfall.
Amanda Hix bowled a 596 series to lead Basic, and Cassie Brown had a 541.
Jenifer Kraft led the Spartans with a 522 series. She also had the best single game, a 245.
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