All season, Silverado’s boys and Eldorado’s girls thought they were the best high school bowling teams in the state.
Both squads had a chance to drive home the point Thursday at The Orleans, but only the Skyhawks succeeded.
Silverado got nine perfect frames from Justin Estell and successfully defended its state championship with a 7-2 victory over Bonanza.
In the girls match, Bonanza pinned a 7-2 defeat on Eldorado for the championship, with Emily Ruskowitz rolling a 240 in the clincher for her best score of the season.
Silverado’s repeat title was made possible when all four players topped 200 in the third game: Estell (265), Chris Howe (222), Eric Hatchett (212) and Zack Hattori (201).
Bonanza had put the heat on the Skyhawks by tying the match 2-2 in Game 2, getting a 228 game by Cory Shock and a 223 by Nick Lamek.
“Coach (Mark Parantala) told us to keep the pressure on and to stay focused,” Estell said. “We gave it all we had, and it’s great to win.”
Estell has bowled nine perfect frames before but never on this big of a stage.
“I have come close to a perfect game,” he said. “And I did the same thing, leaving three pins. But still this is fun to win another championship.”
Silverado came out firing in the first game, beating the Bengals by 141 pins.
In the girls final game, Ruskowitz topped her season high by 37 pins as Bonanza won the championship for the first time since 2005.
“Emily’s game was huge,” said Hannah Chipman, whose 668 series led the Bengals. “We got plenty of motivation from Emily’s play.”
In the first game, Eldorado got a 210 from Taylor Price, who was instrumental in the Sundevils’ victory over Coronado in the Sunrise Region final Wednesday. But she dipped to scores of 190 and 148 in the final two games.
Bonanza tied the match at 2-all in Game 2, led by Chipman’s 226, but the Bengals were still 24 pins behind. Led by Ruskowitz’s performance, they responded in the final game, with Tiffany Cox bowling a 235 and Chipman a 232.
“I reminded the girls of the boys rallying earlier in the year against Cimarron-Memorial,” Bonanza coach Patrick Herbert said. “I told them they could battle back, and the girls responded. It’s bittersweet, because I wanted the boys to win as well.”In-depth high school sports coverage