A local contingent of youth bowlers proved to be successful at the provincial round of the Northern Ontario Youth Challenge in Sturgeon Falls (near North Bay) over the weekend.
The Sunset Country boys’ squad ended up winning the competition, racking up 23 points to narrowly edge out Gold Belt and Thunder Bay, which each notched 22.
Local bowlers made up three of the five team members.
Jordan Sokoliuk won four of his five games, Daniel Murray won three of five, and Lyle Dolph took two of five, although he led the team in overall pinfall.
Sokoliuk struggled in his first game, posting a 150 in his lone loss.
But he rebounded with scores of 241, 210, 211, and 241 to win his next four matches.
Murray was the only Sunset Country bowler to open with a win, rolling a 211 in his opener.
He then dropped two in a row—despite scores of 211 and 190—before winning his last two thanks to identical 212 scores.
Dolph, meanwhile, was up and down, notching a 187 in his opener and a 210 in his second game.
He dropped back to 181 in his third game before catching fire in the fourth with a 336—the highest single-game score of the weekend.
Dolph then posted a 241, but in a losing cause.
“They all bowled well,” enthused boys’ coach Rick Stamarski.
“They bowled the way I thought they would,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Sunset Country girls’ team finished tied for second in their division, although they tallied 25 points overall.
That quintet also featured three locals—Caitlyn Townson, Amber Townson, and Natasha Petawanaqueb.
Caitlyn Townson led the team in average with a 237.20 over her five matches, pulling out three wins in the process.
She opened with a 222, but in defeat, then rebounded with wins of 219 and 261.
She lost her fourth game despite rolling a 254, but a 230 earned her a win in the closer.
Petawanaqueb also won three of five matches, using scores of 202 and 263 to open with a pair of wins.
She slipped to an even record with losses of 120 and 250, but rebounded with a 213 in her final game.
Amber Townson, meanwhile, alternated wins and losses, posting scores of 140, 181, 183, 131, and 226.
Lastly, a trio of bowlers competed on the Sunset Country mixed team, which tied for fourth with 18 total points.
Dustin Good Thurber and Dallas Gervais each won three matches while Travis Bois won two.
Good Thurber opened with wins of 199 and 207 before dropping games of 174 and 163.
He finished in a big way, though, notching a 276.
Gervais won his first three with scores of 210, 264, and 229 but slowed down in his last two games, losing both thanks to a 190 and 164.
Bois opened with a pair of victories, posting 176 and 224 wins early on, but then lost his last three with scores of 174, 205, and 173.
Stamarski noted that, all in all, each competitor was pleased with how the weekend turned out.
“Everybody was quite happy. It was a good trip,” he remarked.