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Dodger girls 5th at state bowling

Hanson, Kenney both place in Top-10 individually for FDSH

WATERLOO — The Fort Dodge girls bowling team picked the perfect time to roll their best score of the season — by far.

The Dodger girls, who were state champions in 2019, finished fifth with a 2,820. Their total was 213 pins higher then their best score of the season.

The year FDSH won the state championship, they recorded a 2,852, which would have placed them fifth in 2021.

“Our goal was 2,608, which would be the best total,” said Fort Dodge head coach Nick Vinson. “We just had to control what we can, and the girls did an outstanding job of doing that.

“The teams above us just rolled outstanding scores.”

LeMars was the Class 2A champion with a 3,061. Keokuk (3,034), West Delaware (3,016) and Waterloo East (2,907) followed, with the Dodgers rounding out the Top-5.

“I don’t think we missed the pocket more than three times in the tournament,” Vinson said. “I’m super happy with their effort and their results. There is nothing we could do. We put up a big number and are super excited.”

Juniors Lexi Hanson and Alexis Kenney both finished in the Top-10 of the individual standings.

“It was just an amazing experience. Hearing everyone cheer me on definitely helped,” Hanson said. “We bowled 213 pins over our highest score, and we were really anticipating getting at least third or higher, considering we threw a 2820. That’s a really great score for us.

“Overall, it was a great day. I’m definitely so happy that I’m on this team.”

Vinson recognized Hanson was locked in.

“We sat down to dinner and Lexi said, ‘I didn’t know what frame we were in. I was just bowling,” Vinson said. “That’s exactly what everyone did. We just put the ball down and once that happens, it’s out of your hands.”

Hanson, who finished 10th as a freshman on the Dodgers’ championship squad, rolled a 447. Kenney recorded a 438.

“Alexis had great games as well, bowling twice over 200,” Vinson said. “Those two (Lexi and Alexis) have showed up all season in important situations.”

Stephanie Burge of Waterloo East was the individual champion with a 481. Jasmine Saunder Keokuk (471) was the runner-up.

Hanson had games of 180 and 267. In her 267, Hanson began with an open frame, but reeled off nine strikes in a row before hitting one pin on her second ball in the 10th.

“I had a gut feeling that would be a good game,” Hanson said. “I opened my first frame, but after that, I just stopped paying attention to the screens showing the score. At one point, one of my teammates was like, ‘wow Lexi, all strikes — that’s crazy.’ I didn’t even know what frame we were on, but I had to shake it off to continue doing what I was doing. My legs felt like jello on the last frame because I knew I had quite a few strikes in a row.”

Kenney had a high game of 233.

“I think I did well by placing the ball down at the right spot,” Kenney said. ” I also had a good laugh at Coach Vinson losing his voice and not being able to talk for all of Bakers.

“I feel like the team did well, not getting mad at the balls that were bad. In Bakers, we were all cheering each other on to make everyone better about the balls that were thrown. I think we had a good night overall.”

AJ Feathers rolled a 343. Senior Paige Copenhaver (328), Aryssa Lumsden (324) and Gabby Flores (319) followed.

“Paige, the only senior on our team, put the ball in the right spot 90 to 95 percent of the time. The breaks just didn’t go her way,” Vinson said. “She was great as leadoff in Bakers, and did a fantastic job.”

Hanson was happy to be at the state tournament with her team again.

“It was overall just an amazing experience,” Hanson said. “My freshman year I placed 10th as an individual, and seeing now two years later I placed sixth is great.

“I can see myself getting better.”

Fort Dodge (2,820) — Lexi Hanson 180-267–447; Alexis Kenney 205-233–438; Aryssa Lumsden 183-141–324; Gabby Flores 181-136–319; Paige Copenhaver 158-170–328; AJ Feathers 189-154–343.

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