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The OK Black post-conference tournament was held on Saturday at the Sherman Bowling Center in Muskegon.  This was the last conference event of the 2010-2011 girls high school bowling season.

 The tournament consisted of each team bowling 4 Baker Games and 3 Team Games.  A Team Game has 5 bowlers, from each school, rolling their own individual games.  The total pins of all games combined will win the OK Black Tournament.

 Once the four Baker Games had been completed, the standings were as follows: Mona Shores led with a 624 pin count, FHC was in second with a 578, Kenowa Hills stood at 561, Union had a 500 pin total and Reeths-Puffer rounded out the line-up with a 351.  The Reeths-Puffer team was competing with a four person team, one short of a full line-up.

 Next up are the individual games with 5 players from each school trying to roll some high scores and help their team win the tournament.  FHC rolled a 725 for their first game and were led by senior Maggie Smith with a 171.  Mona Shores increased their pin lead by 26 pins by rolling a 751.  It appeared that these two teams would be battling it out for first and second place at this point.

 The second Team Game saw FHC bowlers turn it up a notch and they proceeded to out distance the competition in game #2.  Forest Hills Central rolled an 891 game and were led by seniors Kathryn Chamberlain with a 216, Maggie Smith with a 215 and Sarah Gillespie with a 171.  Mona Shores rolled the 2nd best score with an 823.  FHC picked up 68 pins on Mona Shores – the total pin count now stands at:  Mona Shores – 2198, Forest Hills Central – 2194, Union – 1829, Kenowa Hills – 1807, Reeths-Puffer – 1169.

 Only 4 pins separated the top two teams with one game left in the OK Black season.  Any player on the FHC line-up is capable of leading their team in scoring.  They have a well balanced line-up that includes 9 seniors.  They rolled a season high 970 game last week.  Mona Shores has a formidable team that is made up completely of underclassman.  Their line-up is capable of rolling a 900+ game at any time also. 

 The Rangers Maggie Smith, in the number four slot, and Ashley Ritsema, the team anchor, in the number five slot, started out hot.  Smith started out by striking in her first 3 frames while Ritsema put down a streak of 3 strikes in the 2nd thru 4th frames.  After that momentum building start, both Smith and Ritsema never looked back.  They both proceeded to mark in their remaining frames.  As anchor, Ritsema was the last FHC bowler to roll for the team.  She spared in the 10th and had one last ball remaining.  Once the ball left her hand, the reality of a senior season coming to an end, started to take hold.  As Ashley has done many times before, the ball was spot on and the final frame of the final game was a perfect strike.  Ashley turned to her teammates, while still on the lane, and stretched out her arms.  They spontaneously joined her on the lane, in unison, and joined in a team ‘group hug’.  The regular season was over.  They had captured one last honor for their soon to be alma mater.

 The Lady Rangers were led by Maggie Smith (213) and Ashley Ritsema (202).  The team rolled a final game score of 850.  FHC placed 3 of their bowlers in the top 5 of the tournament.  Maggie Smith took top honors with a 599 series, Kathryn Chamberlain placed 2nd with a 507 series and Ashley Ritsema placed 5th with a 493 series.  There were a total of four, 200+ games rolled in the OK Black Tournament.  Smith rolled two of them while Chamberlain and Ritsema rolled the others.

 Final Standings: Forest Hills Central – 1st (3044); Mona Shores – 2nd (2978); Union – 3rd (2562), Kenowa Hills – 4th (2413); Reeths-Puffer – 5th (1612).

 The regular season is over.  Next up are the regional tournaments.  FHC will participate this Friday and Saturday back in Muskegon at the same Sherman Bowling Center.  Friday will be the team tournament while Saturday will be the individual quest to move on to the state finals.

 Coaches Rick Dykema and Dan Hill, both 3rd year coaches at FHC have led another successful season in both the girls and boys programs.  They will be graduating 9 senior girls and 2 senior boys.  The popularity of the bowling program, under their tutelage, has been tremendous.  The JV teams are ready to move to the varsity level next year and hope to continue the success of the 2010-2011 varsity teams.

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