Photo: The Southside High girls bowling team gathers for a photo after winning the AHSAA North Regional Tournament on Jan. 17 in Vestavia Hills. The Lady Panthers will defend their state title this week in Pelham. Pictured, from left: assistant coach David Clontz, Jennifer Clontz, Rose Losco, Jessica Clontz, Grace Ann Clontz, Ashlee Hull, Keilsy Hull, Jalyn Foster, Cheyanne Bohannon, head coach Zack Blume. (submitted photo)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Southside girls bowling team is officially set to defend its state championship.
The Lady Panthers defeated Sparkman, 1,452 to 1,243, in the Baker format competition at the AHSAA North Regional Tournament on Jan. 17 in Vestavia Hills.
Southside will vie to its fourth straight state championship this Thursday and Friday at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham.
The Clontz sisters led the Lady Panthers’ charge in the finals, with Grace Ann Clontz rolling a 245 – the best single game of the day in the North girls’ competition – and Jennifer Clontz a 193.
Southside reached the finals by defeating Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa, 1,301 to 654 in the first round; Hokes Bluff, 1,369 to 852 in the quarterfinals; and Hartselle, 1,277 to 1,027 in the
Semifinals. The Lady Eagles qualified for the state tournament as a result of their 949 to 947 win over Grissom in the first round.
Jessica Clontz, Grace Ann Clontz and Jennifer Clontz were the top three finishers in the semifinal round with respective scores of 200, 180 and 167. Jessica Clontz (224) and Grace Ann Clontz (205) finished second and third, respectively, in the quarterfinals, while Keilsy Hull posted the top score in the first round at 211.
Southside rolled the top games team-wise in all three qualifying rounds on Jan. 16, totaling 799-815-801-2,415 to take the top seed by 152 pins over runner-up Hazel Green. Jessica Clontz finished runner-up in individual scoring second with a 172-167-263 – 502 series, while Ashlee Hull came in third at 498.
Also making the state tournament were the Gadsden City and Southside boys. The Titans made it to the semifinals, where they fell to Sparkman, 1,663 to 1,607. GCHS beat Paul Bryant, 1,472 to 901, in the first round and Northridge, 1,256 to 1,170, in the quarterfinals.
The Panthers defeated Grissom, 1,219 to 1,122 in the opening round before falling to Sparkman, 1,326 to 1,312, in the quarterfinals.
Gadsden City’s Elijah Avery Tommy Butler each rolled a 247t to tie for second place individually in the semifinal round.