Webb, Boyle girls runners-up in state bowling tourney

Published 8:31 pm Monday, February 12, 2024

Bowling just keeps taking Shelbi Webb to better places.

Webb found a “safe haven” in the sport during a difficult year, and three years later she found herself on the cusp of a state championship twice in one day.

The Boyle County junior finished as the girls singles runner-up at the KHSAA State Bowling Championships, and she was part of a group that was the girls team runner-up for the second straight season.

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It made for a memorable Monday for Webb, who said she only began to grasp the significance of her achievement as classmates and teachers began to congratulate her.

“At first I thought I could have done better, but today it’s really kind of sinking in,” Webb said Wednesday. “Second at state, that’s still just so incredible. I didn’t really realize what I’d done until afterward.”

Webb earned the No. 1 spot in the four-person stepladder singles final after averaging 226.2 over five games in the qualifying rounds and bowling a career-best 253 in the last of those games at Kingpin Lanes in Jeffersontown.

She lost to a friend, Kendall Craig of Henry Clay, 199-187 in the championship game.

“Going to state was obviously an amazing experience,” Webb said. “When we got second place in teams I was kind of disappointed, but I didn’t let myself cry, I didn’t let myself be down about that. I tried to use it as fire for singles.”

Webb said she was disappointed after posting her lowest score of the day in the final, but she was also happy for her friend.

“Kendall is an amazing bowler, an amazing person,” she said. “That’s what I love about bowling. There are so many amazing people who are bowling, and Kendall has really earned it.”

Earlier in the day, the Boyle girls qualified No. 1 out of 16 teams and defeated Central Hardin 3-0, McCracken County 3-1 and Sacred Heart 3-0 in the first three rounds of the championship bracket before losing to No. 2 seed Pleasure Ridge Park 3-0 (150-144, 203-127, 169-168) in the final.

Webb said that was something of a disappointment for a team that took aim at the state title after winning its fourth consecutive regional championship last month.

Instead, a second straight second-place will add fuel to the fire that will burn throughout the offseason.

“It still is a great ending, but of course we’re disappointed because we didn’t win,” Webb said. “Nobody wants to be second, but we still have time to get better and improve.”

Webb said Boyle hasn’t had any senior girls since she joined the team as an eighth-grader, but she’ll be one of four next season.

She said the team has fun but takes its competition seriously, and she said the Lady Rebels have gotten better by helping each other.

“In practice we don’t always shoot for a good series or a good game. We try to pinpoint everything that we need to work on and help each other. If you help each other you can help yourself,” she said. “We do things differently on our team, and we definitely see the outcome of that.”

Bowling was something different for Webb, who had never tried it before joining the team as an eighth-grader at the urging of a close friend.

“I decided to try it, and I really liked it from the beginning,” she said. “It was an amazing environment. They just made it a really welcoming place, and that’s what we try to keep as a team.”

That turned out to be just what Webb needed during a difficult eighth-grade year.

“I was really struggling that year. I had lost my aunt and I lost a couple of pets. It was a tough year for me. I hated going to school, I hated hanging out with friends. Bowling became a safe haven.”

Webb has come a long way since her first season, when she said her average was about 95 to 100. Now she wants to bowl competitively in college, and she hopes to find a team with the same kind of atmosphere as the one she’s on now.

“The growth has truly been amazing, and I love being on this team,” she said. “I just love the aspect of the bowling team and how everybody picks each other up.”

Singles Results

In other singles results, eighth-grader Peyton Ramey finished ninth and freshman Emma Kondik finished 12th for the Boyle girls; senior Cody Kondik finished 19th and sophomore Nicholas Jayne was 26th for the Boyle boys.

The Boyle boys qualified No. 5 out of 16 teams in their team competition Tuesday, but they lost to No. 12 seed Ryle 3-2 in their first-round match.

In the unified competition Wednesday, Lincoln County junior Jordan Hall and senior Adam Spears qualified 10th out of 16 teams, then defeated Elizabethtown in their first-round game before losing to No. 2 seed Central Hardin in the quarterfinals.