Game 1: Walker Valley, 6-2
Highlights: WV -- Brendon Baker 209, Caleb Zanoska 192, Jacob Baker 190, Briton Helton 168, Tanner Kincaid 166, Nathan Kirby 164. S -- Gaylend Woods 188, Jake Wolfe 187, Brett Lee 180, Brandon Campbell 170, Dallas Burnett 151.
Game 2: Walker Valley, 6-2
Highlights: WV -- Helton 220, Zanoska 187, J. Baker 182, Kirby 174, Kincaid 163, B. Baker 156. S -- Wolfe 218, Woods 183, Campbell 177, Lane Dawson 175, Lee 148.
Game 3: Smyrna, 6-2
Highlights: S -- Woods 233, Wolfe 212, Lee 208, Campbell 204, Dawson 157. WV -- B. Baker 231, Helton 202, Zanoska 174, Kirby 170, J. Baker 156.
Total pins (3 pts.): Walker Valley, 3,236-3,201.
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Walker Valley High School boys' bowling program celebrated its 10th year of existence Monday with a monumental first: a team berth in the state tournament.
The Mustangs defeated Smyrna's Bulldogs 17-10 in their TSSAA Division I sectional Monday afternoon at Leisure Time Bowling on Keith Street, so the rest of the team will join senior captain Brendon Baker later this week at the championship event in Smyrna.
"Our slogan has been: 'Do what you've always done and you'll get what you've always got,'" Walker Valley coach Dean Anderson said. "We asked them today to do something different from what you've always done and you're going to get something different than you've always got.
"We've never even won a regional before last week with the boys. I'm so proud of these guys."
Undefeated Columbia Central beat Soddy-Daisy 23-4 in Columbia, but the Trojans' Tanner Johnson takes a 222.37 regular-season game average into the individual state that starts Thursday morning. He rolled games of 248, 196 and 235 and went 2-1 in defeat Monday.
"This is my first time going as an individual, and it's our first time as a team," said Walker Valley captain Baker, who earned his Thursday morning spot with a 183 average. "It's a great to way to finish it, and to have these guys going to help me makes it really special."
Since he's the Mustangs' only senior and Jacob Baker is the lone junior, sophomore Jesse Bishop and the team's seven freshmen may have a lot of special seasons ahead. But earning the first state berth meant getting off to a good start Monday and keeping the pressure on.
"Coach tells us it's one game at a time," said Brendon Baker, who went 3-0 with a 209 in the first game and a 231 in the clincher, when the Mustangs needed only two wins to assure victory. "That's how you break down the walls of the city, and then you sack the city at the end."
Four freshmen joined the Bakers in the starting lineup. Briton Helton led the ninth-graders with a 220 and a 202 after his opening 168, and Caleb Zanoska had a 192 and a 187 as the Mustangs rolled up a 12-4 lead through two games. That enabled them to weather a third game when four Bulldogs bowled 204 or better.
Helton said he felt the Mustangs should win the sectional, despite their history, with the way they had been bowling.
"They're really rolling well, and they rolled with heart today," Anderson agreed. "Our goal coming into the season was to peak at tournament time, and they've rolled some of their best matches in this postseason. They're really rolling together as a team."
At Columbia's Galaxy Lanes, senior Tim Keyser and his brother Jacob went 200-279 and 202-259 before six reserves bowled the third game for Columbia (19-0). Jarrett Edwards and Chase Heater won the points Johnson didn't take for Soddy-Daisy, which got a 195 and a 182 from Jake Heater.