Whitmyer places 10th at States

By on March 19, 2014

whitmyerIf there’s a word that Warwick bowling coach Bill Bernstein could use to describe Brandi Whitmyer in the final stretch of the season, it’s “unflappable.”

Last Friday, that toughness served her well.

Despite the occasional bad break while rolling six qualifying games at the PA State Girls Singles Championships at North Versailles Bowl in Pittsburgh, the Warwick senior kept herself within striking distance right to the end.

Unfortunately, Whitmyer fell just 35 pins of advancing to the stepladder finals, placing 10th overall with a score of 1100. Serra Catholic’s Hannah Schorr (1135) claimed the fifth and final spot in the finals, where Penn Trafford’s Amanda Balas ultimately edged out Lancaster Mennonite’s Chelsey Merklinger 187-185 to win the crown.

“If (Brandi) gets bad breaks, most of the time you don’t really know it,” Bernstein said. “She’s just ready for the next ball. That’s a big thing. Being a senior definitely helps that, but to not get shaken on a major stage like that, that definitely kept her in the match anyway. She always had a chance.”

Whitmyer’s first-game score of 169 was 26 pins below her average (195), but it was still better than 11 of the 24 bowlers who were competing.

She responded with her high game of 196, then proceeded to post scores of 187, 184, 186, 178.

“In my opinion, she was the most consistent bowler at the tournament,” Bernstein said. “She struggled her first game, but I think everybody did &tstr; a little bit of nerves. But she bounced back and was right there the whole day. She just had pretty much one bad break each game that just kinda hurt her.”

Whitmyer agreed with coach Bernstein’s thoughts about her consistency.

“I feel like I was (the most consistent bowler) too,” she said. “My scores were close together and they weren’t up and down … There weren’t really that many nerves. I felt like I was just bowling in a normal high school match. I was more excited that I was actually there and getting to bowl.”

In several games, Whitmyer appeared to have herself positioned to break 200, only to see a late stumbling block get in the way.

“I felt like I could have (rolled a 200), but I missed a few spares or I had splits,” she said. “It was frustrating, but I didn’t let it get to me because I knew if I would get mad, then my bowling would just get worse. So I tried to keep cool head and just stay focused.”

“At least four out of the six games, she either opened the ninth frame or the 10th frame,” Bernstein said. “If she doesn’t open any of those, there’s at least 40 pins right there. So it was just kind of a bad break at a bad time in those games. I think if she has one big game in there somewhere, a 220, which she’s more than capable of doing &tstr; she’s done it on several occasions &tstr; that puts her right in there.”

In the big picture, however, Whitmyer ended her high school career on a high note by placing 10th.

“I was happy that I made it to States and then finished 10th,” she said. “I wish I could’ve done a little better but I was happy with getting 10th.”

“Considering just to get to States, they took the top 12 out of 148 bowlers in the east,” Bernstein remarked. “And the west, they’re pretty much taking the same thing. They’ve got the top 12 bowlers out of 100-some kids. So you’re talking she’s number 10 in the state out of 200, 300 girls bowlers, which is pretty impressive.”

Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at bmorgan.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4451.

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