The first action of the new decade for the Oxford Wildcats boys and girls bowling programs was at the Imperial Bowling Tournament at Imperial Lanes in Clinton Township on Jan. 4.
Hosted by L’Anse Creuse North, the event featured 28 varsity boys teams and 21 on the girls’ side. The Wildcats entered two boys’ varsity teams and one varsity and one junior varsity for the girls.
Continuing their strong campaign, the varsity girls came home in second-place. The girls nearly captured the tournament championship but fell to the L’Anse Creuse North Lady Crusaders in the finals.
Prior to this defeat, the girls had knocked off Armada, Lakeview and Warren Cousino. The junior varsity girls delivered a positive performance, as well, finishing in third-place at their level.
“This is a great step forward for the girls,” head coach JR Lafnear said. “We seem to be getting better every week and at every event we go to. They (the girls) really did a solid job today and if this growth continues, we will be a force by season’s end.”
Like the girls, the boys’ team had their day come to an end courtesy of a nail-biting match. After topping the Troy Colts in two games in the first round, the Wildcats drew the Utica Eisenhower Eagles in the second.
Showing how well these two teams stack up, the first two games were split before the Eagles won the decisive contest, 268-245. Eisenhower would go on to win the tournament on the boys’ side.
“This was a bittersweet way to end the day,” Lafnear shared. “The boys did a nice job all day. The battle with Utica Eisenhower was wild and crazy to be a part of. The crowd was having a blast.
“Both teams were very impressive and I’m glad they (Eisenhower) went on to win the tournament. We showed some real mental toughness today. We came up a little short, but we will be a better team because of this.”
The Oxford bowling programs will next hit the lanes tomorrow (Jan. 9) against the North Farmington Raiders at Perfect Game in Farmington Hills at 3:30 p.m.