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Bowling: James, Hobart come up clutch in preseason invite

Updated: November 16, 2012 6:23AM



SOUTH BEND — Some bowlers are born clutch. Others can develop the clutch gene by years of trial and error and building that intestinal fortitude.

It doesn’t matter when the seeds of clutchness were planted in Jerry James Jr. The bottom line is that the Hobart anchor was clutch with his right arm that threw some key shots on Sunday in the seventh annual South Bend Clay Invite at Chippewa Bowl, eventually leading the Brickies to a 395-364 victory over Lake Central in the boys final of the unofficial start of the high school bowling season.

His biggest shots came in the 10th frame of the semifinal against South Bend Riley in which Hobart was trailing by 14 pins after the first of two Baker games. He needed the first two strikes to seal the comeback, and he buried them pure in the pocket.

“You just calm your nerves, take deep breaths, take it one shot at a time,” James Jr. said about the process of being clutch. “I like being anchor.”

Then again, there are multiple bowlers on Hobart who could, and have been the anchor — Michael Blue, Bobby Kammer and Bobby Eberle.

It’s a nice problem to have for coach Jerry James Sr.

“He was bowling well and I couldn’t move him from that spot,” he said about his son. “I can always count on him to get what we need.

“The guys picked each other up today. We averaged 213 in (the five Baker games during qualifying) that moved us past Highland.”

He was referring to the Trojans holding a large lead after two regular games on the strength of 1,147 and 1,071 scores. Highland anchor Tayler Peters had a 297 game in qualifying.

Lake Central had won the first game against Hobart 210-204, but a late open frame cost the Indians.

“They’re definitely a good team,” LC coach Gregg Schmied said. “We’ll be bowling Hobart again (in a tournament), I’m sure of it.”

The LC boys may have finished second, but the girls didn’t. It just wasn’t the LC girls team expected to finish first. The Indians’ No. 2 team defeated Merrillville 299-285 in a low-scoring final.

What it means is that LC coach Stephanie Cooley has a pleasant problem with more depth than she’s had in several years.

“Yeah, that’s for sure,” she said. “The sophomores who were freshmen last year have really improved. Sometimes it’s tough to determine who’s on the A or B team.”

Among the B team sophomores who shined on Sunday were Sam Watson and Jessica Sellers.



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