“This is my fourth year on the team and every year, we’ve made it to state,” said Taylor, who is now a senior.
The team took fourth place her freshman year and third the next. Last year, they took fifth place, narrowly missing the roll-off.
Taylor got the season finale she’d been hoping for Saturday when Lumberton won the state team title at the state meet at the Lumberton Bowling Center.
“This year it just meant a lot to me because it’s my last year bowling,” Taylor said.
It ended a season in which the girls had plenty of success, finishing with four all-county bowlers and the county team title as well.
The bowlers on the team include Taylor, conference champion Tiana Tapia, all-conference bowlers Carla Rowell and Brianna Meares, and Yakimia Ferguson.
Tapia and Taylor also finished as the No. 1 and 2 bowlers in the conference.
It’s the school’s second state bowling title, the first for the girls, LHS bowling coach Rachel Diehl said. The boys won the state team title in 2011.
“It took a group effort all year long and the girls, I’m so happy to see them make it this far and get first in the state because they’re such nice girls, they’re really good sports, and they really deserve it,” Diehl said.
In the tournament format, each team uses five bowlers, each of whom bowls two frames in the match. After playing four games, the top four scoring teams advance to the roll-off, which consists of both a semifinal and final series of games.
Lumberton’s boys and girls teams both made it to the roll-off round, the getting the second seed, the boys beating Fairmont by one pin for the fourth seed in their bracket.
Diehl said the Fairmont and Lumberton teams have somewhat of a rivarly in the sport, which has kept many matches close. Only a few days prior, Fairmont had beaten Lumberton at the county meet.
“Normally, when you say rivarlies, you think it would be on bad terms, but it’s so much fun for everybody, and I think everybody was happy to see each other do well,” Diehl said.
The rivalry between the schools extended to the boys conference singles title, in which Lumberton’s Randy Chavis beat Fairmont’s Alex Britt, the defending state singles champion, for the conference singles title.
At the state meet, the two didn’t get to meet again, as the power went out, causing the individual championship to be postponed.
Lumberton’s boys lost to Millbrook in the first round of the roll-off. The girls won their first round matchup, then upset No. 1 Jack Britt in the finals.
After the boys team championships wrapped up, the LBC was among the businesses affected by a power outage caused by a blown transformer nearby. An outage during the singles competition caused a delay that lasted over an hour before tournament officials decided to postpone singles play.
Robert Kline, the county’s bowling director, said the tournament would operate differently because of the delay.
Each county will have its own qualifying meet, all the scores will be compiled. The top four bowlers for each gender will meet in Fayetteville at a later date to participate in the roll offs, Kline said.