Despite moving into an older age category from last year, Whitehorse’s Cassandra Ponsioen took in her best placement at the Youth Bowling Canada 2012 National Championships on Monday in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Ponsioen, one of three Yukoners there competing in fivepin, finished seventh in the senior girls division.
The 16-year-old won five of her 12 games, bowled four games over 200 and produced a high score of 271 in a win over Northern Ontario.
“She was quite hot off the start; she had four wins in her first five matches,” said Yukon coach Kevin Murphy. “For the first half of the day she was right among the leaders there.”
Ponsioen, who finished ninth in junior girls last year, had an average of 185.33, more than 20 points above her average in 2011.
Unfortunately for Ponsioen, and fellow Yukoners Matthew Mendham and Gavin Young, the championships were truncated due to weather. With four contingents unable to land due to fog blanketing the St. John’s airport, the first day of competition was cancelled. So instead of 24 games over two days, the nationals consisted of 12 in one day.
“The organizers of the tournament decided to cancel the first day of the competition and wait for the other contingents to arrive,” said Murphy. “So it was interesting because there was only one round, which meant that it was really wide open.
“It gave us an extra day to enjoy Newfoundland and see the sights.”
As luck would have it, on the day of cancellation Ponsioen’s game was on fire.
“The day it was cancelled we went to the alleys just to bowl for fun and Cassandra bowled a 305,” said Murphy. “That’s an exceptional game. And that was in glow-in-the-dark bowling, which is even tougher.”
Young placed 11th in the junior boys division. He won three games, defeating N.W.T., New Brunswick and fourth-place’s Saskatchewan.
He produced an average score of 162.17 and logged a high score of 211.
Mendham bowled five games over 200 but was held to just one win, defeating Newfoundland in the senior boys division.
He averaged 186.83 with a high score of 235.
“If we had bowled all 24 games instead of 12, Matthew would have started to win some of these games,” said Murphy. “He was just the victim of some bad fortune.”
Some bad fortune indeed. Mendham lost a game by one point to Manitoba, who went on to take fourth. He also dropped a lead in another loss when his opponent went on a run of strikes.
“I was very pleased with how well he bowled,” said Murphy. “He was snake-bit. He had a 229 and the other guy beat him by one point.
“In the game he bowled a 235 he was leading all the way and the other fellow had five strikes within three frames – because on the 10th frame you can throw three strikes – and won the game by about nine points.
“He was bowling extremely well but was not getting the breaks.”
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