Eight high school bowling teams converged on Plaza Lanes last Saturday to compete in the Blue Mountain College Prep Bowling Tournament.

Alley squads from as far away as East Union and Lewisburg were on hand competing for the boys and girls team championships. Individual champions were also awarded.

All five area schools – Corinth, Kossuth, Alcorn Central, Biggersvile and first year program Tishomingo County – were part of the field. Mantachie was also part of the event.

Brackets were drawn up, teams seeded and matches played according to seedings, according to Tournament Director Creighton Nelms, head bowling coach at Blue Mountain College. Following bracket play, baker rounds were held. That was good for one Alcorn County team as they managed a pair of upsets after the first three rounds. The Alcorn Central boys finished third in bracket play but upset Corinth – who had upset first place Kossuth in the semifinals – ultimately capturing the boys title.

The Kossuth Lady Aggies dominated from the beginning and were never threatened as they rolled to the girls championship.

Jake Hinton of Kossuth High School won the indivual boys championship while Lauren Trantham of the Lady Aggies was the individual girls champion.

“We had a ton of good talent on hand, if not the best talent in the north Mississippi,” said Nelms. “I’m really thankful to (Plaza Lanes owner) Shane (Carmen) for all the upgrades he and (his wife) Carly have made since purchasing the bowling alley. There were 15 total teams with around 120-130 total bowlers and the building was packed all day for the tournament.”

“I am very impressed with how the coaching and talent levels of the teams has improved over the past few years,” said the tournament director. “And I was also impressed with the transition between games as well as the sportsmanship shown between all the bowlers as well as their supporters.”

According to Nelms, “This was the first Blue Mountain Bowling Invitational. We did host a holiday tournament here two years ago but this was a first of it’s kind we hope to keep it going and make it bigger and better next year.”

To that point, the BMC head coach said he has already reached out to some Tennessee teams, such as Hardin County, about being part of the tournament in the future.

As far as this years tournament, both Kossuth squads were in first place following three bracket rounds with the Lady Aggies turning in a total pin-fall of 2,482 (nearly 400 pins better than second place East Union) while the Aggies were at 2,744 (less than 100 pins ahead of second place Lewisburg) heading into the baker rounds. That’s where a couple of upsets occurred as Corinth and Alcorn Central upset higher seeded teams Lewisburg and Kossuth to face off in the finals where the Golden Bears won the title.

Individual scoring honors went to Trantham at 540 while Blue Mountain College bowling commit Hinton turned in a series of 620.

Team scores after the opening three-game series were: (Girls) Kossuth at 2,482, East Union at 2,091, Corinth at 1,909, Alcorn Central at 1,642, Tishomingo County at 1,568, Biggersville at 1,641 and Mantachie at 1,504. On the boys side Kossuth led the way with a 2,744, Lewisburg was second at 2,661 and Alcorn Central was in third at 2,628. Rounding out the boys bracket were Corinth in fourth at 2,617, East Union in fifth at 1,900, Biggersville in sixth at 1,873, Mantachie in seventh at 1,760 and Tishomingo County in eighth at 1,670.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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