David Becker / Special to the Home News
Monday, Feb. 9, 2009 | 6 p.m.
Coronado senior bowler Alex Katz had been relying on her spare shot all season.
It was only fitting that her ability to record a spare was the deciding factor at the Clark County High Schools MVP Bowling Tournament at Cashman Center on Friday.
Katz spared her final three frames to claim the girls championship, and $750 in scholarship money, by defeating defending champion Brianna Mullins from Rancho 177-172 in the final game.
Despite a more difficult lane surface, Katz had a 199 game average in the tournament.
"It was probably her best performance of the year," Coronado coach Bob McKee said. "There are others that may roll harder than she does, but Alex has the best spare shot in the city."
While Katz had an easy time on the lanes, which were built for August's U.S. Bowling Congress Open Championships, it was another story for the boys.
Western's Justin Gelsinger defeated Rancho's Steven Ashley 189-182 in a low scoring finals to claim the boys title and $750 scholarship prize.
Katz's brother, Jordan Katz, bowled the high game of the tournament with a 245.
"The lanes are a little bit more oily so you don't see as much action on the ball," said Jordan Katz, who has averaged a 217 game this season.
Silverado bowler Zachary Hattori, who took third, said the challenging lanes were a perfect setting for the individual tournament.
"This is a really fun tournament," Hattori said. "It's a little calmer than the (county championship) because you're just relying on yourself."
The tournament, which was hosted by the U. S. Bowling Congress and not a Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association sanctioned event, featured 120 bowlers from 33 Clark County schools.
The Orleans and Gold Coast bowling centers donated $4,100 in scholarship money to the top six bowlers as well as the high game in the boys and girls division.
Alex Katz, who has helped Coronado win three consecutive girls county titles, said the tournament is a warm-up for the regional championships, which begin Thursday at The Orleans.
The other girls who placed included: Durango's Melissa Huether at third, Bonanza's Hannah Chipman at fourth, Clark's Jackie Southam at fifth, Basic's Shauna Padderatz at sixth, and Palo Verde's Shelsey Mateo, who had the high game of 203.
The other boys who placed included: Foothill's Jakob Buttruff at fourth, Bishop Gorman's Nate Leavitt at fifth and Coronado's Brandon Dauphinais at sixth.
Sean Ammerman can be reached at 990-2661 or [email protected].