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L-M bowlers claim Crawford Cup despite Madsen's perfect game
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PREP BOWLING

L-M bowlers claim Crawford Cup despite Madsen's perfect game

Marcus Madsen's 300 game gave the Muscatine boys bowling team its second perfect game of the season Monday night.

Teammate Noah Miller rolled a 300 earlier in the season, giving the Muskies two of the three recorded in the state this season.

The other belongs to Decorah senior Tyler Thompson.

"I"ve been in that scenario a lot," said Madsen, "I've had a lot of 290s, 298s, 299s, but that was the first 300. Being through it before helped a lot with the pressure of it."

However, Madsen's 300 at Muscatine's Rose Bowl during the Muskies' match against Louisa-Muscatine wasn't enough as the Falcons captured the victory, claiming the Crawford Cup that goes to the winner each year.

The boys and girls scores are combined to determine the winner of the trophy, but L-M took each side. The Falcon girls team won 2816-2540, and the L-M boys claimed a 3028-2933 win over Muscatine.

While Madsen's perfect game was in progress, he was quick to tell teammates not to worry about a prospective jinx.

"I was telling them 'Keep going, I don't need it to be quiet, don't mess me up,'" said Madsen. "It was definitely fun to be able to follow (Noah) with a 300."

The match between the two sides is as friendly as it is competitive so other bowlers from both teams were quick to congratulate Madsen, a senior, on the 300.

"I wouldn't have wanted to do it against anyone other than them," he said. "They're an amazing team. They beat us, but we just loved to be able to come out and bowl against them."

But afterwards, it was back to business.

"It's friendly, there's some friendly banter, everybody wants to bowl well, but (the two teams) bowl together and practice together a lot," Muscatine coach Triscia Klein said. "The competition is good because it's healthy and friendly.

"We were excited not just for Marcus, but we bowled our highest score as a team ... There were a lot of positives. The kids felt good. We have a lot to look forward to."

Madsen's perfect game came in the second of the two-game individual series that started the proceedings. It came after an opening game of 185. That score was beaten by all but one of the opposing Falcons' six-person lineup as well as two teammates. But the 300 gave Madsen the individual two-game high score at 485.

"It was pretty amazing to see a teammate (bowl a 300)," said Miller, who recorded his against Davenport Central at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 5. "It was even on the same lanes that I did it. It just adds another level to it."

Louisa-Muscatine sophomore Allen Stauffer led the Falcons with a 460. Muscatine's Miller came in at 450 as L-M led 2122-2009 on the boys side going into the Baker games, of which the Falcons won three of five.

"We share the house (the Rose Bowl) with Muscatine, so we know all of them," said Louisa-Muscatine sophomore Keaten Bieri. "We didn't bowl our best, but it feels good to get the victory."  

The girls side wasn't quite as close.

Falcon seniors Madisyn Gerdts and Clair Wilson separated from most the pack early, posting two of the three scores over 210 in the first individual game. 

Wilson led all after the two-game individual series with a 471. Gerdts bowled a 425. Muskie sophomore Arianna Aguilar, who had the other of the three top first-rounds scores with a 216, ended with a 407 series to lead the Muscatine girls.

But the combination of Gerdts and Wilson leading the Falcons' six bowlers gave L-M a 1964-1691 lead after the individual series concluded, and that proved too much.

Even though the Muskie girls would take three of the five Baker games, L-M margin of victory in the two wins was enough to give them a three-pin win in the Baker round, which only added to the lead the Falcons had already built.

"I wish we could do this a few times a year," Louisa-Muscatine coach Al Jordan said. "It's good for the bowlers and their families - parents, grandparents - it's just a great time. We got the win and Marcus shot a 300, it doesn't get any better than that."

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