ORLANDO -- The Coral Springs Charter boys’ and girls’ bowling teams had high hopes entering the first day of the Florida High School Athletic Association state finals Wednesday at Boardwalk Bowl.
But senior Jessica Mellott will be the lone bowler competing Thursday when the tournament resumes, along with Coral Glades senior Krystina Nealon.
Mellott, who competed at states as a freshman, recorded the second-best qualifying score (915) of the day behind Adrianna Stacy (951) of Seabring, while Nealon’s 880 was good for fourth overall.
Nealon, who placed sixth a year ago after losing her first match, got through the first day of competition unbeaten after shaking off a rusty regular season that required more attention to her “spare-shooting game.”
“I was struggling this season compared to last year and knew I had to pull it out at districts to get back to states,” Nealon said. “My goal is to finish better than I did last year, and I don’t regret any shot that I threw [Wednesday].”
Coral Glades finished 33rd as a team.
Nealon opens the second day of the tournament against Jenna Naclerio, who defeated Mellott in three games. Mellott takes on Shelly Goodwin in an elimination match.
The top 16 teams and individuals of the qualifying phase advanced to the championship bracket.
“We came in really determined, but by the second or third game we fell a little,” Mellott said of her team. “By the fourth game we thought we had a shot, but we fell a few pins short. It is disappointing, but in the long run it’s a good experience for everyone to have.”
Although the Coral Springs girls’ squad missed the cut by placing 20th — 85 points behind Hagerty — the boys’ team qualified for the best-of-5 championship format as the eighth seed.
But despite holding a 2-1 lead over Apopka in the first round, Coral Springs was eliminated by a score of 3-1 to Lake Brantley.