Horton qualifies for bowling state finals
Sullivan High School senior Tanner Horton won the boys division in the singles competition at the Indiana High School Bowling Semi-state tournament at Anderson on Saturday.
He had a three-game series of 678, which placed him third going into the four-person step ladder finals.
“In the first game of the step-ladder final, Tanner beat a boy from Evansville Central 205-196,” said SHS bowling coach Brian Hazelrigg. “In the second game, Tanner beat a boy from Greenfield Central 155-124 to advance to the championship match.
“Then Tanner won the semi-state and qualified for state when he defeated a kid from Perry Meridian 232-184.”
Horton, who was sectional champion at Terre Haute this season, is a transfer from Terre Haute South. Hazelrigg has watched and now coached him throughout his career.
“As far as his season, this is his first for him to bowl at Sullivan,” said Hazelrigg. “Tanner bowled the past three years for Terre Haute South before coming to Sullivan this year.
“He always encourages other bowlers to do well and helped them if they asked. He always has good sportsmanship and after any match he would shake the other teams hand and tell them good job, no matter if he won or lost. Over the three years that I have watched him bowl for Terre Haute South and the one year I got to coach him, he has always been a good kid and had a good attitude towards bowling.”
Hazelrigg said that Horton bowls for SHS in a scratch league against Terre Haute North, Terre Haute South, South Vermillion and Riverton Parke.
“There are 190 schools over the state of Indiana with over 300 kids participating,” said the Sullivan coach. “Tanner was one of the top five averages for the year in our scratch league locally.
“He also bowls in the Wabash High School Travel League. This is a handicap league, a club sport for high schools in the South division and for this year Tanner had the top average.”
The coach added that Horton’s bowling style is a little different from standard.
“Tanner basically bowls with one hand and does not put his thumb in the ball for most of his shots,” said Hazelrigg. “He only puts the two standard fingers in the ball.
“The only time he uses his thumb is to pick up certain spares. He is very consistent at his bowling and that is why he has one of the better averages in the league.”
During the semi-state, Horton picked up a 2-8-10 split during the championship match, according to Hazelrigg.
“This is a very difficult spare to get,” said Hazelrigg. “When Tanner got that spare, it pretty much led to him winning the championship.
“I think if he wouldn’t have got that spare, the other bowler would have gotten right back in the game. Picking up the spare also gave Tanner a big boost to finish the game.”
Horton will now compete in the state finals this Saturday at Pro Bowl West in Fort Wayne.
“There will be 24 boys competing for the state singles,” said Hazelrigg. “I am pleased that he earned the chance to go to state finals, especially being a senior.”