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Bowling Tourney Presents Hawk-Size Challenge

Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
          Release: 11/17/2011
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Cherise Poole bowled a career-high 235 at the MEAC Southern Division Meet last week.
Courtesy: NC A&T Sports Information
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What: The North Carolina A&T Bowling Team in the Hawk Classic

When:  Friday, Nov. 18-Sunday, Nov. 20

Where: Millsboro, Del.

Host: Maryland Eastern Shore

Breaking it down:  The North Carolina A&T bowling team left town early on Thursday morning for its 387-mile trek to Millsboro, Del., for the three-day Hawk Classic Tournament at Millsboro Lanes. 

The Aggies (12-24, 2-8) will be one of 20 teams, including many of the Top 20 in the nation, at the Hawk Classic, which is hosted by the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  The Aggies are looking to have a strong tournament against tough competition, following a 2-8 finish last weekend in the 2011 MEAC Southern Division #1 Tournament which they hosted at Gate City Lanes.  It was their first weekend taking on MEAC South Division opponents. 

Last time out: Last week, the Aggies went 0-5 in bakers play and finished with a 2-3 record on Saturday, highlighted by a tournament-high and career-high 235 game by sophomore Cherise Poole in the team's victory against Florida A&M on Nov 12.   Poole is from New Castle, Del.,  so she's heading back to familiar territory this weekend. "Cherise Poole has really been improving, going after her goal that she set this year," said N.C. A&T head coach James Williams.

 What did he say: "High spare percentage shooting is basically all that we're looking for this weekend. Every week things are getting better.  They're throwing quality shots and making up spares, which is a big improvement from the first two tournaments.  We're looking forward to the execution on that part this weekend."        

Head Coach James Williams on his team's improvement

"There are a number of different drills that we do," Williams said. "I use cones to make sure they're throwing the ball accurately without moving the ball every which way.  We set up the actual spares that they missed and let them shoot at that.   We talk about the actual techniques as far as positions where the ball needs to go, where the pin needs to hit, watching our pin deflection, ball deflection...those types of things."

Head Coach James Williams on how he plans to improve his team's spare percentage

The strategy: The Hawk Classic Tournament features five sets of quad baker-game series on Friday, five traditional team games on Saturday, and best 4-of-7 baker game matches on Sunday.  To help prepare for the Tournament, Williams has been working with his team on improving spare percentage in practice.

With just five players on his team, Williams will not be tinkering too much with his starting lineup at the tournament.   For the most part, he has started his team in the following order: senior Janae McCaskey, sophomore Shameka Williams, Poole, junior Amber Brown and senior April Terry.

 "I'm only five players right now, so I really don't have a whole lot of options.  Mainly my 1 and 2 positions are interchangeable with the two people I put up there.  So which ever one's going to give me a spark usually goes there," Williams said.  "My 3 and 4 are pretty much interchangeable as well, so whichever one is throwing the ball best to set equal up more into the tenth frame is how I put them in."

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