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Back-to-back perfection

Canyon Ridge faces Twin Falls bowling

Twin Falls junior Griffen Magee picks up the spare during a head-to-head match against Canyon Ridge on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at Bowladrome in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — Griffen Magee has defied the odds.

During youth league bowling Tuesday, Magee bowled back-to-back perfect games.

That’s 24 strikes. He actually bowled strikes in the last four frames of his first game, bringing that total to 28 straight strikes.

“I was so excited,” Magee said. “I was yelling and cheering.”

In league, bowlers compete in three games and are ranked based on the total number of points accrued throughout all three games. Magee bowled 300s in the second and third game of the night.

According to LeAnna Magee, Advisor for the youth league, the odds of an adult male bowling a perfect game of 300 points is 11,500 to 1. For professionals, those odds are 1 in 450.

Bowling back-to-back 300s, the chances are approximately 1 in 30,909.

“It was pretty impressive,” LeAnna Magee said.

Not only was this the first time Griffen Magee had bowled a 300, but it was also the first time any youth bowler had accomplished a perfect game in this youth league.

“We’ve never had one here in Twin Falls,” LeAnna Magee said.

Griffen Magee has been chasing the dream of a perfect game for quite some time. He began bowling when he was two years old. Within a few years, Magee was pretty accurate with a ball.

The youth bowling league has a state tournament every year. Each team qualifies five bowlers, known as the “High Five” for being the highest-scoring athletes on the team.

“I’ve competed at state every year since I was nine,” he said.

In all that time, he never accomplished a perfect game…until now.

Magee recalls the night pretty clearly. His first game was not great, totaling only a 163. By the ninth and tenth frame, he began to get in a groove.

“I hit my mark and found my line,” Magee said.

On the last ball, he could feel the weight of the people behind him.

“During the 10th frame, I always keep my head down,” he said. “I don’t look back because I know how many people are behind me watching. I just try to shake out the nerves.”

When the final pin fell to the lane, a wave of excitement and relief swept over Magee. He finally achieved his goal.

“I felt like the pressure was over,” he said.

But there was still another game to bowl.

Magee continued to hit strikes, not thinking much about the reality of the situation. He was focused on competing.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I thought maybe I could do another one, but I didn’t really think it was possible until about the 7th or 8th frame.”

All of a sudden, there was a new objective in sight.

When the final ball left his hands, crashing into the pins and knocking them all over, the full extent of his accomplishment set in.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Magee said.

Magee will be back out on the lanes for his senior season with the Twin Falls High School team this winter. The first scheduled match will be on Dec. 6 at Bowladrome.

Looking ahead, Magee already has a new goal in mind.

“I want to be in the 800 series,” he said.

The 800 series refers to a bowler earning 800 points (out of a total of 900) in three games. The closest Magee has gotten is 778.

With what he’s already achieved, that dream might not be far off.

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