PERU – Three area teams advanced to next weekend’s girls state bowling finals by virtue of their performance Saturday at Super Bowl Lanes in the LaSalle-Peru Sectional.
The top four teams and five individuals not on a qualifying team will bowl at Cherry Bowl in Rockford beginning Friday.
Lincoln-Way West used a school-record 1,100 third game to capture the sectional title with a six-game total of 6,016. It was the Warriors’ first sectional title in the sport, and it will be their second team trip to the finals.
Minooka was second (5.995) in qualifying for the third consecutive year, and Joliet West qualified by finishing third (5,882). The Tigers return to Rockford after winning the 2016 state title.
Plainfield Central finished sixth (5,432) but did have Megan Allensworth qualify as an individual.
“We have finished second so many times this year in tournaments, we finally ran out of them,” a happy Warriors coach Scott Jablonski said. “I told the girls toward the end of the season that if we were going to win a tournament, let’s make it sectionals. Now we get our name in the gym on a banner as a sectional champion. It’s so hard to do, especially at a smaller school like West.
“I gave all the girls realistic goals to achieve today to be successful. They came together as a team, achieved those goals and they all did their part. It was truly a total team effort.”
Warriors sophomore Mackenzie Ullian finished second overall, rolling a 1,403 series. She missed the sectional title by 12 pins to Yorkville’s Katie Orisek, who bowled a 300 final game to pass Ullian.
“It’s pretty nice to win and it was a total team win, which was nice,” Ullian said. “It was tough to be leading most of the day, but it did take a 300 to beat me and I’m very happy with the way I bowled.”
Olivia Daujatas (1,223) finished 13th for West, with Emily Paul (1,194) 19th, Alexandria Krupske 30th and Elizabeth Prynn 45th.
Minooka had three in the top 12 as Gina Russell (1,262) was sixth, Kristina Sickler (1,243) 10th and Megan Gillson (1,228) 12th.
“It was a roller-coaster ride today, but you get that when you are as young as we are,” Minooka coach Frank Yudzentis said. “But as long as we continue to believe in the process, we have a chance to be very good. We didn’t have to be first today, just in the top four, because now we are going to the state finals, and that is what matters.”
Joliet West was led by the third-place finish of junior Camryn Feehan, who bowled a 1,364.
“It’s been an amazing experience and I owe so much to coach [Jeff] Bailey,” Feehan said. “He has stuck with me since my freshman year, has been by my side through all the ups and downs. That is why, when I bowled my 269 today, I dedicated that game to him.”
“It feels good to get back to state,” Bailey said. “We dug ourselves a hole early again today, with being in eighth after the first game, but this team battled, pulled together again and came through. We subbed some today and everyone stepped up and did their job. Camryn [Feehan] has been phenomenal, especially the last two weeks.”
Allensworth, the Plainfield Central senior, slipped during her fourth game, but bowled well in games five and six to secure the third individual qualifying spot. She finished fifth overall with a 1,306.
“It’s an incredible feeling,” Allensworth said. “I was a little nervous after my fourth game, but I got it back together and bowled well the last two games.”
Individually, Morris’ Cadenz Fitzgerald finished 14th and Olivia Schultz 32nd. Angela Juskie of Lincoln-Way East was 23rd and Tara Tindall of Joliet Central finished 35th.