O'Fallon High School girls bowling coach Garrett Spencer said he knows the Panthers face an uphill fight in order to contend for the state title this weekend at Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
All Spencer wants to see is consistency.
"Our main goal is to make it to the second day. If we do that, anything can happen,'' Spencer said. "The good thing about this team is that I think we're starting to peak.
"We had two games over 1,000 last week at the sectional and we hadn't done that all year.''
Eighth in the state finals a year ago, the Panthers will look to be even better this time around when action begins today at 9:45 a.m.
Round two is set for 1:30 p.m. The field will then be cut to the top 12 teams and top 30 individuals who will bowl the final six games Saturday.
Sectional champion Collinsville, led by seniors Sarah Crafton and Amber Burns, also is in the field and could be in trophy hunt.
Crafton, averaging 220.1, placed sixth in the 2012 state finals, while Burns placed ninth with a 218.5 average.
O'Fallon is led by the Kasza sisters. Jordan, Madison and Lindsey. A freshman, Madison Kasza averaged 206 to finish fourth at the Collinsville Sectional, which was held at Camelot Bowl.
"We've been a little inconsistent at times, but hopefully last week was our breakthrough tournament,'' Spencer said. "We've been up here (Cherry Bowl) this year and some of the girls were on the team that got eighth in state last year.
"We know the lanes and we got a chance to bowl on the pattern which will be used for the state tournament. We should be ready to go.''
Also ready to go is Collinsville which placed seventh at state in 2012. The Kahoks, led by Burns, Crafton and junior Courtney Otradovec, shot 6,253 last week to post a 340-pin victory at sectional.
"We bowled very well last week and we're hoping it carries over to this week at state,'' Kahoks coach Sean Hay said. "This is a very determined and focused group of girls right now.
"The thing that is different from the '10 team, which won the state title, is that these girls are all close friends. They pull for each other and they pick each other up when they have a bad frame or two. This is a very special group of kids.''
Burns is the top local individual hope after averaging 238 last week in waltzing to the individual sectional title.
Among her chief competition will be defending state champion Morgan Flaherty of (New Lenox) Lincoln-Way West. The top four individuals from the 2012 state finals are all competing this weekend.
Belleville East senior Katelyn Budnicki also is in the field. Budnicki averaged 195 last week to grab one of the two at-large berths at the Mount Vernon Sectional.