After several near misses during the regular season, the Belleville East Lancers finally hit their mark Saturday at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville.
Senior Thomas Peters averaged just over 230 for six games while teammate Sean Hoyt carried a 223 average as the Lancers captured the team title at the Mascoutah Sectional.
Taking a backseat to Southern Illinois High School Bowling Conference powers O'Fallon and Alton for much of the regular season, the Lancers took advantage of their home lanes to finish with a total of 6,378 pins, 119 more than runner-up Carbondale.
Peters, who led the SIHSBC in scoring with a 232 average, finished with a total of 1,385 pins, just six pins behind individual champion Charles Orman of Alton (1,391).
Hoyt finished with a score of 1,343, while two other Lancers, Justin Hess (1,294) and Tyler Kuykendall (1,231), also averaged better than 200.
The win lifts East into the boys state bowling tournament, which begins Friday at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights.
Carbondale (6,207), Alton (6,207), O'Fallon (6,132), Belleville West (6,098) and Collinsville (6,075) also earned state berths by placing in the top six of the 12-team event.
Three local individuals also will advance. Spencer Jerome (1,326) and Cameron Touchette (1,308), both of Columbia, qualified for state, as did Mascoutah junior Zack Miller (1,297).
O'Fallon, which finished undefeated in SWC play and had been the No. 1 ranked team in the state earlier in the season, struggled for the second straight week
Seniors Billy Goodman (1,257) and Mikaid Stewart (1,249) led the way for O'Fallon.
Fifth-place West had four bowlers with over 200 averages, while sixth-place Collinsville had three.
Sophomore Brandon Gregory (1,289) led West, while Nathan Bovinette (1,276), Ethan Seaman (1,264) and Jared Obermeyer (1,201) also helped out.
Collinsville was paced by Branden Boehnke (1,274), Clayton Hartman (1,271) and Eddie Fiudo (1,213).