O'FALLON — A trip down memory lane proved to be a pleasant experience for the Rockford Guilford Vikings boys bowling team on Saturday at St. Clair Bowl.
And a painful one for the O'Fallon Panthers
Trailing host and first-day leader O'Fallon by 188 pins after seven games, the Vikings put together five games of 1,011 or better the rest of the way to earn their second state championship.
The turning point of the two-day event proved to be the eighth game -- and Saturday's second game --where the Vikings outscored O'Fallon 1,202-999 to grab a 15-pin lead.
Guilford never looked back, as getting final series of 649 from Sam Dobel and 643 from Daltin Kafka, the Vikings easily captured the title.
The comeback is the second in four years for Guilford, which in 2011 trailed Vernon Hills by 163 pins after the first day but rallied to win the title by 309.
The victory this time was 105 pins over three-time state champion (Tinley Park) Andrew and 137 pins over O'Fallon, but just as rewarding for Vikings coach Brad Sommer.
"Because of what we did in '11, I felt like we had a chance coming into the competition today,'' Sommer said. ""We knew the lanes would break down. They always do on the second day with so many aggressive bowlers. It was just a matter of making the proper adjustments and we did that.(*16*)
"I don't think you can ever say one state title means more than another. With so many great bowling teams in the state to be able to win a state championship is incredible. I'm very proud of my team.''
Guilford finished with 13,107 pins, while Andrew was second with 13,002. O'Fallon, second in the 2013 state finals, earned the third-place trophy with 12,970 pins.
Ranked No. 1 in the state for part of the season, the Panthers thrilled a large O'Fallon turnout with an impressive performance Friday, as all five of its bowlers averaged 210 or better.
But after rolling a 1,178 in its first game Saturday, O'Fallon struggled with three games below 1,000 the rest of the way.
"I guess every team made the right adjustments except us,'' O'Fallon coach Mike Imes said. "We knew Guilford was capable of putting up some big numbers and while we were watching them and they were watching us, Andrew came up strong in the afternoon and got us for third place.
"I know the boys are down right now, but it's been a great season and a great four years. We've finished sixth, fourth, second and third the last four years at state. That's awfully good.''
(Machesney Park) Harlem (12,727) and Minooka (12,602) rounded out the top five teams.
Alton was seventh with a team score of 12,430. Collinsville placed eighth at 12,414.
Individually, (New Lenox) Lincoln-Way West senior Joshuan Glover put the finishing touch on a record-setting weekend as he set a state tournament record with a 12-game total of 2,967 pins.
Glover, who averaged 247.3, broke the record of 2,963 set by Alex Henseler of Salem in 2008. Glover, who had series of 751 and 791 on Friday, posted a 300 on Saturday and finished with series of 741 and 684.
"I had no idea that I had broken the record until the last game was over and coach came over and told me. To be a senior and bowling in my last state tournament, to win a state title ... well it doesn't get any better then that,'' Glover said. "This means a lot. I told my mom (Tonya) this year that I was going to bowl a 300 game. It's my first one of the year.''
Brandon Biondo of (Algonquin) Jacobs was second with a 2,878 total. Biondo averaged 239.8 for his 12 games.
Rounding out the top five bowlers were Dakota Vostry of Romeoville (2,841), Perry Sibby of (Richton Park) Southland College Prep (2,873) and Livio Boizon of (Chicago) Whitney Young (2,767).
Two local bowlers earned all-state honors by placing in the top 12. O'Fallon senior Mikaid Stewart placed eighth with a 2,729 total. Alton's Lucas Pejakovic was ninth at 2,697.
O'Fallon also got a 24th- and 25th-place finish from Daman McIntire (2,594) and Billy Goodman (2,586).
Collinsville was led by Eddie Fiudo, who placed 33rd with a score of 2,577.
Other local individual bowlers included Justin Hess of Belleville East, who placed 22nd with a score of 2,612, Ethan Seaman of Belleville West, who was 30th with a score of 2,580, Zack Miller of Mascoutah, who was 37th at 2,565, Thomas Peters of Eastm, who was 38th at 2,561, and Tyler Kuykendall, of East, who was 49th at 2,493.
The metro east did have one state champion as Mascoutah sophomore Fletcher Hopkins won the wheelchair division. Hopkins had games of 115 and 159.