The Kasza connection has put the O'Fallon Panthers in trophy contention following the first two rounds of the girls state bowling tournament Friday at Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
Sophomore Madison Kasza and senior Jordan Kasza both averaged 218 while senior Lindsay Kasza was close behind with a 216 to lead the way for O'Fallon, which is in fourth place after the opening day of competition.
Fresh off a sectional-winning performance last week at Bowl Haven Lanes in Godfrey, the Panthers picked up where they left off, finishing the first six games with a total of 6,008 pins, 414 behind (Aurora) Waubonsie Valley, which leads the field with 6,422 pins.
Madison Kasza was the most consistent of the trio, shooting series of 643 and 667, which is good for a tie for 14th place individually at 1,310.
Jordan Kasza had series of 704 and 605 and is alone in 16th at 1,309. Lindsay Kasza is 18th after series of 714 and 578 for a 1,292 total.
(Franklin Park-Northlake) Leyden is in second in the team competition with 6,231 pins. (Machesney Park) Harlem (6,081), O'Fallon, Minooka (5,947) and Collinsville (5,880) round out the first six schools.
Alton placed 19th with a total of 5,514 pins and failed to qualify for the final two rounds of bowling, which begin at 9:30 a.m. today.
Collinsville is led by freshman Katelynn Wirtel, who had an unusual day on the lanes. Wirtel started the day with a 244 game, then fired 12 straight strikes for a perfect 300. She then finished her morning session with a 243 and was the leader with a 787 series.
Wirtel then started the second session with a 138, before rebounding with games of 211 and 217 to finish with a 566 series. She is in seventh in the individual competition with a 1,353 total.
Wirtel trails Waubonsie Valley senior Julia Bond by 92 pins. Bond averaged 240 and has a score of 1,445.
Madisyn Juenger (1,172) and Courtney Otradovec (1,137) also had solid days for Collinsville.
Belleville East sophomore Katey Sauerwein averaged 220.2 and is in 11th with a 1,321 total. Sauerwein had series of 727 and 594.
Triad junior Michelle Fresen is 62nd with 1,179. She averaged 195.4 for her six games.