The Highland High School girls bowling team had a huge week of success, winning four different matches in as many days to extend its winning streak to 12.
First on Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Jan. 15, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton and won a quadrangular match over host Alton, Alton Marquette and Piasa Southwestern.
Next on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at Poplar Junction Lanes, Highland hosted Waterloo won the battle of the Bulldogs, 28-12.
Then on Wednesday, the Bulldogs returned to Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton and rolled over the host Alton Marquette Explorers 32-8.
Finally on Thursday, Highland hosted Civic Memorial and easily grounded the Eagles, 37-3, to run its cap off the six wins in the four matches to run its winning streak to a dozen and propel its overall record to a near-perfect 13-1.
The Bulldogs have not suffered a loss since its second dual match of the season when they lost to Mississippi Valley Conference rival Mascoutah to fall to an even 1-1 mark overall and 0-1 in the MVC.
The two wins over Waterloo and CM made it eight wins in a row in the conference to lift Highland’s MVC mark to 8-1, which clinched at least a share of the league title. It is the Bulldogs’ first conference title since 2015 after a two-year hiatus.
The Bulldogs will seek to win the MVC outright when they host Triad to end the regular season on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at Poplar Junction Lanes. Highland will then compete in the IHSA Alton Girls Bowling Regional Tournament Feb. 3 at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton.
Highland 37, Civic Memorial 3
To help lock up at least a share of the MVC crown Thursday at Poplar Junction, the Bulldogs conquered all 20 of the possible team points and dominated the match’s overall pin count by more than 500 pins, 2,672 to 2,146.
Highland also hoarded 17 of the 20 individual points.
Highland sophomore Kayla Rutz was the superior bowler in the match after carving out a strong 621 three-game series. She also fired a 232 middle game which ranked as the highest of the entire match. Rutz sandwiched that match-best game with games of 216 and 173, respectively.
On Senior Day, it was only fitting that Highland’s top senior bowled well as Emma Schuster rolled the second highest series at a 585. Schuster bowled ascending games of 181, 201 and 203.
Adding quality games to the Bulldogs’ victory were freshman Molly Marshall (231, 201), senior Kali Rutz (164, 161) and senior Haley Basler (162).
Highland 32, Alton Marquette 8
The Bulldogs swept all 20 team points after winning all three team games and therefore claiming the match’s overall pin count by a comfortable margin at 249 pins, 2,575 to 2,326.
Highland also edged the Explorers 12-8 in individual points.
Marshall notched the match’s highest game with a 246.
Schuster bowled her team’s top series at 529. It was comprised of games of 166, 178 and 185.
Also bowling quality games for Highland were Haley Basler (212) and Delaney Grimes (205) and Marshall (167).
Marquette’s Shelby Jones had the best series with a 619. She rolled games of 223, 204 and 192.
Highland 28, Waterloo 12
Highland took 15 of the possible 20 team points after bouncing back from a first-game loss (878 to 794) to take the final two team games, 915 to 893 and 933 to 826, and also edging Waterloo in total pins by only 45 at 2,642 to 2,597.
HHS won 13 individual points by a margin of 13-7, with Schuster and Basler sweeping all four of their possible individual points.
Waterloo had the best two series. Helen Gregson bowled the highest series with a 623, which featured the No. 1 game of 257. She also added games of 202 and 164. Sydney Menner was next on the series pylon at 570, with games of 190, 210 and 170.
For Highland, Marshall rolled the highest series (566) and highest game (213). She also had a 204 game.
Schuster was just four pins back of Marshall with a 562 series on games of 187, 171 and 204.
Also bowling good games for HHS were Kala Rutz (206, 191), Grimes (181, 171) and Basler (169).
HHS wins Alton Quad
At the Alton quad match, Highland won the match after bowling three team games of 816, 719 and 805, which bested runner-up Alton (702, 778,790), third place Alton Marquette (771, 627, 619) and fourth-place Piasa Southwestern 4th (554-605-573).
It was just three games so there was no individual placement.
Marshall fired the best game with a 242 finale. She also rolled a 181game.
Schuster (183, 176) and Kayla Rutz (182) also bowled good games for HHS.