The Lady Panthers headed north to compete in the Viking Invitational in Rockford and came away with the championship trophy from a field that included six of the top 10 rated teams in Illinois.
O’Fallon had a team score of 6,018 to defeat second-place Waubonsie Valley by 19 pins.
The team opened the tournament competition on fire, bowling a 1,077 first game, which included a 253 by freshman Natalie Heltne, the 10th-highest individual game recorded during the day. Sophomore Lauren Tomaszewski took the lead for the Panthers during the afternoon session, shooting a 278 game and a 707 series. Tomaszewski’s consistent scoring allowed the super sophomore to finish the day with a second-place individual medal on the strength of a 1,304 total pin count.
“It was a fabulous day for our girls,” coach Garrett Spencer said. “Our relative youth has not been a factor in any of our major tournaments this year, and the Viking Invitational was no exception. Heltne and Tomaszewski were our biggest guns, but the rest of the girls were solid. We didn’t have many open frames in either session, allowing us to earn the satisfying and hard-fought victory over highly-ranked Waubonsie Valley.”
Closer to home, the Lady Panthers split their most recent SWC dual matches. Victories over Edwardsville and Alton were book-ended by losses to both Belleville West and Belleville East.
The Lady Maroons handed the O’Fallon girls their first defeat were the first to defeat the OTHS girls. Although most of the O’Fallon starters were able to post scores that hovered around the 200-pin mark, Belleville West won the match by 10 pins, 2,989-2,979.
The Panthers followed the loss by defeating Edwardsville 3,054-2,262 and had four of five starters post scored above the 600-pink mark. Lauren Tomaszewski and Mary Orf leading the way with a pair of 651 series. The Panthers followed this by defeating the Alton Redbirds behind Hayleigh Williams 657 series. Orf added series total of 615 pins.
Belleville East defeated O’Fallon 1,046-1,039 on Jan. 17.
Next up for O’Fallon is a rematch with Collinsville on Jan. 24. The winner of the match will determine the Southwestern Conference title.