The O’Fallon Township High School girls bowling team is heading back to state.
“After a long season, the week we have been looking forward to is finally upon us,” said OTHS coach Garrett Spencer. “We are headed to state to see if we can get one more win. This is shaping up to be a memorable season. We have led every tournament we bowled in this season.”
OTHS won the the IHSA Sectional over the weekend at NuBowl Lanes in Mount Vernon.
O’Fallon totaled 6,193 pins — 299 pins better than second-place Belleville East (5,894 pins), which will also advance to the state tournament this weekend at Cherry Bowl Lanes in Rockford. Other teams also advancing to state out of the Mount Vernon Sectional were Herrin and Salem, which knocked down 5,754 and 5,639, respectively.
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Other team scores at the sectional were Collinsville (5460), Harrisburg (5,442), Vandalia (5,356), Highland (5,263), Columbia (5,124), Triad (5,007), Alton (4,846), and Waterloo (4,635).
For O’Fallon, sophomore Mary Orf was the top bowler with 1,316 pins. She was followed by junior Lauren Tomaszewski (1,305), junior Hayleigh Williams (1,260), sophomore Grace Braswell (1,157), and sophomore Natalie Heltne (1,008). Maddi Thornton, a junior, bowled one game, a 147.
“Mary finished second place overall, while Lauren finished fifth. Hayleigh rolled a phenomenal 720 in the first three games. We were also able to post a 1,180 in the second game which was a new record for us,” Spencer said. “The scoring pace dropped in the afternoon, but the girls were able to adjust and still shoot a 1,020 for their final game.”
Other teams that will be at the state tournament include Machesney Park (Harlem), Sycamore, Freeport, Rockford (Guilford), Villa Park (Willowbrook), Chicago (Lindblom), Downers Grove (South), Elmhurst (York), New Lenox (Lincoln-Way West), Minooka, Joliet (West), Sterling, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, Gurnee (Warren), Antioch, Lockport Township, Oswego (East), Orland Park (Sandburg), and Tinley Park (Andrew).
O’Fallon finished in fourth-place at last year’s state tournament, which was also held at Cherry Bowl. OTHS finished 739 pins back of champion Harlem in 2017. Lockport Township was second and Waubonsie Valley was third at last year’s state tournament.
“This team is able to put up some big numbers and can adjust to score even on difficult conditions,” Spencer said of this year’s squad. “We proved that Saturday and look forward to the competition this Friday and Saturday.”