The O’Fallon Panthers scored 6,512 pins Friday and are in second place, 43 pins behind Harlem at the IHSA boys state bowling tournament at St. Clair Bowl.
O’Fallon, looking for its first state championship, was led by senior Andrew Orf (1,358) and juniors Eli Rosenberg (1,350) and Matt Hoerner (1,335).
“I told the team they were the best we’ve had. To come out and bowl the way they did today, not knowing how the lanes were going to be and how they would break down ... it was just a great team effort,” O’Fallon coach Mike Imes said. “If we bowl tomorrow (Saturday) like we did today, we’ve got a chance to win it.”
Hononegah is in third place with 6,285 pins, followed by Triad (6,243) and Freeport (6,182).
The Knights, making their first ever state tournament appearance got scores of 1,314 from Kyle Hazelwood, 1,268 from Bryce Pisetta and 1,260 from Gavin Pisetta.
“We bowled the way we have all year. The kids went out and had fun. They helped each other and they weren’t nervous at all,” Triad coach Michael Suter said.
Rockford East (6,153), Lake Park (6,092), Belleville East (6,053), Carl Sandburg (6,051), Lyons (6,044), Lincoln-Way West 6,026 and Lockport (6,004) rounded out the top 12.
Belleville East was led by freshman Brandon Lacy (1,321) and senior David Barrett-Ness (1,319).
Local players advancing as individuals were Freeburg’s Tyler Hunter (1,315), Columbia’s Justin Budde (1,311), Highland’s Collin Korte (1,282) and Civic Memorial’s Devin Davis (1,250).
Bowling resumes at St. Clair Bowl at 9 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10.
New record set
LaSalle-Peru senior Nate Stubler bowled back-to-back perfect 300 games and set a state record to take a commanding lead after the first two rounds of the tournament.
Stubler became the first bowler in state tournament history to bowl back-to-back 300 games and set a new state record for high series with an 837 as he led the way for individual bowlers.
Stubler’s 837 series was 15 pins better than the previous mark of 822 set by Brother Rice’s Bryan Thompson in 2006 and Salem’s Alex Henseler in 2008.
Stubler finished the day with 1,642 pins, 213 more than Collinsville’s Clayton Hartman, who averaged better than 238 per game and is in second place with 1,429 pins.
“I was in first place after the first day last year, too. I just have to keep steady and focused. It got away a little bit last year,” Stubler said.
Harlem’s Jacob Nimtz is third overall with 1,424 pins, while Oak Forest’s Josh Boger (1,381) and Hononegah’s Brandon Mooney (1,364 pins) round out the top-five individuals.