High School Sports

Collinsville, O’Fallon ready to bring state bowling title back to metro-east

The Collinsville Kahoks and O’Fallon Panthers girls bowlers get their chance to compete against the best beginning Friday at the IHSA state bowling tournament at Cherry Bowl in Rockford.

O’Fallon and Collinsville are two of 24 teams that begin first round play at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Round two is at 1 p.m. Friday with the top 12 teams advancing to Saturday’s competition.

Top-ranked Harlem and Lockport head into tournament play as the favorites after posting the highest scores during sectional competition last week. But with the state tournament lane pattern not released until the practice session Thursday, the teams with the ability to adjust and remain consistent when the lanes break down will be the ones in contention late in round four Saturday afternoon.

“... For most of our girls this will be the third and for some of them the fourth time they’ve been at the state tournament. There won’t be any surprises,” Collinsville coach Sean Hay said. “It’s just a matter of being consistent and making the right adjustments when the lanes start to break down.”

Collinsville won the state championship in 2010, was runner-up in 2006 and 2015, and is making its 12th state tournament appearance in the last 13 years. The Kahoks are led by senior Madisyn Juenger, who won the regional title and was third in the sectional. Seniors Katelynn Wirtel and Zoe Howell are also key bowlers for Collinsville.

O’Fallon won the Southwestern Conference and finished second at the Belleville East sectional last week with a score of 5,941 pins, 400 behind champion Herrin. The Panthers will be led by sophomores Hayleigh Williams and Lauren Tomaszewski, and freshman Mary Orf.

The top local individual bowler competing is Dupo senior Courtney Argus, who led the Southern Illinois High School Bowling Conference this year with a 230 average. Other local bowlers are Waterloo’s Makensy Umscheid and Kristen Goersch, and Cahokia’s Mary Banks.