High School Sports

Metro-east keglers ready to strike at bowling sectional

The 2014-15 season had been one of inconsistency for the Collinsville Kahoks bowling team.

Despite being in contention for the Southwestern Conference championship until the final week of the season and several solid tournament finishes, the Kahoks spent much of their time searching and waiting. Searching for those one or two scores each night that would take the Kahoks to next level and patiently waiting for that day to happen.

Last Saturday at Bowl Haven in Alton, it did. Getting six game totals of 1,417 pins from Branden Boehnke and a score of 1,386 from Clayton Hartmann, the Kahoks won the Alton Regional as they defeated O’Fallon by 158 pins for the regional title.

“It wasn’t like we had been bowling bad or anything. We’ve had a good season and done well in the tournaments that we’ve bowled in. It’s all season long we haven’t been able to get that four or fifth score a lot of nights,” Kahoks coach Sean Hay said. “We’ve had three or four good scores each time out. It’s just each night we;ve had one or two bowlers who have been a little off. And, it hadn’t been just one person. We’ve all taken our turns.

“But on Saturday we not only had great performances from Brendan and Clayton, but our fourth and fifth bowlers came through for us. Hopefully, we can have the same kind of performance on Saturday.

Regional champions Collinsville and Belleville West will lead a large contingent of bowlers from the Southern Illinois High School Bowling Conference into action at the Herrin Sectional which is being held at Southern Illinois Bowl in Carterville beginning at 9 a.m.

One of four sectionals, the Herrin Sectional is the final step to the IHSA Boys State Bowling Tournament on Jan. 30-31 at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon.

O’Fallon, Alton, Civic Memorial, Belleville East, Cahokia and Mascoutah and Highland are also at the Herrin Sectional. The top six teams and top seven individuals not on those six teams will advance to the state finals.

“The one thing that the new (regional-sectional) format does is seperates the good teams. I was looking at all the teams which advanced to the sectional and the average (six game) totals is over 6,000 pins. That’s awfully good when you consider the pressure and lane conditions,“ Hay said. “It’s going to come down to who is able to adjust to the lanes wqhen they start to change and who bowls the best. One thing is for sure. The 24 teams which get to state, deserve to be there.”

Belleville West, which won the Cahokia Regional at Red Bird Lanes last week, also has high hopes of advancing. The Maroons got totals of over 1,240 each from Nathan Bovinette, TJ Cole and Malik Ballard last week they nipped Cahokia foir the title. SWC champion O’Fallon also the talent needed to advance while individual regional tournament champions Cameron Touchette of Columbia and Lucas Deimeke of Mater Dei are top hopes at Carterville.