It was five years ago when the Collinsville Kahoks broke through to become the first team from Southern Illinois to win the IHSA state girls bowling team championship.
On Friday at Cherry Bowl in Rockford, Collinsville took a major step toward its second state crown.
Senior Lizzy Barger averaged 218 for her six games and four teammates averaged at a 201 clip or better as Collinsville took a commanding 139-pin lead over (Aurora) Waubonsie Valley after the first two rounds of the 2015 state finals.
Barger was the model of consistency as she rolled series of 647 and 639 for Collinsville, whose five bowlers had pin totals between 1,207 and 1,286 to finish with a total of 6,310 pins. Waubonsie Valley is at 6,171 pins, 29 ahead of third-place Oswego East.
Barger is in 18th place indvidually with her score of 1,286. But the Kahoks leader on Friday also got help from Zoe Howell (1,279), Katelynn Wirtel (1,276), Lindsey Collins (1,262) and Madisyn Juenger (1,207).
Lockport (6,131) and (Conant) Hoffman Estates (5,981) round out the top five teams in the 24-team event. Herrin, which won the O’Fallon Sectional last week at St. Clair Bowl, grabbed the 12th and final spot into the final two rounds with a score of 5,781 pins.
O’Fallon placed 16th and failed to qualifiy for the second day. The Panthers score of 5,640 was led by junior Madison Kasza who shot a 1,302. Kasza is in 16th place and will compete as an individual. Lemont High School sophomore Kyra Udzierla is the individual leader — rolling series of 704 and 693 — for a total of 1,397.
Mascoutah senior Courtney Wombacher is tied for 82nd with a 1,150 score.
Action continues at Cherry Bowkl with rounds three and four on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.