High School Sports

O’Fallon, Belleville East among schools competing at state bowling tournament

Fresh off wins at both the regional and sectional tournaments, the O’Fallon Panthers will begin their quest for an elusive state championship when they lead a large group of local teams into the IHSA Boys State Bowling Tournament at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights.

In all, 24 of the top teams and 30 individuals in Illinois will compete in the two-day, 12-game event, which begins first-round play at 9 a.m. Friday. Round two will follow at 1 p.m.

O’Fallon, which has earned the third-place trophy in three of the past four years, looks to be the top local hope once again after winning the Mount Vernon sectional last week.

Collinsville, like the host Panthers, won a regional tournament title two weeks ago and is in the field, along with Belleville East, Freeburg, Columbia and Alton.

Defending champion Machesney Park Harlem is also in the field, as is perennial state power Rockton Hononegah.

Following the first day of competition, the field will be cut to the top 12 teams and 30 individuals not on those teams, who will compete in the final six games on Saturday. Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. The doors open to the public at 8 a.m. both days.