Belleville East sophomore Abby Gray averaged just over 224 for six games Friday and is in second place after the first day of competition at the IHSA Girls State Bowling Tournament at the Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
One week after taking individual honors at the Mount Vernon Sectional, Gray put together (3 game) series of 652 and 692 and has 1,344 pins, two less than tournament leader Kylie Frick, of Schaumburg, with six games remaining Saturday.
With Gray leading the way and teammate Grace Kowalski (1,207 pins) also averaging better than 200, the Lancers are in ninth place with 5,677 pins and are one of 12 teams who qualified for the final two rounds. Bowling begins 9 a.m. Saturday with round three. The fourth and final round starts at 1 p.m.
Machesney Park Harlem leads the tournament with 6,153 pins. The Huskies' total is 198 pins more than second place Schaumburg (5,955) while Hoffman Estates is third in the team competition with 5,897, 38 pins more than fourth place Rockford Guilford with 5,859 pins.
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Regional and sectional tournament champion O'Fallon hoped to be a contender for the title entering play Friday, but the Panthers got off to a miserable start and are in seventh place with 5,713 pins. Fourth in the state finals a year ago, the Panthers are 146 pins out of third place entering play Saturday. The top three teams earn trophies.
Junior Lauren Tomaszewski averaged over 209 for her six games as she led the way for the Panthers. Currently 10th in the individual competition with 1, 259 pins, Tomaszewski had series of 602 and 657. O'Fallon sophomore Natalie Heltne is currently in 23rd place with 1,216 pins.
Freeburg senior Stephanie Jacobs finished the first two rounds in 63rd place with 1,130 pins, while Hailey Gardner of Collinsville is 66th with 1,123 pins and Emma Schuster of Highland is 73rd with 1,109 pins.