The O’Fallon Panthers will renew their pursuit of that cherished state tournament trophy beginning Friday at the IHSA Girls State Bowling Tournament at Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
The top team in the Southern Illinois High School Bowling Conference throughout the 2018-19 season, O’Fallon has six top 10 finishes in the state finals since 2009, but has yet to crack the top three.
Fourth in the state finals the past two years, the Panthers along with Belleville East and Collinsville begin competition in the two-day 24-team event at 9 a.m. Friday with the first of four three-game rounds. Among the favorites are two-time defending state champion Machesney Park Harlem.
Round two begins at 1 p.m. Friday with two more rounds set for Saturday. After the first two rounds, the field is cut to the top 12 teams and top 24 individuals who will compete on Saturday.
O’Fallon is coming off an impressive win at the Carterville Sectional. Led by a six game block of 1,334 pins by junior Mary Orf, O’Fallon finished with 6,221 pins, more than 450 more than second place Salem (5,769). That total was the third highest recorded at the sis sectional events throughout the state.
Belleville East, which placed third at the Carterville Sectional, is led by sophomore Caitlyn Radlipp and senior Makayla Tyra. Collinsville, fourth in the Carterville Sectional, will be led by sophomore Tyme Sampson.
Individuals competing include Ashley Westbrook of Alton, Syndey Sahuri of Edwardsville and Haley Dunn of Belleville West.