By Mark Jurgena
Kahok girls bowling are no longer completely undefeated but they still haven’t given up a point in dual matches this season.
They were unsuccessful in making it 3-for-3 in tournaments Saturday but a 4th place finish out of 44 teams at the prestigious Plainfield North Strikefest was a quality finish and a solid learning experience for the squad.
Saturday the Collinsville girls bowling team ventured into Chicagoland to face the best teams the state of Illinois has to offer. While they didn’t win for the first time this year they brought back a 4th place finish from the huge field of teams at Town & Country Lanes in Joliet.
“We won a couple of tournaments locally but we came out slow in both of them then worked our way up and finished first and I knew that at Strikefest with 44 teams, some of the best in the state, starting off slow would not allow us to get away with that,” said CHS coach Sean Hay. “With 44 teams and those that are there, the state champion is in that building every year. A 4th place finish, I was really happy with that, especially considering we were short-staffed.”
Joliet (West) won the team title by leading the entire day and finishing with a total of 6,041. Minooka was next with a total of 5,773 followed by Machesney Park (Harlem) and their total of 5,758. The Kahoks were next, totaling 5,635, which was 406 pins behind the winners.
“What I liked is that we were starting to bowl our best when other teams were struggling. We were climbing spots every game,” said Hay.
Individually Livia Montgomery led Collinsville by placing seventh overall out of 249 bowlers.
She began the day slowly but quickly recovered by firing 230, 226, 213, 203, and finally her high game of the day a 234 to finish the tourney.
Montgomery had a 606 series in the morning and a 650 in the afternoon to finish at 1,256. She finished 155 pins behind Malaya Chavez of Joliet West for the individual title.
“She had a great tournament,” said Hay. “We all have kids that have talent and sometimes they can’t see it. We see the talent she has but a lot of kids don’t imagine themselves as being that superstar or even have the ability to be that superstar but she does. She bowled well in the last match of the Charity Challenge (against Taylorville) but then she really started to liven up for this tournament.
“She had moments where she made some mistakes but responded the perfect way every time and got back after it. She threw the ball the best I’ve ever seen her throw.”
Caici Buckman also performed well in Chicago finishing in 25th place. She fired three games north of the 200 barrier. She rolled a 208 in her final game of the morning then finished the afternoon with a 215 and 213 to total 1,170 pins for the day.
“She finished in 25th place which may sound low, but there are still over 220 girls in the building so finishing in the top ten percent is really good!” said Hay.
Sophie Tottleben had a solid tourney with an 1137 six-game series. Her high game of the day was a 212. She was followed by Laila Jaoko with an 1133 set and high games of 218 and 211. The Kahok duo finished in 33rd and 35th place for the day.
Cindy Freeman had a high game of 199.
CHS 40 Alton 0
On Dec. 7 at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton, CHS had another solid performance against the Redbirds.
Montgomery and Tottleben led the way by each rolling a 590 series. Montgomery had the high game with a 211 just a single pin ahead of Tottleben’s 210. Both of those games were in their final one of the day.
Jaoko rolled a 570 while Freeman had a 534.
CHS 40 Edwardsville 0
Edison’s in Edwardsville was the location for this contest on Dec. 5 and the Kahoks ran away with a victory.
Tottleben had a huge day by firing a 674 series. In her opening game, she rolled a 279 and finished the day with a 205.
“That was really good to see her put up a good set and a really nice game,” said Hay. “She’s been bowling pretty decent and for her to pop off a nice large game we’ve been waiting for it. It’s nice to do it in someone else’s center instead of her home house.”
Jaoko rolled a 619 for the day bookending games of 223 and 226.
Buckman had a high game of 212 while Montgomery’s high was 211.
JV at SI Team Challenge
While some Kahoks went north Saturday the JV was entered in the varsity-level Southern Illinois Team Challenge at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville.
They came home with a 3rd place team finish. Taylor Mordis finished in 5th place overall at the event.