By Mark Jurgena
COLLINSVILLE — It was a fantastic weekend in Carterville for Collinsville.
The Kahok girls bowling team topped the field at the IHSA Sectional bowling tournament at SI Bowl to capture the championship and be one of four teams to leave town with a ticket to the state final tournament.
It is their 10th sectional title in school history and the 22nd time they qualified for state.
The state tourney will be this weekend at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
“This is one of those things where all season long we talk about working for,” said CHS coach Sean Hay. “We wanted to make sure we were still in position to make the top four, that was still our goal. Obviously, we want to win but we kept our eyes on the top four for the first five games. Once you know something is secure then you can go ahead and make that push for the win.”
CHS fired a team score of 5,807 to beat out Mascoutah’s total of 5,722 to win the crown. Salem and O’Fallon also qualified for Rockford this weekend.
The Kahoks were in first by approximately 25 pins headed into the final game of the day and were able to pull away for the title.
“We did really well,” began Hay. “The shot was okay in the morning. We shot pretty well averaging over 1,000 per game but then in the afternoon things just got brutal. We’ve bowled there before and knew it was coming.”
Caici Buckman wins individual sectional title
Buckman fired a 1,229 over her six games on the day to edge Jaeda Rollinson of Salem by 10 pins. Brylee Proffitt of Triad took third with a total of 1,198.
Taylor Mordis took eighth, Livia Montgomery tied for 10th and Laila Jaoko was tied for 13th.
Kellen Stephens took the 29th spot in the field of 96 bowlers.
“Buckman did a fantastic job all day long,” said Hay. “She was pretty steady. Her high games weren’t really high but her low games were in the 190s. She was just there the entire day.”
She won the crown with four games of 200 or more. She rolled 205, 204, 211 and 225.
Mordis fired an 1,169 to beat Freeburg’s Mia Neighbors for the spot.
She rolled 209, 213, 200 and 216 for her highest games of the day.
“She struggled a bit in the afternoon, but she built up quite a chunk in the morning,” Hay said. “Her first four games were all 200-216; she just had a rough last two games.
“What was key was that our worst game as a team was the fourth game where Taylor shot 216 and Caici shot 211 so those two together really helped carry us through that fourth game,” said Hay. “Without them…it becomes a much different picture when everybody struggles and nobody scores.”
Montgomery ended the day with a pinfall total of 1,156 to tie her with Olivia Pavison of Salem for that 10th spot.
She fired three games over 200 with 235 her high game. She also scored a 222 and 206.
“Olivia started the sectional and the regional a little bit slow,” said Hay. “Part of it was ball choice and some things like that. But Olivia settled back into it and became Olivia again. She had a couple of little spares she missed in the morning but other than that she got right back after it.
“In the second half she started off with a 167 which wasn’t her best but came back with a 185 and 206. In the last game, we needed our biggest push from her and everybody. A 206 on a shot that people weren’t scoring on was just fantastic.”
Jaoko tied Whitley Quick of Anna-Jonesboro with a total of 1,146.
She fired high games of 235, 210, 204 and 202.
“Laila popped off in the morning, was doing well, struggled in the afternoon, and in the last game popped off a 210,” said Hay. “No matter what when we needed it everybody chipped in and gave us a 971.”
Stephens also contributed heavily with her best game of the day in the sixth and final one firing a 204.
“She struggled a little bit in this tournament,” began Hay. “This definitely did not lend to her style of bowling. But she still also bowled decent the last game.”
Queen of Hearts Tourney
Livia Montgomery won her second consecutive Queen of Hearts Tournament at Poplar Junction Bowl in Highland on Feb. 7.
She fired scores of 268, 248 and 205 on the afternoon.
“Back to back years now she is the Queen,” Hay said with a laugh.
Stephens rolled 222 for her high game along with 210 and 204 while Alayna had a high game of 224. Laila Jaoko shot a high of 212.
Brylee Proffitt of Triad took second place.