By Nate Heltne
OTHS Girls Bowling kicked off the 2018-19 season on Sat, Nov 24th, with a win in the Triad invitational against 20 teams at in Collinsville IL. The win marked the second year in a row the OTHS Lady Panthers won the tournament.
This win was a lot closer than last year when the Lady Panthers won by 776 pins, this year the margin was a lot closer – 67 pins. Head Coach Garrett Spencer said, “This could mean we will have some tough competition in the Southwest conference this year, which is a good thing. The girls like bowling under a little bit of pressure and the SWC has a few of the strongest teams from southern IL to compete with. Hopefully this win will be the first of many for the O’Fallon girls this season.”
Coach Spencer continued, “We have all six varsity girls back bowling from last season when we finished fourth at state. This marks the third and last year this group of girls will be playing together as a team.”
When all was said and done the Panthers shot 5747, Collinsville 5680, Belleville East 5620, Salem 5249 and Harrisburg 5089 to round out the top five in the gold division. Alton won the silver division by a scant five pins over Mt. Vernon, followed by Eisenhower, Belleville East B team and Collinsville B team to round out the silver division top-five.
The Lady Panthers started off slow with an 872 series and in third place after game one trailing Collinsville and Belleville East. The first action of the new season showed the girls battling throughout the tournament missing some easy spares as well as being a bit unlucky with several pocket splits.
However, the girls righted the ship in game two and shot the high team game of the tournament with a 1062. Lauren Tomaszewski had the front 7 and shot the high individual game of the tournament with the 267. Mary Orf added 238 pins while Natalie Heltne, Maddi Thornton and Grace Braswell contributed 202, 185 and 170, respectively.
The Lady Panthers had three of the six 1000+ games shot during the tournament with game three shooting 1016 and game four 1004. During that span, Mary Orf got 717 pins with games of 238, 239 and 240.
The OTHS team was well represented in the individual standings. Lauren Tomaszewski had the overall high series and high game taking first place with a 1272 series and a 267 game. Mary Orf finished second with a 1253 series while Natalie Heltne finished 14th with an 1128 series.
The coaching staff has had an addition this year. Along with Head Coach Garrett Spencer and Assistant Coach Rich Williams, USBC Silver-level coach Dan Tomaszewski has been brought into the fold.