BY ALEX GRUBERMAN WEEKLY REPORTER
To qualify for sectionals, you must be one of the top four teams after six games of bowling. The top four teams then advance on to sectionals to determine who moves on to the state tournament.
The Lady Panthers were confident coming into the regional, but they had some tough opponents to get through to get into the top four. Those opponents include Belleville West, Belleville East, Cahokia who hosted the regionals, and Waterloo who has turned their season around. It probably didn’t help the Lady Panthers mindset when Belleville West’s Haley Dunn bowled a perfect 300 score and Mascoutah’s Brianna Thomson bowled an impressive 296 game too.
They weren’t rattled though as freshmen Mary Orf and sophomore Maddi Thornton helped keep the Panthers at the top of the pack. Freshmen Natalie Heltne also contributed to the team’s effort. Mary Orf finished the day averaging 217 while Maddi Thornton averaged 205 for day. Sophomore Hayleigh Williams had a 954 series, sophomore Lauren Tomaszewski had a 819 series and freshmen Grace Braswell had a 795 series too.
In the end, Belleville East adjusted correctly when the lanes broke down and took first place at the Cahokia Regionals. The Lady Panthers would finish fifty pins behind Belleville East to capture second place at regionals. Mary Orf finished in the top five for individual scores. Cahokia and Belleville West wrapped up the other top spots and will be advancing to sectionals with the Lady Lancers and Lady Panthers
The Lady Panthers will be close to home when they head to Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville on February 11 for sectionals. First round of action will begin at 9 a.m.