BY ALEX GRUBERMAN O'FALLON WEEKLY
O’FALLON – After coming in second place at regionals last weekend, the Lady Panthers were looking for another top performance to advance to the state tournament next week. However, just like last weekend, the Lady Panthers had some competition at sectionals, and it would be a tough task to get to state.
The Lady Panthers came out in game one of the morning round still trying to figure out the lane patterns. They shot a 953 series, with Lauren Tomaszewski bowling a nice 213 game, while Mary Orf bowled a 214 game. In game two, the Lady Panthers found their stride, as pins were going all over the place. Lauren Tomaszewski had a 231 game, Hayleigh Williams a nice 279 game, Mary Orf with a 212 game, and Grace Brasswell who was substituted in for Natalie Heltne, and Maddi Thorton with a 155 game, the Lady Panthers had a nice 1079 series and found themselves back in the middle of the pack. Game three was a continuation of game two, as Natalie Heltne found her line shooting a 204, Lauren Tomaszewski with a 202 game, Hayleigh Williams continued her hot streak with a 236 game, Mary Orf with a 211, and Grace Brasswell with a 157 game to give the Lady Panthers a 1010 series.
After breaking for lunch, the Lady Panthers continued with their momentum in the afternoon round as they bowled a 1039 series in the fourth game. Mary Orf had a 253 game and Lauren Tomaszewski shot a 213 game. Fatigue started to creep in game five and six for the Lady Panthers as they bowled a 915 series for game five and a 965 series for game six. Hayleigh Williams added a 212 and 244 game to her list of great games on the afternoon.
Once the numbers were crunched and all figured it out, you knew it was going to be a close one. In fact, six pins determined who finished fifth and sixth, so everyone was on the edge of their step ladders trying to see if their team would be advancing or not. In fourth place, Collinsville defeated Belleville East by seven pins to advance. Salem would capture third place and would be advancing to state. O’Fallon would celebrate after finding out they finished in second place and would be heading to Rockford next weekend for the state tournament. Herrin would be the winners of the Belleville East Girls Sectional. The Lady Panthers also cheered on Hayleigh Williams as she finished in the top four of individual bowlers too. Hayleigh finished the day averaging 225.
The Lady Panthers will be traveling to the Cherry Bowl up in Rockford, Illinois to take place in the state tournament on February 24-25. After the award ceremony, Coach Gary Spencer complemented his team.
“The squad did amazing today, and I’m proud of them. It’s now time to get to working for state. We have to keep pace with Coach Imes and the boy’s bowling team,” said Spencer.