BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
For the Orf siblings, Andrew and Mary, prowess on the lanes is a family affair, and their collective brilliance has powered the OTHS Bowling Program to a hot start to the 2016 season.
Andrew, a senior, led the Panther boys to their third win of the season last Tuesday, beating Belleville West at their home lanes of St. Clair Bowl. Orf would lead off the afternoon with a perfect 300 game, setting the tone for a 728 series.
It was the first perfect game for O’Fallon since Orf rolled a 300 at the IHSA Regional earlier in 2016.
“He has been the hot hand of the team in the early part of the season and was definitely the difference today against West,” Boys Head Coach Mike Imes said of his star.
The perfect score helped create an early 71 pin lead that O’Fallon would build on after each of the next two games, ultimately leading to a three-game sweep and a 181 pin win over the Maroons.
West was able to manufacture some drama heading into the last contest, but Orf’s 224 and junior Eli Rosenberg’s 215 provided enough breathing room for the Panthers.
The Boys JV team also moved to 3-0 following a win over Belleville West. The Panthers were led on the day by Josh Herran’s 658 series.
While the Boys moved to 3-0, the Girls opened their regular season play, topping West with a three-game sweep, finishing 155 pins ahead of the Maroons.
The Lady Panthers were led by Natalie Heltne’s 589 and Mary Orf’s 587 series, as the young O’Fallon team survived a big evening from West’s Haley Dunn, who rolled a 615 series to lead all bowlers.
After Tuesday’s opening triumph, both teams took the drive north to Springfield to take place in the annual Abe Lincoln Invitational.
The Girls got off to a dream start, racing out of the gates with a team score of 1,011 in the first game, but a slip in game two along with a strong Collinsville performance left the Panthers to fight from behind the rest of the day.
“The girls really battled back in the fifth and sixth games,” Girls Head Garrett Spencer said. “Unfortunately we had to settle for second, but they still had a fine day of bowling.”
Orf again helped lead the way for O’Fallon, rolling a team-high 278 en route to the individual title. Sophomore Lauren Tomaszewski would place fifth.
The only O’Fallon score higher than Mary Orf’s 278 was her brother Andrew’s 279, capping off an incredible week for the pair.
Panther Boys again produced strong performances all day long, battling for a pair of top five finishes.
“Varsity found a way to stay close all day,” Boys Head Coach Mike Imes told the Weekly. “The JV team, made up primarily of freshman and sophomores, made adjustments all day to keep the ball in play, really battling for their finish.”
The Varsity team finished less than 200 pins behind Invitational Champion Triad and less than ten pins behind second place Salem for a third place finish while JV finished 85 pins ahead of Alton’s Varsity team to secure fifth place.
The boys would place six bowlers in the top 20 and were led by the duo of Rosenberg and Orf.