Panther boys secure conference crown

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER
The Panthers celebrate a strike during their match against Alton last Thursday.  (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

The Panthers celebrate a strike during their match against Alton last Thursday.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – Winning a conference title is a difficult task on a year-to-year basis. There’s always personnel turnover, opponent familiarity, and tough luck standing in the way.

This makes what the O’Fallon Boys Bowling Program has been able to do all that much more impressive, as the Panthers have not only won the conference, they’ve continued their unbreaking dominance over it.

They’re not the Kansas Jayhawks in the Big 12; yet. But their convincing 31-9 win over the Alton Redbirds sealed their 6th straight Southwestern Conference Title in outright fashion.

“We haven’t bowled as strongly this year as we did last year,” Head Coach Mike Imes told the Weekly. “But we have looked good the last few matches, and we have a good tournament record. Our guys are really looking forward to beginning the IHSA State Series.”

Senior Andrew Orf led the way with a 679 series, followed by junior Matthew Doyle’s 655.

Panther JV also closed out a strong 2016-17 campaign as Co-SWC Champions. The Blue and Gold rolled the conference high for a series in their match against Edwardsville on Wednesday, scoring 2601 over a three-game stretch.

Senior Matthew Toohey’s 704 paved the way for Varsity’s 38-2 win over the Tigers at St. Clair Bowl, while Eli Rosenberg provided a pretty good support performance with his 684 series.

The win secured at least a tie for the Southwestern Conference crown, and the triumph over Alton secured the outright title.

The Blue and Gold competed in the IHSA Regional on Monday after the weekend’s ice storm forced officials to move it from its original slot on Saturday.

Results were not available before this issue went to print.

Advancement out of the Regional would send the team to the IHSA Sectional where the Panthers could fight for a place in the State Finals.