ALTON – Both Marquette Catholic and Jersey's boys bowling teams turned up for Monday's IHSA Regional tournament at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton with a match Wednesday evening before the ice storm hit Friday.
The Panther boys defeated the Explorers 33-7 in the Southern Illinois High School Bowling Conference's 40-point scoring system, while the Panther girls downed the Explorers 37-3.
“We still have to get a little bit of consistency with our varsity boys,” said Panther coach Chris Skinner. “We've got a couple of JV boys who are coming along really well. We're a little bit better at picking up what I call our 'easy spares', off the corners, so it was a nice tuneup for the regional and nice to be down here before Saturday.
“The girls had some good games; they had a couple of downfall games. It was about keeping ball speed and stuff up tonight, but all in all, it was a good day.”
“I think we did very well,” said Explorer coach Mark Jones. “Our boys team has grown quite well together; we've finally figured out who our starting five will be for the regional and sectional. They're learning how to compete together as a team and pick each other up as they go.
“Our girls are coming along; we haven't quite figured out who our five girls are yet, but they're pretty close.”
Jones was happy with how the Explorers performed on the day. “I thought my boys performed very well,” Jones said. “They started out a little rough; I think there was a little bit of nerves, but once they settled down and assistant coach John Reilly started talking with them, they buckled down and went to work.”
The Explorers, in their first year of competition in bowling, made much progress as the season went on, Jones felt. “We made a lot of progress,” Jones said. “I think our kids are starting to get close to where, on some of these other schools, we're going to going to start putting a little bit more pressure on them. We'll see if they can handle it.
“It's great to see them grow like they've grown; they're coming together.”
On the boys side, the Panthers' Jeffrey Gump turned in the best series of the day with a 702 (224, 234, 244); his 244 was also top game of the day. Greg Towell turned in a 551 set with a top game of 191 and Jordan Retheford rolled a 541 series with a top game of 205. Marquette's Jake Gatermonn the the top series of the day with a 616 (206, 184, 226) while Luke Simmons rolled a 518 set with a top game of 202 for MCHS.
On the girls' side, Jersey's Elle Farmer had the top series of the day with a 517 (162, 199, 156), with Emily Stemmler turning in a 483 series with a top game of 156 and Lindsay Vanost rolled a 459 set with a high game of 196. For the Explorers, Shelby Jones had the day's top series at 445 (127, 131, 181) while Heidi Amberg rolled a 420 set with a high game of 164 and Kaitln Byrne had 401 series with a top game of 149.