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Onward to the postseason : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Onward to the postseason
Boys' bowling teams prepare for inaugural regional tournaments

by Mike Slodki


With the boys' bowling regular season concluded, the focus now shifts to postseason glory.

On Saturday, at Town and Country Lanes near Joliet, Plainfield Central hosted the Southwest Prairie Conference meet and the championship was awarded to Minooka with 5,986 pins.

Oswego finished third at 5,809 and managed two entries in the All-SPC family, while Oswego East secured seventh with a 5,136 total out of the tough eight-team field. Romeoville outlasted Oswego for second place with a 5,952 total.

Last Thursday, the two local bowling rosters met at Parkside Lanes in Aurora, where it was the Panthers winning 3,028-2,954 in a tight matchup.

Other action for the teams saw Oswego beat Plainfield East on Jan. 8, and Oswego East battle visiting Plainfield South on Jan. 8, and coming up with a win with all 10 points secured.

The Panthers managed to finish the regular campaign at 9-3, while Oswego East finishes the regular season at 5-7.

At the SPC meet, the top individual finisher was Romeoville entry Cody Surges with a 1,288 pin count. Junior Zac Clifton of Oswego finished fourth at 1,251, while senior teammate Trevor Nelson was eighth at 1,220. Oswego East's noteworthy totals included senior Ryan Baumann's 1,223 total for seventh place.

"The overall conference tournament was a bit of a disappointment finishing third," Oswego head coach T.J. Arnold said.

"We kind of had a mental block going in, at Town and Country Lanes. That's the one they've never really bowled well at. We were kind of looking forward to Pioneer until the last-minute switch. But regionals are in Channahon and we've bowled well against Minooka there."

With the regular season over and done with, the local teams need to work on elevating their strengths as mistakes possibly get magnified.

"We've been trying to build off of last season all year and we saw improvements in leadership and moving in the right direction," Oswego East co-coach Tim Ochoa said. "We need to bowl our averages and we'll be fine. We have to get that consistency."

All-Conference honors locally went to sophomore Eddie Mendez and Clifton, after combining dual points and SPC tournament points, with the lowest 13 totals earning the distinction.

In the crosstown matchup, Oswego had high individual series from Clifton (629) and senior leader Dom Glatz (620). High games were tallied by Glatz at 241 and Clifton at 223. Oswego East was paced by senior Dan Cherven's 703 and freshman Travis Sturk's 610. Cherven at 260 and Sturk at 237 made for the high Wolves games.

All that remains is the war of attrition known as the sectionals, with both the Panthers and Wolves competing at Saturday's Minooka Regional which also features the 10-team field of Bolingbrook, Joliet Central, Joliet West, Minooka and the four Plainfield teams.

Sandwich, Serena and Yorkville also plan to send individual entries.

"It's such a large field we're going up against," Ochoa said. "Our conference being so strong, we're prepared for competition. We need to adjust to the wooden lanes and change some equipment, but if we focus on the fundamentals, we'll be fine."

The event, held at Channahon Lanes in Channahon, begins at 9 a.m., with two teams and individual qualifiers advancing to the Andrew Sectional in Tinley Park on Jan. 25.

"We know a lot of the teams," Arnold said. "The key is not to take anyone lightly and bowl the best we can."

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