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Oswego East girls' bowling team takes runner-up finish at Matt Clark Invite, Oswego third

by Christine Bolin Dascher


The Oswego and Oswego East girls' bowling teams both finished in the top three last Saturday at the 2014 Matt Clark Invitational Bowling Tournament, which was hosted by Sycamore at Four Seasons Sports.

Freeport won the 12-team event with 5,433 pins, and Oswego East was 37 shy of that with 5,396. Oswego was third with 5,246 - just one pin ahead of Morris' total of 5,245.

"We still have room for improvement - we haven't peaked yet," Oswego East head coach Jeremy Hillman said. "Freeport will probably make it to state, and both Oswego and Morris are in our sectional so we know we have to get past those teams later on in the season. We definitely have to keep working."

Oswego head coach Dan Okoren said the conditions of the lanes were very dry, but was still just fine with the Panthers' third-place showing.

"It was a tough shot all day, but I was proud of the girls' efforts," Okoren said. "This is a good confidence builder for the rest of the season. I don't anticipate seeing a shot as that the rest of the season, but you just never know."

Plainfield East was fifth with 4,955, followed by Spring Valley Hall (4,852), Dixon (4,797), Jefferson (4,761), United Township (4,759), Belvidere (4,737), Sycamore (4,735) and DeKalb (4,530).

Three bowlers from Oswego East placed in the top eight - senior Kailey Kopacz was fourth overall with a 1,163 series, junior Averee Bottcher was sixth with a 1,131 and sophomore Abby Ragsdale was eighth with a 1,103. Junior Jordan Tiritilli was 20th with a 1,021 and freshman Samantha Perez was 29th with a 978.

Senior Jessica Mendez was Oswego's best finisher in 10th place with a 1,096 series. Senior Trashaunna Manning was 16th with 1,064 and senior Cheyenne Valdez was 17th with a 1,053. Senior Lauren Torrez was 19th with a 1,028 and sophomore Brittany Breedlove placed 25th with a 1,005.

Oswego East: In the first Southwest Prairie Conference dual of 2014, Minooka topped the Wolves, 2,980-2,669, at Town and Country in Joliet in their first league loss of the season last Thursday. Oswego East is now 3-1 in the conference.

Ragsdale led the Wolves with a 577, followed by Tiritilli (555), Kopacz (535), Perez (515) and Bottcher (472).

"Minooka is a good team, but that wasn't a typical outing for us," Hillman said. "We had a tough time. (Our score of) 2,669 is the lowest we've seen in a while, but it is what it is."

Oswego East was scheduled to take on West Aurora on Wednesday, but results were not available at press time. The Wolves resume conference play today, Thursday, against Plainfield South at Town and Country. On Saturday, they are at the Morris Invite at Echo Lanes.

Oswego: In the first Southwest Prairie Conference dual of 2014 for the Panthers, Oswego took all 10 points and defeated Romeoville, 2,836-2,359, at Strike 'n Spare last Thursday in Lockport.

Valdez led the Panthers with her 658 series, followed by Manning (578), Breedlove (529), junior Kayla Williams (545) and Torrez (526).

"It's the SPC, and you can't take anything for granted," Okoren said. "I'm pleased to see we were able to finish with all 10 points - it's very necessary in this conference and so important to take all the points when you can."

On Monday, Oswego defeated Plainfield North, 2,847-2,594, and took all 10 points in another conference dual meet. The Panthers are now 4-1 in league play.

"We struggled a bit as a team on the lane conditions - they were slick for that house," Okoren said of the Brunswick Zone in Romeoville. "We went from having dry lanes at Sycamore and no chance to practice to these conditions, so it was tough to adjust."

Like Oswego East, Oswego will be a part of the Morris Invite on Saturday. The Panthers will not compete again until Jan. 23 against Minooka.

During the winter break, Okoren's wife Dana gave birth to their third child - a girl named Emma Pamela - on Jan. 4. She was born five days early and weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces. She joins brother Jacob and sister Payton.

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