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Oswego avenges loss to take home title : Sports : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Oswego avenges loss to take home title
Panthers edge out Minooka in SPC tournament, Oswego East finishes third

by Christine Bolin Dascher


The Minooka and Oswego East girls' bowling teams may have beaten Oswego in head-to-head Southwest Prairie Conference action this season, but when it came down to the conference tournament on Saturday, it was the Panthers who came out on top of both teams.

Oswego finished with a grand total of 5,927 pins at Town and Country Lanes in Joliet. Minooka finished with 5,876 - 51 pins behind the Panthers - and Oswego East was third with 5,777.

"We came out and bowled well, obviously," Oswego head coach Dan Okoren said. "Obviously, we're really proud of the girls - they really gave it their all."

"We'll take it - we didn't bowl bad," Oswego East head coach Jeremy Hillman added. "They did just fine...but if we are going to struggle during a tournament (toward the end of the season), I'm glad it was this one. It's a real indicator of the type of work we now need to do going into the regional."

In dual conference meets in the regular season, Minooka went 7-0, Oswego East finished 6-1 and Oswego ended up 5-2. The Indians, however, ended up winning the conference overall with 104 total points from dual meets and the league tournament. The Panthers were next with 102 and Oswego East was third with 86.

"We didn't win the conference championship, but it was within sight," Okoren said. "You just never know (during the regular season) how it all will end up. You just never want to leave anything to chance, and that's why you have to take as many points as you can during the season. It was pretty amazing how close it was at the end."

At the conference tournament, Plainfield South finished fourth with 5,497 pins, followed by Plainfield Central (5,161), Plainfield East (5,020), Plainfield North (4,995) and Romeoville (4,884).

In the overall standings, Plainfield South was fourth with 36 points, Plainfield Central was next with 34, followed by Romeoville (24), Plainfield East (16) and Plainfield North (12).

Four Oswego bowlers ended up on the 12-girl All-Conference team, including the top individual in the SPC, senior Cheyanne Valdez. She finished the regular season with a 210 conference average and ended up with a 215 average in the tournament with a 1,289 total (second place overall).

Also earning All-Conference honors were senior Trashaunna Manning (sixth place), sophomore Brittany Breedlove (seventh) and senior Jessica Mendez (ninth). This was the first time Breedlove made All-Conference, as the other three are two-time All-Conference team members.

Mendez finished the tournament with a 1,219 series (fourth place), Manning was fifth with a 1,186 series and Breedlove was 11th with a 1,143 series.

"We're definitely proud of our four All-Conference players," Okoren said.

Senior Lauren Torrez placed 20th for Oswego with a 1,090 series and junior Kayla Williams was 22nd with a 1,085 series.

Oswego East saw three bowlers make the All-Conference team - sophomore Abby Ragsdale, junior Jordan Tiritilli and senior Kailey Kopacz, who all tied for third overall in the standings. Kopacz and Ragsdale made All-Conference last year as well.

At the conference tournament, Kopacz placed third overall with a 1,272 series, Tiritilli was sixth with a 1,183 and Ragsdale was 19th with her 1,149 series.

Sophomore Mallory Weisbrodt was 17th overall with a 1,100, junior Averee Bottcher finished with 1,069 and freshman Samantha Perez ended up with 1,027.

Postseason action will begin for both Oswego and Oswego East on Saturday in the first-ever regional, which is hosted by Bolingbrook at AMF Bolingbrook Lanes at 9 a.m.

In addition to the host-Raiders, Panthers and Wolves, East Aurora, Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Neuqua Valley, Plainfield Central, Plainfield East, Plainfield North and Romeoville will compete to be one of the top four teams advancing to the Moline Sectional on Feb. 15 at Highland Park Bowl in Moline.

Ten individuals will also advance from teams that do not qualify for the sectional as a whole.

The same format applies to the sectional going into the state tournament, which is set to take place on Feb. 21-22 at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford.

"We think we can be (in the top four), but we know anything can happen," Okoren said. "We're not going to make any assumptions. We know most of these teams pretty well, but either way, we still have to show up and perform our best."

"I'm curious to see how this (new) format (of adding a regional) will work," Hillman said. "If we finish third in the next two weeks, I'm happy as heck."

Oswego Notes: The Panthers wrapped up dual conference action on Jan. 29 with the 2,987-2,581 victory over Plainfield East at home at Parkside Lanes.

Breedlove led the way with her 681 series, followed by Valdez (609), Mendez (597), Torrez (557), Manning (543) and Williams (448).

"It was a great way to finish the (dual meet) season," Okoren said.

Oswego East Notes: The Wolves won their last two dual meets of the season last week, beginning with the 3,222-2,638 victory over Plainfield Central on Jan. 29 at Parkside Lanes. It was their highest pinfall for a three-game series this year.

Ragsdale finished with a team-best 741 series, followed by Kopacz (711), Tiritilli (598), Bottcher (590), Weisbrodt (530) and Perez (524).

Last Thursday, Oswego East topped non-conference Neuqua Valley, 3,038-2,748 at Parkside Lanes. Tiritilli led the Wolves with her 623 series, followed by Bottcher (620), Ragsdale (601), Weisbrodt (587), Kopacz (580) and Perez (510).

"They did a great job putting together two great back-to-back scores," Hillman said.

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