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posted: 1/30/2010 12:01 AM

Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich roll into state finals

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By Rusty Silber

Vernon Hills and Lake Zurich both survived to bowl another day.

Competing in the IHSA boys state bowling meet at St. Clair Lanes in downstate O'Fallon, both the Cougars and Bears made the cut Friday and advanced to Saturday's second round.

The Cougars are in seventh place with 6,116 pins after six games, while Lake Zurich (6,020) is ninth.

The tournament leader by 231 pins is Oswego with 6,347, followed by Plainfield South (6,311), Lake Park (6,288), Belvidere North (6,231), Rockford Guilford (6,145) and Sycamore (6,137).

Vernon Hills came out of the gate strong with games of 1,050, 1,067 and 1,061 for an impressive 3,178. The Cougars found themselves in second place at the time, 9 pins out of first.

"We got into a really good set of lanes," said Cougars coach Ron Long. "We were bowling with good teams like Oswego and Rockford Guilford (fifth). We felt we could roll with everybody else and had no hesitation."

Vernon Hills opened the afternoon session with a 917, followed by 1,024 and 997 for a 2,938 three-game total.

"I thought for the day we hung in there," Long said. 'We wanted top eight and we're in seventh place. I believe our hiccups are over. Our aiming target for Saturday is top three."

Erik Hencier led the Cougars with a 1,296. Hencier opened with games of 182, 256 and 269 for a 707 series and shot 589 over the last three games. Other Cougars scores were Nick Garpow (1,244), Alex Wong (1,216), Eric Swanson (1,192), Steven Linda (989, five games) and Jimmy Tyrcha (179, one game.

The Bears saved their best game for last with a 1,039 that helped them make the top 12. That big effort followed games of 1,023 and 961 for a 3,023 over the last three games. In the morning session, the Bears had thrown games of 992, 983 and 1,022 for a 2,997.

"We were on the bubble all day," said Bears coach Peter Kupfer, "I told the kids, 'The sixth game we've got to do something.' We just came out and had our best game of the day, I figured if we wanted to make the second day, we needed to be around around 1,000 a game to be in good shape."

Luke Mueller led the Bears with 1,266, Other Bears scores included Austin Wells (1,221), Steve Garcia (1,196), Kyle Hunter (1,162), Tony Giannecchini (959, five games) and Mike Schmitt (216, one game).

Leading the individual standings is Lockport's Kyle Anderson, who averaged a sizzling 249.2 and knocked down 1,495 pins. In second through fifth are Plainfield South's Brandyn Andelbradt (1,414, 235.7 average); Rockton Hononegah's Bobby Phillips (1,401, 235.5 average); Notre Dame's Justin Sanetra (1,400, 233.3 average); and Harrisburg's Austin Ewell (1,397, 232.8 average).