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updated: 2/10/2012 11:23 PM

A nearly perfect finish for Vernon Hills' Rigwood

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

ROCKFORD -- Taylor Rigwood of Vernon Hills wasn't having one of her best days bowling -- until the final game Friday, that is.

Rigwood started rolling strike after strike and put together a string of 11 in a row. Her last ball left a solid ten-pin staring back as she finished with a 299 in the girls bowling state tournament at Cherry Bowl Lanes.

"It was all nerve-wracking," said Rigwood, who had a previous high game of 266, rolled at the same lanes a few weeks ago in a tournament.

"I was trying to compete with the girls that I was with (bowling). I thought my last ball was my best ball. I just left a ten-pin. I've been leaving that pin all day. I was still happy with the game even though it wasn't a '300.' I've never shot that high before."

With her big finish, Rigwood moved into a tie for 20th with Jenna Reynolds of Rockford Guilford (1,273). Rigwood bypassed the program record held by Nicole Sanhamel, who had a 289 in 2009 (the year Sanhamel won the individual state title).

Rigwood along with the 299, tossed games of 192 and 204 for an afternoon set of 695. She rolled 190, 208 and 180 for 578 in the morning.

"It was my only decent game," Rigwood said. "To get in makes me extremely excited and hopefully I can do better (Saturday), that's my goal."

Morgan Flaherty of Lincoln-Way West stands as the tournament leader after 6 games with a 1,430 pins.

Antioch's Kelsey Schreiber reached the second day with a 6-game series of 1,236. Schreiber rolled 573 for the first three with games of 218, 153 and 202. She finished strong with games of 203, 236 and 224 for a 663 series.

"Definitely, I had a better afternoon," Schreiber said. "I adjusted my hands to the ball, because the back ends were really dry on the lanes. I was trying to get the ball not to hook that much. I also moved over and played out more. It all worked out."

Antioch was making its fourth straight trip to state and had recent finished of seventh, fourth and 13th place. On Friday, Antioch finished 21st with a team total of 5,343. The Sequoits had a 2,720 in the morning and and 2,620 in the afternoon.

The other Antioch bowlers scores were Stevie Lindberg (1,106), Cassie Giamarusti (1,043), Sarah Gagnon (1,033), Bianca Gallery (471-3 games), Kelsey Maldonado (159), Alexandra Arnold (157) and Brittany Hansen (138).

Zion-Benton made its first-ever strip to state and finished 17th place with 5,536, The Zee-Bees tossed a 2,666 for the first 3 games and 2,870 over the last three.

Zion-Benton did get two bowlers who advanced for Saturday -- Ashley Zobrist (1,184) and Courtney Hallgren (1,170). Other Zee-Bees bowlers were of Jessica Capp (1,113), Ashleigh Miller (1,065), Becca Liewehr (675, 4 games) and Chey Brewington (329, 2 games).

Andrew leads the tournament with 6,240 pins and sits 77 pins ahead of second place Minooka (6,163) and third-place Waubonsie Valley (6,149).

The Warriors are off to their best start in the program's tournament history.

"First time that I've had team that's made it through the sectional and made it to state," said Waubonsie Valley coach Marty Miller, who's in his third year as varsity head coach. "Anything we do is the first time. I had to change the culture and get very serious on how we conduct our business. These girls have worked very hard in developing their skills."

Waubonsie Valley rolled a 3,079 series for its first three games and followed up a 3,070 for the last three.

Charley Barbary led the Warriors with a 6-game total of 1,361 and started out strong with a 739 series. Barbary is currently in sixth place individually.

Other Waubonsie Valley bowlers included Kaylene Felton (1,224), Rachael Felton (1,215), Marianna Guerrieri (1,146), Julia Bond (796, 4 games) and Julie Schumacher (407-2 games).

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