Ashley Pincenti of Conant says that the key to the Cougars' girls bowling success this season is teamwork.
"We all get along so well," said the junior, "and we have great team chemistry. It doesn't matter what grade you're in -- on this team, we're all family and we bowled our butts off tonight."
Pincenti fired two games over 200 (214, 201), and classmate Jordyn Wagner pitched in with a 201 as Conant defeated previously unbeaten Hersey on Wednesday night at Arlington Lanes.
Katie Harrold of the Cougars added a 200 on an evening in the Mid-Suburban League that was dominated by some overpowering scores from Hoffman Estates, which stayed perfect and in first place in the conference.
Hawks junior Brandy Hoglund led the way in a 9-0 win over Rolling Meadows by bowling a 269 game two as Hoffman earned a total pinfall of 3,097, while teammate Amanda Richae rolled games of 247 and 226.
Elk Grove beat Buffalo Grove as Kayleigh Duff posted the top game in the MSL this season, a 279, while Palatine defeated Fremd with Katie Conrad finishing with an ultra-consistent line of 197-195-196 588.
Prospect won over Schaumburg as Meg Mulcahy's 626 series included a first game of 226, while Danielle Yohe of the Saxons fired a 243.
Wheeling defeated Barrington as Maryssa Peterson was out front for the Wildcats with a 501 three-game mark, while the stellar season of Fillies frosh Sarah Tenyer continued with a flourish.
"She's a breath of fresh air," said Barrington coach Sam Raia of Tenyer, who won the Illinois Elementary School Association state championship last year as an eighth grader.
"Sarah's a super bowler," added Raia, "and she's about as modest of a kid as you're going to see. She's been well received by the other members of our team despite being only a freshman.
"She's still adjusting and learning the team game, but she's only going to get better and better and the rest of our team has a lot of respect for her."
Tenyer, who fired a 257 game earlier in the year, led the Fillies on Wednesday with a 185-183-203-570 and said that this season has been fun as well as a learning experience so far.
"It was so exciting," said the freshman of last year's IESA state title win. "I knew from the minute I threw my first shot (at Joliet) that I had a chance, and when they call my name (as top bowler) I was ecstatic."
"It's been an interesting transition for me this season," added Tenyer, who said her favorite subject in school is history. "It's a little tough getting home at eight o'clock (after meets), but the great thing is that my teammates are so supportive of me -- and I'm supportive of them as well."
Some other scores of note on the night were a 223 game three from Schaumburg's Jessical Halas; a 224 by Buffalo Grove's Anna Haller; 235 from Melyssa Donovan of Hoffman Estates; and a 205 by Emma Wrenn of Hersey.
Despite suffering their first defeat, Hersey junior Delanie Steinweg says that the Huskies hopes for this season are sky-high.
"We're very excited," said Steinweg. "We knew this was going to be a close match tonight because Conant is a strong team, but we've also got some strong bowlers on our team and there's a lot of competition between ourselves.
"That competition is pushing us to be where we need to be and hopefully closer to the top of the MSL."