Bradley Powell rolled every bowler's dream -- a 300 game -- and it came at the best of times.
The Barrington senior's superlative effort in the Lake Zurich boys bowling regional on Saturday at Brunswick Deer Park Lanes gave him the top score with a 6-game total of 1,466 pins.
Powell, competing in the state series for the first time, also had a flair for the dramatic, as his perfect pinfall came on the last of those 6 games.
"It's my first tournament 300," Powell said. "I've had lots of 299s for the last few years, and finally got the 300."
Powell also rolled his first-ever 800 series, finishing with an 807 for the last 3 games after tossing 249, 258 and the 300.
Though he was merely trying to advance in the state series to next weekend's Rockford Boylan sectional, to be held at Park Lanes in Loves Park, Powell was pleased to have overachieved so significantly.
"I was just having fun out there and trying to make the cut," Powell said. "I was just trying to make strikes and hoping to make spares. The next thing I know stringing strikes for the 300.
"Right before the last game, my dad (Lance) mentioned that I should try to be the first (boys bowler) to get on the Wall of Fame at the school."
Lake Zurich won the team competition of the regional with a strong effort of 6,406 pins. The Bears rolled five of their six games over 1,000, including highs of 1,123 and 1,137.
Three other teams that advanced out of the regional by taking second, third and fourth were Lake Park (6,338), Stevenson (6,258) and Vernon Hills (5,941).
"It's exciting for us," Lake Zurich coach Peter Kupfer said. "It's one step on a journey. The boys bowled at the end to take first place taking the championship."
Max Galarce led the Bears with 1,353, followed by Ben Madura (1,347), Connor Kovanda (1,280), PJ Waul (860, four games), Chris Bordenave (599, four games), Bobby Dolatowski (368, two games), Johnny Kovanda (359, two games) and Zach Jonson (240).
Lake Park had five of its six games surpass 1,000, a best of 1,116. The Lancers are no strangers to postseason bowling over the last decade and were pleased to extend a legacy of achievement.
"We just wanted to be in the top four," said Lake Park coach Greg Edwards, whose team won the Lake Zurich Invitational last weekend. "Our boys shot well. We just believe in each other and support one another."
Joe Kauther was the runner-up with 1,429 pins and had a 279 game. Other Lancers competitors were Corbin Sadowski (1,313), Alex Tau (1,258), Zach Niemann (1,124), Roarke Dunne (797, four games) and Andrew Tau (417, two games).
Stevenson won the Northern Illinois Boys Bowing Conference title last week and kept its end-of-season roll going with a season-best six-game total, along with a season-best game (1,142).
"We're just glad to make it to the sectional," Stevenson coach Barry Lapping said. "We just have a lot of team chemistry, and winning the conference championship has helped us."
Leading the Patriots was Eddie Madrala with a 1,348, along with Matt Poetker (1,321), Josh Singer (1,180), Richy Zenner (1,247), Ethan Rosuck (822, four games) and Michael Aranyi (340, two games).
Vernon Hills was the other team that moved on to the sectional after bowling consistently throughout.
"We made it -- we hung in there," Vernon Hills coach Ron Long. "The whole thing was to get into the sectional. We just did what we had to do to get in. I'm happy that we kept our composure."
The Cougars were led by Chris Winter (1,304), Jeremy Gonzalez (1,285), Noah Melcer (1,253), Andrew Solenz (728, four games), Eric Doerhoefer (626, three games), Justin Becker (452, three games), Thomas Kalsch (147) and Alec Munro (146).
The individuals sectional qualifiers were Nick Scumaci (Bartlett, 1,294), Evan Hitchcock (Johnsburg, 1,265), Mitch Norris (Grant, 1,257), Libertyville's Duncan Hughes (1,217), Alex Price (1,213) and Jack Baumruk 1,183 and Ryan Flamm (Deerfield, 1,176) and Alex Cariello (Bartlett, 1,169).