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updated: 1/31/2014 10:14 PM

Jacobs' Biondo, Libertyville's Baumruk in the hunt

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

O'FALLON, Ill. -- Brandon Biondo of Jacobs and Jack Baumruk of Libertyville started out rolling with the best bowlers in the state on Friday at St. Clair Lanes in the boys bowling state tournament.

Vernon Hills had two bowlers -- Justin Becker and Chris Winter -- make the cut to Saturday's action, along with Joe Kauther and Andrew Tau of Lake Park.

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Vernon Hills and Lake Park finished 18th and 19th, respectively, and didn't qualify to the top 12 in the team competition.

Host O'Fallon leads the way in the team picture after rolling a 6-game total of 6,706 pins. Rockford Guilford is second 6.535 and Andrew sits in third place with 6,499.

Another 6 games will be bowled on Saturday for the top teams and individuals.

Biondo is in sixth place with a 1,415, 132 pins behind tournament leader Joshaun Glover of Lincoln-Way West, who rolled a 1,542 (257 average).

"I thought I bowled pretty good and wanted to make the cut," Biondo said. "The last three games ... I really didn't expect that. I moved to the right a bit and then I started throwing strikes."

Biondo shot a respectable 674 for the opening three games but leveled up with a 741 over the last three. The games were 238, 267 and 236.

Baumruk was one of the last bowlers to earn a spot in the state field, by virtue of a tiebreaker in last week's Rockford Boylan sectional. That didn't seem to bother him Friday; he's in the 14th spot and bowled consistently throughout Friday.

Baumruk tossed 200, 193 and an impressive 279 for a 672 and followed it up with a 257, 217 and 216 for a 690 to give him 1,362.

"I was nervous at the start," Baumruk said. "I just concentrated and got things going. I found a lot of confidence in my third and fourth games."

Vernon Hills (6,044) started off strong with a 3,132 and was flirting with the Top 12. The Cougars had games of 1,044, 1,077 and 1,011. But in the afternoon, Vernon Hills couldn't get the one big game it needed, rolling a 2,912 and missing the cut by 112 pins.

"I just can't put my finger on it," Vernon Hills coach Ron Long said. "I thought we could make it. Nobody got on all cylinders, and we just couldn't knock down enough pins."

Winter and Becker both finished at 1,330 Friday.

Winter rolled an impressive 751 in the morning set with games of 249, 265 and 237 but shot a 579 over the last three.

Becker tossed a 708 in the first three with games of 269, 212 and 227. He the threw a 622 series for the afternoon.

Lake Park (5,989) posted a 3,235 for its opening three games that consisted of 1,027, 1,104 and 1,104. But the afternoon was a different story as the team dropped back with a 2,754.

Kauther shot 660 and 631 with a high game of 259 in the morning. Tau started his 708 series with games of 253, 225 and 230 and came back with a 582 over the last three games.

Barrington's first boys bowler at state, Brad Powell, missed the cut by 20 pins, finishing at 1,242. He started out slowly with a 553 series before coming back with a 653 series which included high game of 248.

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