Buffalo Grove, Grayslake North lead the way at Vernon Hills regional
Every pin really does count. Ask Buffalo Grove's girls bowling team.
The Bison needed nearly every pin en route to winning the Vernon Hills regional Saturday, as they got past Grayslake North 5,494-5,491 at Brunswick Zone Hawthorn Lanes in Vernon Hills.
Both teams advance to the Lakes sectional along with Lake Zurich (5,381) and Warren (5,306).
"We knew by watching the scores all year that it would be a tough battle," Buffalo Grove coach Jean Tripam said. "The girls came out ready to go. Kudos to them for all the hard work they put in. It's great to get where you're going, but it's an extra bonus and a little sweeter when you win it."
Buffalo Grove has battled through some injuries the last couple of weeks. Jessica Soskich returned from a pulled ligament in her ring finger to lead the Bison with a 1,226 over the 6 games. Her teammate Caitlin Howard shot an 1,157 series and had a 247 final game. She was dealing with a sore finger and wrist.
"I've been bowling with a strained tendon in my finger and tendinitis in my wrist for the last month," Howard said. "I was resting as much as a I could because I didn't want to miss this. I really wanted this for my team and I wanted to push through anything for them."
Joanne Savage (1,172), Rebecca Herrera (1,025), Jennifer Sauer (466, 3 games) and Emilee Gonzalez (448, 3 games) also bowled well for Buffalo Grove.
Grayslake North, which won the Fox Valley Conference for the second straight year, was led by its core bowlers.
"With the way we started, I wasn't sure if we would be in the top four," Grayslake North coach Laura Bertermann said. "I'm pleased with the girls and that they grinded it out all day. To come this far and improve as a team is something that I focus on with them."
Grayslake North's Gaby Silva shot a 1,229, which was good for third overall. Other Knights who shined were Payton Bertermann (1,154), Jessica Vaughn (1,151), Taylor Bell (1,028) and Ashley Rager (929).
Lake Zurich made it into the sectional once again, as it tends to be a yearly occurrence.
"Everybody did their part," Bears coach Mel Fox said. "I have no seniors, but I have kids that want to win."
Amanda Tarlos was the Bears' top bowler with 1,212. Dana Nelson (1,143), Becky Minicchowicz (1,091), Lauren O'Hara (977) and Allison O'Hara (958) also contributed on the lanes.
Warren qualified with a 917 final game.
"This was a true team honor up and down the lineup," Warren coach KC Lange said. "Everybody made spares when it mattered. On shots that weren't great, they picked up one-pin spares."
Kayla Rossi led the Blue Devils with an 1,227. She got help from teammates Macayla Powers (1,117), Victoria Dizon (1,081), Megan Martin (840, 5 games), Hayley Gregerson (621, 4 games), Sulmarie McGee (328, 2 games) and Maggie Faji (142).
Kaitlyn Rudy of Stevenson was the top qualifier and regional champion with 1,305. She also rolled a 259 final game.
"You have to save it to the last game," Rudy said. "It was my highest, and that's how it goes."
Other individual qualifiers were Emily Voight of Lakes (1,242), Libertyville's Taylor Sloan (1,219) and Emma Davellis (1,185), Antioch's Erin Koch (1,136), Sam Knab (1,106), Stevenson's Xanthe Coulson (1,098), Alexia Napierkowski of Vernon Hills (1,086), Zion-Benton's Kalina Hull (1,080) and Grayslake Central's Kelsey Holst (1,042).