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Socking it to Spartans

Even with just one individual game above 200, Morris defeated Sycamore 2,859-2,590 in Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference varsity girls bowling Thursday at its home facility, Echo Lanes.

The Redskins won all three games, with lopsided scores of 967-811 and 943-832 sandwiched around a 949-947 nail-biter in the second. In the process, they moved to 3-0 both overall and in the NIB12.

Amber Benson's 211 powered the Redskins to victory in Game 2 as Morris overcame a match-high 248 from Danielle Pivonka of Sycamore. Benson began the game with a turkey, spared the fourth frame and then had two more strikes in a row. Only a 7-2 10th frame prevented her from getting marks in every frame. Benson finished with a 532 series to lead the Redskins, with scores of 147 and 174 in her other two games.

"I don't know. I was just hitting my spot real well in that game," Benson said. "Sometimes your scores vary, but for the most part, I'm getting better scores that last year."

Savannah Strange bowled a 522 series for the Redskins, with game scores of 180, 166 and 176. She says she had a 183 average through the first two meets of the season after averaging a 177 for Morris in 2011-12.

"Last year, I was always the consistent bowler, so it was just the same way tonight," Strange said. "(Morris coach) Harry (Banks) always says to keep it up. It's always good to have consistent bowlers."

At times during Thursday's match, Banks was playfully telling Strange to bowl strikes every frame instead of every other one. She had strikes on the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth frames in the both the first and third games.

"That's part of the game," Banks said. "You have to be able to adjust when the conditions between your two lanes are a little bit different. She's learning to do that."

Taylor Warwick was the only other Morris bowler above 500, as she started with a 200 in Game 1 but finished with a 155 and a 146 for a 501 series. Imelda Garcia bowled a 449 series with a high game of 159, Jessica Winter bowled a 443 series with a high of 168 and Alexis Meadors bowled a 413 series with a high of 156.

"I'm happy to get the win, but we didn't bowl well," Banks said. "The other night at Ottawa, I thought we were a lot better. We were not real good tonight, but we'll take the win. ... We're a young, inexperienced team and it's going to take time."

Strange says she likes the progress the Redskins have made so far.

"Well, some girls don't talk to each other very much," she said. "I'm trying my best to be a leader, to bring the team together and get everyone to have fun."


Morris 2,324,

Sycamore 2,185

Skylar Easson led the Redskins with a 471 series, and Jericka Kiss added a 445.

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