JOLIET – With a 2,889-2,552 win against Plainfield North on Thursday, Minooka ended the Southwest Prairie Conference varsity girls bowling dual season in first place in the team standings.
Whether it can add enough to its 62 conference points at Saturday’s conference tournament to hold down the overall title remains to be seen. The SPC Tournament, which will be at Town and Country Lanes, just like Thursday’s senior-night dual, has a history of favorites being toppled.
“There are points for every game bowled. There’s points for the morning series. There’s points for the afternoon series. There’s points for overall,” Minooka coach Frank Yudzentis said. “I think it was about four years ago, we were fifth going into the conference tournament, had a great day and ended up winning the conference. It’s set up that anyone can win.”
Leadoff bowler Lexi Jones, whose 206.7 conference average going into Thursday was the highest among the Indians and the third-highest in the SPC, led Minooka with a 645 series. Her best game was the first, which she ended with seven straight strikes for a 237.
“I think I did good. I was trying to pick up my teammates and be positive, and overall I think I did great,” Jones said. “I honestly thought I was going to be average this year. I was going to come walk in here and be third, fourth on the team, but I’m super excited that I’m up there this year.”
The highest individual game produced by a Minooka bowler was a 243 third by senior Emily Koulis. After bowling a 129 in the second game, Koulis started the third with six straight strikes and finished it with four more.
“I told myself, ‘Just relax and just bowl,’ and not to worry about it, and it will all be good,” Koulis said, “and I don’t know, it just kind of happened. I switched balls and it worked.”
Kourtney Sickler produced a 591 series, besting the 564 Koulis ended with for second place among the Indians. Heather McCubbins had a 520 series, senior Kayly Windbiel had a 495 and Nora Russell had a 477 for Minooka.
Plainfield North, which will take an SPC-low 12 points into the conference tournament, received series totals of 546 from Nadine Krasauskis, 533 from Cassie Weyenberg, 521 from Audrey Krasauskis, 469 from Lili Lara, 452 from Kelly Green and 448 from Rileigh Fagan.
“We continue to throw the ball really well, even when we struggled throughout the day. We just pushed forward,” Plainfield North coach Ryan Kabara said. “We’ve shown a lot of growth throughout the year just doing that and staying focused on what we’re doing.”