JOLIET - The Alton High girls' bowling team posted a strong performance in the IHSA Sectional at Joliet and advanced freshman sensation Jillian Dwiggins, who advanced as an individual with 1142 for a 190 average on the day. She was 10th overall and fourth for the non-qualifying individuals not advancing as teams. The AHS girls' team was sixth overall.

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Alton High girls bowling head coach Jamie Dwiggins said the Redbirds got off to a solid start bowling 812 788 and 747 the first three games before breaking for lunch. After three games, the Redbirds were sitting in eighth place in the 12-team field. Needing a big afternoon block to make the goal, they started the set with 795 moving them up to fifth, only 30 pins out of the coveted top four.

However, Coach Dwiggins said the Redbirds couldn’t maintain the pace as the lanes were changing rapidly, and posted a 755 game five and 788 game six, leaving them in sixth place for the day.

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On the individual side of things, the Redbirds were paced by Jillian Dwiggins, who put together games of 212 160 204 202 162 202 for a total of 1142. She finished 10th overall earning her a trip to Rockford next weekend for the state finals. Berlynn Clayton also added games of 200 and 180 for the Redbirds.

AHS seniors Clara Velloff, and Rebekah VonPlinsky concluded their brilliant careers in the sectional, and Coach Dwiggins praised both on their commitment to the team and their leadership throughout their careers and the season.

The coach continued and said: "Ultimately it was our spare game that let us down today, missing far too many makeable spares, something we have been talking about and working on throughout the season. "It was just one of those days, but a learning experience for us all. Today truly showed us how important our spare game is. This will only cause us to work even harder going forward to improve this area of the game.

"As the day progressed we didn’t look or talk about the standings, just trying to stay relaxed and focused on our bowling. We had some ups and downs but overall we can’t question anyone's effort."

The state finals will begin on Friday at the Cherry Bowl in Rockford, and AHS will be joined by our friends from Collinsville and O’Fallon who both advanced as teams in their sectional Qualifier in Carterville. Also advancing from Joliet is Macy Jones of Vandalia and a member of Junior Team USA an outstanding accomplishment.

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