The Alton High School boys bowling team won its third consecutive IHSA regional championship, while Edwardsville’s team finished tenth in its regional tournament on Monday afternoon in Taylorville and Salem respectively.

The Redbirds won the Taylorville regional at the Spare Time Lanes in Decatur with a six-game score of 5,926, with Civic Memorial finishing second with a score of 5,814. Jersey was third at 5,598, and Roxana finished fourth at 5,583. All four teams advanced to the Alton sectional tournament on Saturday.

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The Tigers finished tenth in the Salem regional, held at the Salem Bowl, with a score of 4,729, with Metro-East Lutheran winding up in 11th with a score of 4,409. Granite City was 12th at 3.947, and Father McGivney Catholic finished 13th with a score of 1,756.

Collinsville won the regional with a score of 6,013, with the host Wildcats the runner-up at 5,840. Mt. Vernon was third at 5,793 and the fourth-place team was Centralia, whose score was 5,732.

The regionals were originally scheduled for Saturday but were postponed due to the passing of winter storm Gia through the area the night before and most of the day on Saturday.

TAYLORVILLE REGIONAL

In Taylorville, the Redbirds led from start to finish in winning its regional, rolling a 1.017 in the second game, and finishing strong with a 1,031 in the fifth game and a 997 in the final game to clinch the title.

“Overall, it was good,” said Alton coach Dave Meyer. “We led from game one to game six, but in game three, we faltered a little bit, and in game four, we had a little trouble. Going into game five, we were 43 pins up on Civic Memorial, and after game five, we got together, made a few changes in the lineup, and we were alright.”

Trevor Vallow’s 279 in the fifth game was a big key in helping the Redbirds stay ahead of the field, and eventually helped decide the tournament.

“Trevor had a really good day,” Meyer said. “Everybody stayed together, and we had a couple of guys who didn’t plan on bowling, Danny Laslie and Lance Perkey, do well.”

Vallow finished second in the individual standings with a six-game score of 1.296, behind champion Gordon Madrey of CM, who rolled a 1,315 to take the crown. Roxana’s Christian Bertoletti was third at 1,272, while Connor Jones of Chatham Glenwood was fourth with 1.271 and Cort Jackson of CM rounded out the top five at 1,243.

Matt Engdale was second on the Redbirds with a series of 1,242, Gavin Taylor rolled a 1,180 set, Jared Cochran had a 943, Chris Duke had a 738, Perkey a 370 in a limited role, and Ta’Ravion Ward had one game of 157.

Both Madrey and Jackson were the Eagles’ top two bowlers, while Corey Nooner had a set of 1.091, Draven Brand had a 969, and Patrick Greenwell rolled an 891, while Matthew Moore had a single game of 159 and Ethan Heavinside rolled a 153.

The Panthers were led by Zane Longley, who bowled a 1,227, followed by Jeremy Vanost’s 1,196, then Warren Woolsey had a 1,146, Mike Russell a 1,061 and Wylie Wagenblast threw a 969.

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Bertoletti led the Shells, and was followed by Logan Wonders with a 1,165, Blake Adams with 1,109, Ethan Baumgartner threw a 1,086, and Jake Weigel had a 951.

Marquette Catholic finished ninth with a 4,916 but did advance Sam Cogan as an individual with a 1,135, Piasa Southwestern was tenth with a score of 4,879, and East Alton-Wood River was 11th with a score of 4,718.

Meyer is very proud of his bowlers’ accomplishments but knows there’s still work left to do in the sectional.

“It was a good day, a strong day,” Meyer said. “I’m very proud of the boys, and the top six teams in the sectional advance to state. I’d like to see us in the top four. We’ve had a lot of improvement, but we still have some work to do.”

Meyer does feel very confident in his team’s chances in the sectional tournament.

“I do feel confident because I know the boys can do it,” Meyer said. “The boys want to get back to state; they had a taste of it last year, and they want to do it again. We’ve had some decent numbers that were good enough to win, and I’m proud of them, but I also know that they can do better.”

SALEM REGIONAL

Edwardsville was led by Michael Jenkins, who had a 1,025 series for the six games, followed by Eian Sims, who had a 1,015 set. Steven Leitschuh rolled a 957, while Jackson Budwell had an 876 and James Zugmaier bowled an 856.

The regional champion Kahoks were led by Ryan Warner with a 1,319 series, followed by Cole Budde, who had a 1,278. Ethan Gardner had a 1.193, while Elijah Hay had an 897, Nathan Hay a 778, Bryson Hartman a 388 for two games, and Alex Dall had a single game of 160.

Triad finished sixth with a score of 5,569 and advanced three bowlers to the sectional as individuals: Bryce Pisetta with a 1,298, Spencer Kane with a 1,194 and Matt Tipton at 1,131. Kyle Miller of Vandalia was the individual champion with a 1,405 series.

The sectional is set for Saturday at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton, with the state finals scheduled for Jan. 25-26 at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights.

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