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COLLINSVILLE – Triad's boys bowling team was one of four teams who advanced to next week's IHSA Mount Vernon Sectional tournament thanks to a third-place finish in their own IHSA Regional Saturday at Collinsville's Camelot Bowl.
Not only that, Triad emerged with the individual championship on the day thanks to Bryce Pisette's six-game total of 1,403, 17 pins ahead of runner-up Ryan Warner of Collinsville.
The home-standing Kahoks won the team title with a six-game total of 6,476 pins, enough to finish ahead of Centralia, who had a total of 5,942; host Triad was third with 5.914 and Highland claimed the final automatic team qualifying spot for the sectional with 5,744.
Granite City, finished fifth place and out of the team qualifying spots at 5,643, followed by Salem (5,600), Vandalia (5.198), Lebanon (5,181), Breese Mater Dei (5,094) Edwardsville (5,008) and Metro East Lutheran (4,072).
Several area individual bowlers advanced to the sectional as individuals; the 10 bowlers on non-qualifying teams moved on. They included Granite City's Ricky Hard (1,349), who's total included a perfect game in the final game of the morning session of the tournament, Cody Kuenkler (1,190) and Corey Hard, who tied with Mater Dei's Connor Schomaker for the 10th and final individual spot and advanced by winning a two-frame rolloff 30-28 after Corey Hard converted a six-pin spare on his final shot to advance. Edwardsville's Zak Keiser also advanced to the sectional as an individual with an 1,116 total.
“I'm very happy,” said Triad coach Mike Suter. “The conditions were good, but we had a rough time with spares – we adjusted.
“We had some big games and that always helps out; that gets the totals up a little bit. It helps when you have a couple who are bowling good.”
When asked if there were any goals for the sectional outside of advancing to the Jan. 26-27 boys state tournametn at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights, Suter said “try to stay clean, keep our spare game up.”
“We hoped Zak would finish well,” said Edwardsville coach Kimber Wilderman. “I started with Zak last year from scratch and just to see what he's been able to do these two years; I was really happy to see the results that he's given me and all of his hard work has paid off. He did a lot of bowling over the summer and he's done a lot of events, so I'm for him next week. We'll see if he can get his way to the state tournament.”
Edwardsville's boys went winless in the Southern Illinois High School Bowling Conference Southwestern Division this season, but Wilderman was happy to see how the Tigers progressed during the season. “I think we definitely equipped the guys and the girls with the tools they need to improve; it's just getting the practice in and getting the experience that will get them to the next step.
“A lot of them picked up different things even in the last month of practice to help with shot-making; I think they are equipped with what they need; it's just getting the practice in so that they're comfortable with the new things we've done.”
Pisetta's high game of the day in his march to the individual championship was a fourth-game 269 while Keiser's best game of the day was a 226 in his second game of the day; Kunkler's top game in reaching the sectional was a 234 in his second game and Corey Hard's top game was a 218 in Game 2 of the six on the day.
The sectional is set for no earlier than 9 a.m. Jan. 20 at NuBowl Lanes in Mount Vernon.
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