COLLINSVILLE - Danny Towell, one of three seniors on the boys' bowling team at Jersey Community High, was the leader for the Panthers, throwing a six-game series of 1,384 as Jersey finished third with a team score of 6,343 to win a team spot in the IHSA state boys bowling tournament at the sectional meet, held Jan. 21 at Camelot Bowl in Collinsville.
Towell, along with Tyler Ayers and Jacob Elliott, has been the core of the Panthers this season, as the three seniors have bowled very consistently all season, and Towell came up with one of his biggest efforts of the year with his 1,384 series that helped Jersey go through to state.
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"You know, I feel good," Towell said during a post-tournament interview conducted before the final results were announced. "I mean, we had a good morning and it's all about a team sport. We hope to go there and possibly come back out winning state."
Towell's approach to the tournament was to limit mistakes and bowl consistently, converting spares that can be a big determining factor in tournaments such as the sectional.
"My strategy was to limit as many missed spares as I could get," Towell said. "I think I did really well, I think I only had a miss in seven spares total and it's just all about how you pick up spares and it helps your game."
Towell is considered one of the best bowlers on the team and in the area, but he takes everything in stride.
"It's how we roll," Towell said. "We have some good days and some bad days. We win tournaments and we lose tournaments. It's all about how I want to bowl and how my mental game's going."
Towell sees the mentality of him and his teammates on a very high level for the state tournament, set for Jan. 27-28 at St. Clair Bowl in O'Fallon, the only time that an IHSA state finals tournament is held in both the St. Louis area and in southern Illinois.
"Our team is going to be on the point where we will try to look to no opens (frames) in all the games," Towell said, "and try to bowl the best we can."
Having the state tournament in the home area will be an advantage for the Metro-East area bowlers and it's something Towell and the Panthers will be looking forward to.
"Yeah, it's going to be kind of like home," Towell said. "Different ways, kind of place. If we can stay on a roll, we will definitely do good there. I really like our chances. We have a good shot."
Towell said he is just enjoying his senior year bowling with his teammates, which will end with the state tournament appearance.
"I am having a good time," Towell said. "I'm living my senior year bowling career like I want to."