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EDWARDSVILLE – Edwardsville's girls bowling team and Alton's boys bowling team took wins Wednesday evening in a Southern Illinois High School Bowling Conference Southwestern Division meet at Edison's Entertainment Complex in Edwardsville.

For the Tiger girls, it was their second win of the season – and their second win in the last four seasons; the Tigers defeated Granite City last week to snap a losing streak that had extended back four years; the Tigers defeated the Redbirds 31-9, while the Redbird boys downed the Edwardsville boys 36-4.

“A lot of hard work is paying off,” said Tiger coach Kimber Wilderman of the EHS girls. “It's nice to see the girls' hard work is paying off; the drills we're running in our practices – a lot of spare-shooting techniques, just lining up for different shots – whenever they encounter that on the lanes here, they have a better idea of how to approach as the lanes adjust.”

Wilderman felt Sydney Sahuri, Maren McSparin and Brandy Page stood out on the day. “Sydney, especially with her last game where she put a few strikes together; Maren had a great first game and Brandy put in some solid scores for her and Amy (Malcharek) was pretty consistent.

“I think all around as a team, they did very consistent and it's very well-rounded; that's good when they're consistent like that.”

Alton's girls are in a rebuilding mode this season, said Redbird coach David Meyer. “This is a rebuilding season for the girls,” Meyer said; Alton has only seven girls out for bowling this year after some graduation losses from last year's team. “It's just 'can I get one or two to maybe finish strong to get to state (the state tournament in February in Rockford)?'

“Alex Bergin has got a chance; she has to realize she can't support the team – she has to do her job and let everyone else fall in place with their jobs. That's the big thing, 'what can I do to build the program?' I only have seven girls this year – it's a rebuild season (for the Redbird girls).”

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On the boys side, Alton's boys are doing well, thinks Meyer. “It's been between mainly two people,” Meyer said of his boys side. “My one senior – Derek Henderson – and a JV bowler, Gavin Taylor (who have stood out this year for the Redbirds); those two have stood up, taken charge and everything – they've got to keep going; I put a freshman lefty in there tonight and he turned out all right – he threw some decent scores.

“It's just, what can I do to get them all together?”

The goal for the Redbird boys is a simple one. “The goal right now (for the boys) is to go to the second day of state (the last weekend of January at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights); I think we have a good shot. From the tournaments we've been in, we've finished in the top four of all of our tournaments. If we can finish good in a tournament (at Bel-Air Bowl in Belleville being hosted by Belleville East scheduled for Saturday) – if we can get the boys to finish strong there again – I think we've a good shot to go to state and hopefully make it to the second day.

“Last year, we didn't make it; this year, we really want to go to the second day.”

For the Tiger boys, “we need to work on some more drills,” Wilderman said. “We need to keep working on some things – we've been practicing on them, but we're not seeing them in the matches; they need some more exposure to that scenario. They did a much better job yesterday being consistent at O'Fallon; today, I think they let (some lane equipment breakdowns) got the best of them, with the delays and so forth and lost some focus, especially in that last game.”

Sahuri led the Tiger girls with a three-game series of 611 with games of 187, 178 and 246; Rachel McTague was right behind with a 486 set (150-182-154) and McSparin followed with a 399 series (172-128-99). Bergin was the day's top bowler for Alton's girls with a set of 619 (224-214-181), with Robi Dublo turning in a 417 set (134-111-172) and Cassie Bowman rolling a 443 series (130-157-156); Akeia Smith had a pair of 116s for a two-game series of 321 for the Redbirds.

On the boys side, Trevor Vallow had the day's top series with a three-game 649 (235-216-198), with Taylor turning in a 588 series (169-226-193) and Hendrickson rolled a three-game 567 (194-204-169), while Dan Laslie was inserted into the lineup for Game 2 and rolled a 223 to go with a 190 for a two-game set of 413. For the Tigers, Spencer Gray led with a 531 series (189-186-156), with Eian Sims turning in a 520 (162-204-154) and Andy Sill a 455 (125-178-152); Zak Keiser had a two-game series of 407 for the Tigers (191-216).

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