COLLINSVILLE - Jersey's boys' bowling team has had an incredible season. The boys took another significant step this past weekend when they qualified as a team for the IHSA State Bowling Tournament this weekend at St. Clair Bowl in O'Fallon.

Danny Towell's six-game series of 1,384 helped lead Jersey to an IHSA state boys bowling tournament berth in the sectional tournament held Saturday at Camelot Bowl in Collinsville.

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Salem won the team championship with a score of 6,570, with O'Fallon coming in second at 6,547, Jersey was third with a 6.343, Mascoutah finished fourth with a score of 6,297, fifth place went to Waterloo with a 6,080 score and the sixth and final team slot went to Harrisburg, who had a score of 6.049. Belleville East came in seventh with a 6,006, Herrin was eighth at 5,976, the Kahoks came in ninth at 5,920, Belleville West was 10th with a 5,780 score, the Redbirds came in 11th with a score of 5,748 and Carterville rounded out the top 12 with a score of 5.718.

Jersey head coach Steve Nelson gave great credit to his seniors - Towell, Jacob Elliott and Tyler Ayers - for helping the team get through to the state tournament.

"I feel really good for being a first-year coach," Nelson said, "with Danny Towell on the team and Jacob Elliott and Tyler Ayers, my seniors, we've really made it. They impressed me today and it's the first time we've ever shot as good as we have."

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Towell led the Panthers with his 1,384 set, while Kribs tossed a six-game series of 1,270, Elliott had a 1,241 series, Ayers tossed a 1,237 series and Kiel had a six-game series of 1,211.

The Panthers' approach to the sectional was very simple: Get into the top six and qualify for state.

"My approach was I told the boys just get into the top six," Nelson said, "which is what it is to make it out, and next week, when we go to state, if we made it, that's when we want to actually shine the best we can. The main goal was just to get through it today."

Besides the Jersey seniors, the two underclassmen also shined for the Panthers on the day.

"My three seniors and I also had Joey Kiel and Adam Kribs also stand out real good," Nelson said. "They're a good bunch of boys."

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