Boys Bowling

Lockport wins Plainfield North Bowling Regional

Lockport Township High School logo

MORRIS – A Friday regional for boys bowling is a rarity, and with only four team qualifying spots open for next week’s Sandburg Sectional, it made for an interesting day at Echo Lanes.

With 12 teams vying for the qualifying slots out of the Plainfield North Regional, maintaining consistency throughout the day was key. In addition, the top 10 individuals not on a qualifying team also qualified for the sectional.

After the morning three games, Oswego, Lockport, Plainfield Central and Oswego held the top four qualifying spots. That remained the same after Game 4, but Lockport bowled well and was within 15 pins of Oswego for the lead. Yorkville also made a big move to fifth place, trailing Oswego East by only 90 pins for the final qualifying spot.

The movement of the day came in Game 5, when Lockport took the lead for good by 179 pins and carried it through the sixth and final game to win the regional with 6,154 pins. Oswego finished second (5,958), with Plainfield Central (5,839) third. The drama came down to the fourth qualifying spot, as Oswego East came back and bumped Yorkville by seven pins, 5,681-5,674.

“Our guys finally found the right spots in the afternoon,” Lockport coach Ron Davis said. “Everyone has to know their role on the team, because in high school bowling it’s a team sport of five, and you need all five if you are going to be successful.

“I’m happy for the team, and next week will be a big challenge at sectionals, but we will be there and compete.”

The Porters were led by individual champion Jeff Malak (1,473), a senior. Jason Laba placed 10th, and Nate Arient was 12th.

“This feels great, for both the team and winning individually,” Malak said. “I came into today just wanting to focus on my mechanics and hitting my spots. Winning as a team was our goal, and this gives us a lot of confidence going into next week at sectionals. We just really need to focus on picking up our spares. That will be a key, and continue to believe in each other.”

“Jeff [Malak] hit his spots all day, and I’m really happy for him,” Davis said. “This was interesting all day because it was the first time for me and the first time for our team to ever bowl here at Echo Lanes. But when it comes right down to it, it’s just bowling. The lanes are the same distance, same number of boards, and you just go out there and do your best.”

Central was consistent all day and maintained the third position throughout.

“We have been underdogs all year, and this feels so good, especially for as young as we are,” Central coach Mike Moderhack said. “This gives the group a lot of confidence, but we still need to have a good week of practice.”

The Wildcats were led by the second-place finish of sophomore Jacob Chavez (1,446) and Steele Mercado in 16th.

Plainfield South finished sixth, with Romeoville seventh, Plainfield North eighth, followed by Bolingbrook, Lemont and Plainfield East.

The top 10 individual qualifiers were Dale Horstmann, Dylan Middendorf and Jesus Villa of Yorkville, Guy Carbonaro and Nathaniel Little of Romeoville, Trevor Anifer of Lemont, Jacob Redwinski of Bolingbrook, Kaden Rausenberger of Plainfield North, Hunter Kirby of Plainfield South and Nolan Tonkin of Plainfield East.

The Sandburg Sectional takes place Jan. 22 at Orland Bowl in Orland Park.