Alton junior Alex Bergin, center, is congratulated by teammates during Saturday’s IHSA Girls Bowling Regional Tournament at Bowl Haven in Alton. Bergin was the individual champion with 1,246 pins. She and her teammates captured the fourth spot in the team standings, qualifying the Redbirds for next week’s Mount Vernon sectional Tournament.
Nathan Woodside | For The Telegraph
ALTON — Alex Bergin came through with a score of 1,246 Saturday at the IHSA Alton Girls Bowling Regional Tournament. That was good news for her and great news for the Redbirds.
Bergin, a junior, finished as the individual champion of the day-long affair at Bowl Haven and she and her teammates grabbed the fourth and final team qualifying spot for next Saturday’s Mount Vernon Sectional.
And Bergin didn’t even know how close the race for the top spot was until she’d won the title in the final game and she and her teammates had qualified for the final team spot in next Saturday’s Mount Vernon Sectional.
With Bergin’s high score setting the pace, the Redbirds beat out Edwardsville for the final sectional berth, 4,894-4,620.
“I never tell the bowlers where they are in the individual standings, because I want them just to concentrate on what they can control,” Alton coach David Meyers said. “But she stayed focused and was able to stay close all day.”
Bergin rallied to win the championship in the last game. She was in first place after the Game 1 Saturday morning, but droppedto fourth, then moved up to third and was within four pins of leader Molly Marshal of Highland heading into Game 6.
Bergin threw a 217 in that last game to Marshall’s 183. Marshall finished in second place individually with a score of 1,216 pins.
“(Bergin) listened to what we told her,” Meyer said. “We wanted to make sure she extended her arm to get the ball a little further down the lane. She did a great job.”
Highland was the team champion with a total of 5,456 pins. Vandalia finished second with 5,292 and Triad was third with 4,963.
Jersey was sixth in the team standings with a 4,607, followed by Marquette Catholic 4,517, Civic Memorial 4,453, Roxana 4,181, Southwestern 4,049, Metro East Lutheran 4,044, Granite City 3,746 and East Alton-Wood River 3,210.
“It was a tremendous team effort by our girls,” Meyer said. “They all did great.”
The top four teams advance to the sectional, as well as the top 10 bowlers from non-sectional-qualifying teams. The top four teams at next weekend’s Mount Vernon Sectional, as well as the top five individuals from non-qualifying teams, will advance to the IHSA State Tournament Feb.16-17 at The Cherry Bowl in Rockford.
Besides the top four teams, several area bowlers qualified for the sectional as individuals.
Edwardsville’s Sydney Sahuri was the top individual qualifier with 1,156 pins. she was followed by Marquette’s Shelby Jones with 1,104, CM’s Erin Zobrist with 1,075, Roxana’s Olivia Stangler with 1,053, Southwestern’s Haylee Hallows 1,048, Jersey’s Brittany Campbell 1,022, CM’s Nicole King 1,017, Jersey’s Samantha Ayres 1,007 and Carlinville freshman Kelli Page 978.
“These girls did a great job today,” Jersey coach Chris Skinner said. “They had a couple bumps along the way, but came back and survived to the next weekend. I’m very proud of their efforts.”
Junior Robi Dublo was second with a score of 956 for the young Redbirds, who featured no seniors in their lineup, Teammate Cassie Bowman, a sophomore, was next with 956. Sophomore Sami Dublo had an 840, junior Akeia Smith a 753 and Sade Blackmon a 101.
Alton’s Meyer, who directed the Redbirds boys bowling team to the state tournament last week, said that remains the goal for the girls as well.
“We’ve got a shot at advancing as a team (to state),” Meyer said. “I like to take bowlers to state, even if just individuals, so they can come back and tell the team how much fun it is and how that should be our goal every year.”