Girls State Bowling: Lockport tied for first place with Rockford Jefferson
By Josh Krockey For Sun-Times Media February 8, 2013 7:54PM
A broad smile spread across Megan Szczepanski’s face when she opened her eyes Friday morning.
“I woke up and … I just was in a really good mood,” the Lockport senior said. “I was really happy. I just knew it was going to be a great day.”
How right she was. With Szczepanski leading the way, the Porters were tied for first place Friday after the opening two rounds of the Girls State Bowling Meet in Rockford.
Lockport posted a six-game pinfall total of 6,163, the same as Rockford Jefferson. Waubonsie Valley (6,077) was third.
No other local squad advanced to the final two rounds Saturday, when the top 12 squads and 30 bowlers from non-advancing teams were to compete.
“They were bowling great (Friday),” Lockport coach Art Cwudzinski said. “We were super on our spares; we made 92 percent of them. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for that. Missing spares is a killer.”
Szczepanski had a share of sixth place with a 1,323 series. She averaged 220.5 over six games, with a top game of 255. The performance left her 51 pins behind leader Emily Malone, of Rockford Jefferson.
“In midseason I had kind of my high point, and the last couple of weeks I hadn’t been doing my best,” Szczepanski said. “(Friday), I was throwing the ball like I know how, and it was just working for me.
“I didn’t let anything bother me or distract me.”
Bri Zabierek (1,246), Ashley Hostert (1,242) and Allyson Ware (1,235) were among the other contributors for Lockport, which is seeking its fourth state championship and first since 2009.
A first-place showing would duplicate the feat turned in by the school’s boys bowling team two weeks ago.
“The boys teams and girls teams are super-close,” Szczepanski said. “We hang out together and bowl every Saturday night. We’re there for each other all the time. We want to accomplish just as much as they did.”
After Szczepanski, the best showing from an area bowler came from Joliet West freshman Taylor Bailey (1,297), who was 10th.
“I didn’t feel any pressure,” said Bailey, the IESA state champion in 2012. “I was just out there to bowl, hit my targets and get spares.”
Plainfield East’s Kinswana Hubbard (1,295) was 11th. Lincoln-Way West’s Morgan Flaherty (1,249), the reigning IHSA champion, was 22nd.