After the graduation of Courtney Johnston, the top bowler on Minooka’s state runner-up team last season, the Indians are hoping their depth will carry them to another strong campaign this year.
If Saturday was any indication, Minooka is well on its way.
The Indians did not place a bowler in the top 13, but had four in the top 19 and overcame a 20-pin deficit in the sixth and final game to nip Lockport 5,914-5,898 for the team title in the 44-team Plainfield North Strikefest at Town and Country Lanes in Joliet.
“We just bowled as a team,” said Emily Koulis, who led the Indians with 1,216 pins and a 14th-place finish. “We made our spares and we all bowled really well. It’s a great tournament to win.”
Koulis’ 235 in the final game, as well as a 200 from Nicole Segatto (18th, 1,181) proved huge as the Indians, paired with Lockport, compiled a 958 to the Porters’ 922 to claim the title.
The Indians emerged atop a loaded field that included all of the top five teams in last year’s state tournament.
“To win this thing is an awesome accomplishment,” Minooka coach Frank Yudzentis said. “We go eight deep and our two seniors, Allyson Lakota and Alison Warwick, did a really nice job with leadership.”
Kayly Windbiel (1,203) was 17th and Warwick (1,176) 19th for the Indians.
Plainfield East’s Ivory Miles finished second individually, her 1,286 just 10 pins behind champion Cheyanne Valdez, of Oswego.
Miles’ 278 in Game 4 was the top score of the tournament.
“I came back from the lunch break knowing I needed a really big game because I hadn’t had one all morning,” she said. “I knew I had to bring it and I did.”
Bri Zabierek (fourth, 1,267) and Megan Szczepanski (10th, 1,227) led Lockport.
“Getting second at Strikefest is huge,” Zabierek said. “This is comparable to the state tournament.”
Plainfield East (5,383) and Plainfield North (5,330) finished eighth and ninth, respectively.