By Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – Harlem and Hononegah will take their sports rivalry – this time in boys varsity bowling – to Forest Hills Lanes this afternoon (Thursday) with first place in the NIC-10 at stake.

The Huskies and Indians brought identical 6-0 records into the first week after Christmas-New Year’s break, with three matches left in the regular season.

They currently are the top two teams in the state, as they have been all season, with Harlem in first and Hononegah in second.

Girls varsity teams also will square off at 4 p.m. today and while Hononegah (1-5) has experienced some difficulties this year, the Lady Huskies (6-0) know they can’t take their rival for granted.

First place also is on the line for the boys at the junior varsity level, with both teams owning 6-0 records. Harlem’s girls are 6-0 with the Lady Indians close behind, at 4-2.

Statistically, the boys’ match should be a close one.

Hononegah has the edge when it comes to average game score per match: 1,347 pins to 1,338. But Harlem leads the conference with a 1,517 high game and 4,202 series. Hononegah is next at 1,445 and 4,085, respectively.

Individually, the two teams have eight of the Top 10 bowlers in the NIC-10. The Indians’ Nick Sommer has the highest average per game, a 247, followed by Harlem’s Jake Nimtz, last year’s most valuable performer, with a 235. Teammate Dawson Jones is one pin behind, with a 234 that’s good for third place.

Kyler Gerl of Harlem is fourth, averaging 228 per game, while Hononegah’s Brandon Mooney is sixth, at 224. Collin Day of Harlem is seventh with a 222; Hononegah’s Clay Coogan and Zachary Phillips are tied for eighth, averaging 221.

The only non-Harlem or Hononegah bowlers to break into the Top 10 are Matt Seigel of Auburn, in fifth place with a 225 average, and Baily Luy of Freeport, who’s 10th with a 219.

All of Harlem’s bowlers are averaging more than 200 pins per game. Joining those in the Top 10 are Austin Bull at 215 and Cole Damon at 204.

Hononegah’s regulars also are above 200. Beyond Sommer, Mooney, Coogan and Phillips there are Trey Arnold with a 217 average and Ryan Hall at 211.

Part-timers are on the same level with Tanner Schewe averaging 206 over seven games and Parker Hearne at 211 for two games.

Freshman leads Harlem

Harlem freshman Becca Hagerman is the NIC-10’s top bowler for average with a 216 pinfall over 18 games. Belvidere North’s Ashley Platt also is averaging 216 but has four fewer pins than Hagerman.

Others in the Top 10 are Harlem’s Mylee McCracken in third place, averaging 214; Stephanie Richards in fifth with a 204; and Skylar Russo-Perry in seventh at 199.

Hagerman rolled a 300 earlier this season and leads the conference with that high game and a high series of 775. McCracken’s 695 series is good for fourth, whille Richards’ 670, which she recorded in the sixth game of the year, puts her in fifth.

Others on Harlem’s varsity are Kayla Verstraete, also a freshman; Alexandra Buffington, Samantha Laube and Treasure Childs.

Hononegah’s roster includes Jordan Davenport and Alyssa Long, who lead the team with 171 averages per game. Others are Kirstin Anderson, Ana Parma, Miranda Littlejohn, Cierra Conrad, Harli MacCregor, Ciara Kunz, Joslin Johnson and Alyssa Anderson. Parma’s 221 single game and 608 series lead the team.

At the junior varsity level, Hononegah’s boys are tops in the NIC-10 with a high game of 1,339 pins and high series, at 3,852. Harlem is second in both, with a 1,270 single game and 3,682 series.

Chris Klaman leads the Indians with a 213 average, 267 high game and 692 series. Noah Mandujano is tops for Harlem, averaging 210 per game while Sean Baker has a 269 single game and a 702 series.

For the Lady Huskies, Amanda Thompson is averaging 180 over 15 games. She also has a 252 high game and a 616 series, both tops on her team.

Alyssa Anderson and Joslin Johnson lead Hononegah, each averaging 152 per game. Anderson has a 204 single game; Johnson has a 504 series.

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