By Bob Balgemann


Being in second place among NIC-10 bowling teams is an accomplishment in itself.

As the conference season passes the half-way mark, that’s where the girls of Belvidere and Belvidere North find themselves. Each of them has a 4-1 record, with the Lady Bucs losing earlier to North and the Lady Blue Thunder falling before the league leader, Harlem, on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

To this point it’s déjà vu all over again, as those teams finished the 2015-16 season with 7-2 records, good for a second-place tie behind champion Harlem, which ended a perfect 9-0.

Meanwhile, each of the boys’ teams is 1-4. However, each received some standout individual performances Tuesday, Dec. 13 in losses to the conference co-leaders, Harlem and Hononegah.

The girls meeting between North and Harlem at the time matched the conference co-leaders. The Lady Huskies were on fire that day.

In the first game, they set a new team best for the season with a 1,390 pinfall. That also was a new high for the conference so far in 2016-17.

For the day, Harlem amassed 3,801 pins, a new team high for the league this season, to 3,310 for Belvidere North.

North got a personal best three-game, 613 series from Kylie Johnson. Rachel Nelson followed with a 583; Alexis Bendorf came in next with a 571; followed by Brynn Lambrecht with a 551 and Sidney Baird with a 517; and then Camile Spencer with a 475.

Belvidere’s girls won their third consecutive conference match by rallying to defeat Hononegah in a close 3,166-3,103 final. The Lady Bucs fell behind, 1,056-962, after the first game but came back to win the second game, 1,115-1,052, and the decisive third game, 1,089-995, for the victory.

Elyce Turnipseed sparked the win with two personal bests, a 579 series and a 212 high game. Hailey Carter turned in a 625 series, her top three-game pinfall so far this year.

Next up were Alexis Sherman with a 533 series; Holley Steelberg, a 496; Hannah Lowery, a 484; and Hannah Whidby, a 449.

Top-notch opponents

Belvidere and Belvidere North boys recorded a total of six personal bests against Hononegah and Harlem, respectively.

Justin Bragg recorded a 660 series for the Blue Thunder with Javier Martinez rolling a 640 series that included a 268 single game. Jose Gonzalez contributed a 600 series; Jonathan Powell had a 592 series and a 228 single game.

Also for North, Garrett Nelson had another 600-plus series, this time with a 614. Alex Schauer contributed a 489.

Team-wise, Harlem won the match with a new, high pinfall, 4,126-3,595.

For Belvidere, Ben Deardorff had a new high series, a 631, and a personal best high game of 235 against Hononegah. Anthony Gutierrez chipped in a personal best 603 series that included a 216 high game, also his best so far this winter.

Other contributions came from Greg Suthers with a 599 series; Kevin Jenks, a 583; Joe Gallagher, a 545; and Brock Irwin, a 507.

Earlier, on Thursday, Dec. 8, Belvidere North’s girls edged Hononegah, 3,086-3,024, while the Lady Bucs routed Auburn, 2,918-1,771.

The Lady Indians actually won two of the three games against North, but the Lady Blue Thunder gained enough of an advantage in the first one, 1,027-905, to make the winning difference.

In boys action, Belvidere lost to Auburn, while North was defeated by Hononegah.

Sherman had two personal bests, a 615 series and 256 high game, to lead the Lady Bucs against Auburn.

In addition, the 256 was the second high score among the five conference matches that day.

For North, the balanced offense was paced by Johnson’s 598 series.

In boys’ action, Nelson had a 621 for the Blue Thunder against Hononegah with Martinez close behind at 612. Belvidere’s Gallagher broke 700 for the first time this year, totaling 723 pins, a personal best, over three games. Irwin also had a good day, crafting a new high 640 series with a 269 single game.


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