By Bob Balgemann

With the nine-game, NIC-10 bowling season nearing the half-way mark, Harlem’s four bowling teams remain undefeated and are working toward a fresh set of championships.

Harlem’s varsity boys (4-0) are alone in first place but this year’s primary challengers, Belvidere, Belvidere North and Auburn, all at 3-1, are on the schedule for January.

The Huskies continued winding down the first half of the regular season by defeating Freeport, 3,908 to 3,555. They won all three games, 1,272 to 1,150; 1,296 to 1,158; and 1,340 to 1,247.

Individually, the win was led by Devin Titus with a three-game series of 730, his personal best so far this winter. Jerry Simmons was close behind, logging a 717 and improving his top individual game from 236 to 255.

Other contributors were Eric Roberts with a 684 series; Ryen Apgar, a 612; Braden Schuld, a 591; and Ben Smith, a 574. This was Apgar’s second appearance with the varsity, after being elevated for the third game, against Guilford. He had a strong showing in that one with a 667 series that included a 238 high game.

Roberts remains No. 1 in the conference with his 232 average over 12 games. Titus is seventh, averaging 219.

Team-wise, the Huskies continue to lead the conference with a 4,011 series and 1,408 single game, registered in the Guilford match, which they won, 4,011 to 3,431.

Harlem’s junior varsity boys, defending NIC-10 champions, also are 4-0, and also own a first-game victory over Hononegah, theirs by 3,594 to 3,088. So far the high series (3,594) and high single game (1,245) marks they generated in that match remain best among teams in the league.

In addition, team-wise, the Huskies have defeated Jefferson, 3,287 to 0; Guilford, 3,480 to 1,380; and Freeport, 3,480 to 2,798.

So far JV coaches have used 11 boys in their various lineups.

The opening day victory saw Justin Henrey lead the way with a 659 series and a 266 single game. Ryen Apgar was next in line with a 611 series and a 219 single game, followed by Colton Kilbreath and Jeremy Martinez, each with a 598 series and high game of 233 and 216, respectively; Dake Titus, 582 series and 210 high game; and Zander Carpenter, 546 series and 217 single game.

But there was an almost entirely different lineup in the second game, against Jefferson. Carpenter, who bowled against Hononegah, also bowled against the J-Hawks and carded a new personal best 652 series, along with a new high single game of 226. The rest of the lineup was new, including Caeleb Johnson with a 628 series and a 220 single game; Andrew Bell, a 530 series and 200 single game; Simon Axe, 512 series and 191 single game; Hayden Halfacre, 496 series and 190 single game; and Trevor Olson, 469 series and 166 single game.

Against Guilford, there were five returnees from the opening day lineup, plus one newcomer. The newcomer was Brayland Carpenter, who shot a 538 series with a high game of 179. The balance of competitors that day consisted of Kilbreath with a high daily match series of 619 and a new high single game of 244; Henrey, 596 series; Zander Carpenter, 587 series; Martinez, 571 series and new high game of 233; and Dake Titus, 570 series.

Finally, against Freeport in match No. 4, the lineup was a mix of the following: Henrey with a new high series of 693, that also now leads the conference; Zander Carpenter, 599 series and new high game of 244; Martinez, 578 series; Axe, 546 series and new high game of 202; Olson, 475 series and new high game of 181; and Johnson, 589 and new single game of 237.

The JVs are the same as the varsity in that their closest challengers for the conference title currently are Belvidere, Auburn and Belvidere North, all with 3-1 records, and all scheduled to meet Harlem in January.

Lady Huskies

The girls NIC-10 bowling season is two games behind the boys, and so Harlem and the others have played twice so far.

Harlem’s defending varsity and junior varsity teams are 2-0 at this early stage, having defeated Guilford and Freeport.

After handily defeating Guilford, 3,488 to 2,789, the Lady Huskies had a tougher time of it with Freeport, winning by 3,363 to 3,237 against one of their most serious challengers in the conference. Actually, the Lady Pretzels won their first game, by eight pins, 1,122 to 1,114, only to see Harlem come back and take the second and third games by respective pin counts of 1,106 to 1,078 and 1,143 to 1,037.

Against Freeport, Paige Carpenter led the way with a 673 series, which included a new personal best single game of 245. Also contributing were Carolyn Richards with a 583 series; Hailee with a 566; Riley Gilbert, a 549; and Stephanie Windsor, a 521. Miranda Klenz rolled a two-game 345; Naomi Kernica stepped in and bowled one game, recording a 136.

Across the conference, Carpenter’s 209 average per game ranks second, individually, with Richards’ 208 being third. Team-wise, Harlem’s 3,488 series is first with its 1,141 single game being second.

There are three 2-0 teams – Harlem, Hononegah and Auburn – while Guilford, Jefferson, Belvidere North and Belvidere each is at 1-1.

While two NIC-10 matches have been played among junior varsity teams, results only were able for the first one. Harlem, Hononegah and Auburn are 1-0 and tied for first place. In their opener, the Lady Huskies defeated Guilford, 2,842 to 1,634.

Melanie Dooley led the victory with a three-game 531 series and a high game of 193. Both rank first in the conference, individually, as does her average of 177 pins per game.

Also helping defeat Guilford were Samantha Grinnall with a 494 series and 180 high game; Kaylynn Coffee, 486 average and 179 high game; Chloe Bedlin, 469 series and 165 high game; and Chloe Broughton, 458 series and 172 high game. Athena O’Dell bowled two games, recording a 288 series with a high game of 159; Alyssa Prince had one game, of 116 pins, and that also represented her high game.

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