By Bob Balgemann


The end of the 2019 portion of the 2019-20 conference season was a busy one for Harlem in boys and girls bowling, boys and girls basketball and wrestling.

All four Harlem bowling teams – boys varsity and junior varsity, girls varsity and JV – are in first place or tied for the top in the NIC-10. Each of them is undefeated with holiday tournaments coming up and the end of the conference season on tap in January.

A highlight for the JVs (other than being 6-0) is the 300 game recently bowled by Jeremy Martinez.

Further, the Lady Huskies won their last three NIC-10 games of 2019 in basketball and have improved to 4-3 in the league and 6-6 overall. They will be close to home over the holidays in the Reindeer Classic at Boylan Catholic.

Meanwhile, the Huskies have encountered tough sledding on the hard court (4-5 overall, 1-4 in conference) after a promising start at 3-1. They now are hoping to get back on track during the highly competitive State Farm Classic holiday tournament in Bloomington.

And host Harlem came away with two places in the 32nd Al Dvorak Memorial Wrestling Tournament, going up against some top-notch individuals from Illinois, Wisconsin, Washington, Ohio and New Jersey. Chicago suburban Lombard Montini won the event with 311 1/2 points followed by Chicago Mount Carmel with 249; Huntley, 170 1/2; Lockport Township, 128 1/2; and Edwardsville, 123. Nearby DeKalb was seventh; Dakota 12th; Freeport, 21st; host Harlem, 27th; Hononegah, 32nd; and Boylan Catholic, 34th.

NIC-10 bowling

In bowling, Harlem closed out the first half of the conference season at 6-0 by defeating Boylan in both boys and girls varsity and junior varsity matches.

The Huskie varsity rolled past the Titans with their second highest series of 2019-20, a pinfall of 4,031, to just 3,485 for Boylan. They had a league-best 1,385 single game for the day, along with the 4,031 series. Earlier this year, they had a pinfall of 4,040.

Against Boylan, Ethan Pash tied with teammate Devon Schwanke with the second highest single game of the day, a 265, to go with a 764 series. Alex Cleaveland put together a 704 series.

Through the first six conference games Pash has the second highest average of all individuals, a 228. Cleaveland is third, with a 224; Josh Roth, tied for fifth with a 219; P.J. Mellies, seventh with a 218; and Schwanke, tied for 10th with a 213.

Team-wise, Harlem (6-0) has a one-game lead over Hononegah (5-1) and Auburn (5-1), with Belvidere North, Freeport, Belvidere and Rockford East all at 3-3. First place could be decided when the Huskies and Knights meet Jan. 14 in the final conference match of the season.

Harlem’s junior varsity, which utilizes 12 bowlers, is tied with Belvidere, also 6-0, for first place.

Through those six games Martinez ranks No. 2 among individuals with a 221 average, with Lucas Merrick No. 3 at 218 and Brennan Pash tied for sixth at 207. While rolling his 300 against Boylan, Martinez also had a three-game 745 series, which is No. 2 among conference competitors this season. Merrick is No. 1, with a 750.

In girls action, the Lady Huskies are 4-0 and tied with Belvidere for first place. Next in line are Hononegah and Freeport, both at 3-1, with Belvidere North and Guilford posting 2-2 records.

Team-wise, Harlem leads the NIC-10 with a 1,358 single game and a 3,848 series. Individually, Olivia Watton is No. 2 with a 278 single game and third with a 718 series. Paige Carpenter’s 675 series ranks fifth.

In averages, Watton’s 231 is No. 1 after six games. Carpenter (213) is third; Amanda Bohn (206) is fourth; Joana Araojo (200) is fifth; and Laura Bartelt and Jocelynn Eggert (195 each) are tied for seventh.

The JVs also are 4-0 and tied for first with Belvidere.

Carolyn Richards bowled a near perfect 299 in the recent victory over Boylan, coupled with a 716 series. So far this season Hailee Kerr is second to Richards with a 259 single game, followed by Madison Woodman in third with a 243. Kerr’s 628 series is second best individually. Lianna Summers is fifth with a 231 single game and third with a 602 series.

Average wise, Harlem occupies the first four places among individuals led by Richards in first with a 208; Kerr, second at 193; Summers, third at 183; and Woodman, fourth at 173.


The Lady Huskies took a three-game winning streak into the holiday tournament, Reindeer Games, at Boylan.

They started the first of three routs by defeating Jefferson, 76-38. After battling to a 16-16 standoff in the first quarter, head coach Beth Meyer’s squad outscored the J-Hawks, 27-9, in the second period to lead, 43-25, at halftime. It was 67-35, Harlem, after three quarters.

Bri Jackson shot 53 percent from the field while leading the Lady Huskies with 22 points. Julie Bailey knocked down 15, hitting 5-of-9 from 3-point range; Grace Wyborny chipped in 14, on 46-percent shooting; and Brielle Shaw added 11 points, to go with four steals.

Success No. 2 was 70-32 over Rockford East, during which Harlem jumped off to a 20-8 first quarter lead and was up, 34-18, at intermission. If there was any doubt as to the outcome it was put to rest in the fourth period, when the Lady Huskies mounted a 24-4 closure.

Vyborny had a season and career-high 26 points and 15 rebounds to lead her team. Jakcson chipped in 11, with Bailey and Shaw adding eight apiece. Ali MacGregor contributed seven.

Finally, Harlem once again was dominant; both offensively and defensively, with a lopsided 66-21 win over Freeport. The Lady Huskies led 17-4 after one quarter; 32-10 at halftime; and 55-14 after three.

They show 53 percent as a team and were led by Vyborny’s 18 points, following by Shaw with 11 and Bailey with 10 to go with seven steals. Jackson grabbed nine rebounds.

Harlem’s boys varsity escaped the early portion of NIC-10 competition by dropping a 73-52 decision to Guilford (6-1, 3-1).

Dominic McCarren topped scoring for the Huskies with 11 points; Dominic Dawsey added 10; and Lathan Lewis had nine.


Harlem had seven competitors in the 14 weight classes at the Dvorak tournament, with two of them earning places. Kyetin Lindquist (14-2) had a busy two days with seven matches. He finished 5-2 overall at 145 pounds and took seventh place with a 4-3 decision in the consolation finals.

Chad Richards (20-2) was fifth, winning the consolation finals at 170 pounds by injury default. Overall, he won three of five matches.

Marshal Cunz (11-6) didn’t place at 152 pounds but he won two of his four matches. Riley Deery (8-5) won once at 220 while not placing.

Also competing at Dvorak were Myles Babcock at 120 pounds; Jackson Cross at 132; and Collin Swinney at 138.

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