High School Sports Notes
Andrew’s bid for a repeat state title came up short when the Thunderbolts finished fourth in the loaded Rich East Sectional on Saturday at Lakewood Bowl in Richton Park.
Bad first games in both the morning and afternoon sessions – an 862 and an 819 – proved to be Andrew’s undoing.
“It’s disappointing,” Andrew coach Julie DeChene said. “We started to get something going, but those two games in the 800s really hurt. We just never got all five bowlers going at the same time.”
Seniors Cassie Boat, Nicole Zopf and Stephanie Garuckas concluded terrific careers.
“I told them ‘It’s been a great run,’ ” DeChene said. “There have been a lot of positives. I’m really proud of what they’ve done.”
District 230 still will be represented at the state meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Cherry Bowl in Rockford, by Sandburg, which won the Bremen Sectional behind red-hot Nicole Powell.
Powell, who finished fourth in the state last season, totaled 1,469 pins over six games (244.8 average), the best sectional score in the state. Powell should be one of the title contenders along with Lincoln-Way West’s Morgan Flaherty, the defending state champion.
Homewood-Flossmoor’s Kevin Kuchta put together an impressive performance Saturday at the SouthWest Suburban Blue meet, which was won by host Sandburg.
The senior standout won the 200-yard individual medley (2:00.14), the 100 breaststroke (1:01.57) and swam on two relays.
“I’m at about where I want to be for the end of the season that’s coming up,’’ Kuchta said. “I should taper very well and should have a pretty good sectional and pretty good state.’’
Contributing third-place finishes for H-F were Jakobi McClellan (100 butterfly), Haden Santefort (500 freestyle) and the medley and 400 free relays that included Kuchta, McClellan and Santefort and were anchored by Lionel Keys.
“We really stepped it up and swam really well this meet,’’ Kuchta said.
Sandburg won its 10th straight conference championship Saturday.
Sophomore Trevor Winans won the 200 freestyle (1:44.92) and 500 freestyle (4:49.76).
“I feel I’m really efficient in the water,’’ he said. “Since we’re winding down our yardage and getting ready for championship meets, it’s easier to work on little things like turns and being very efficient.’’
All four teams in the area will be sending athletes to sectional competition and there are a couple of individual competitors who advanced as well.
The area is sending 14 athletes into Wednesday’s Hinsdale Central Sectional.
Lincoln-Way’s co-op team received an at-large bid when it took second at the Oswego Regional on Saturday. Individually, Kaila Pohrte, Shelby Witkor, Mallory Winter and Samantha Duggan will compete in the all-around. Miranda Hobbs and Jalyn Hobbs will compete in events as well.
Andrew’s Jamie Valla won the all-around regional title at Neuqua Valley with a 36.5, the third-best regional score feeding into the sectional. She earned the title after battling leg injuries that limited her to just one event in the SouthWest Suburban Conference meet. Teammate Val Nehls will compete in the vault.
Shepard freshman Skylor Hilger won the Hinsdale Central Regional all-around title. Her 36.15 score is fourth among scores feeding into the sectional.
Anna Girlich and Hannah Mussalem of the Sandburg/Stagg co-op team qualified in the all-around.
Homewood-Flossmoor’s Aleigha Williams qualified in the all-around and teammate Angel Duncan made it in the floor exercise.
Lockport’s Kacie Kenney qualified at large in the all-around.
After his team won the Class 3A Lockport Regional on Saturday, Lincoln-Way Central coach Jason DePolo was asked to compare his squad to teams that fell short in the past.
“It’s a ton of luck as far as match-ups,” DePolo said. “Having Plainfield Central here, I think they help us by hurting Lockport. That’s luck. And we have a team that can perform under pressure a little bit better than last year.”
Homewood-Flossmoor’s Mike Burke, the Lockport Regional titleholder at 106 pounds, had high praise for teammates and fellow regional champs Connor Bandy (145) and Donnie Bell (182).
“Connor’s been less about fighting and more technical lately, and he’s looked really good,” Burke said. “Donnie, you can tell he wants it this year. At the start of the season he wasn’t there, but lately he’s improving a lot, coming early to practice and more motivated.”
In Class 2A, Lincoln-Way West cruised through the Tinley Park Regional with seven champions.
A rematch of note was Oak Forest’s Alec Brown taking the 220-pound title over Tinley Park’s top-seeded Derek Schultz. Brown (34-2) avenged his only defeats of the season and gave Schultz (35-1) his first blemish with a 3-2 decision.