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The Mokena Messenger 021617

54 | February 16, 2017 |

54 | February 16, 2017 | The Mokena Messenger SPORTS Lincoln-Way handily wins sectional to advance to state Frank Gogola Freelance Reporter Lincoln-Way co-op and Sandburg co-op girls gymnastics dominated at the Oswego Sectional in their own ways. Lincoln-Way’s depth helped it win the sectional championship despite the team having its worst scoring performance of the postseason Thursday, Feb. 9, at Oswego High School. Junior Una Farrell qualified for state as an individual in all five events, while junior Gabby DeVito, sophomore Barb Belka and freshman Korina Jarosz qualified in one event each. “I’m just proud of the girls and proud of the season,” said Lincoln-Way coach Kim Lago. “They’ve fought so hard this season. We had a huge injury [to junior Maddie Flondor] in December, and the girls just kept fighting through and came together as a team. It just was amazing.” After finishing second at sectional the past two years, Lincoln-Way won its first sectional title since the 2005-2006 season. The program will be making its first state appearance as a team since the 2007-2008 season. “I can’t wait,” Farrell said of going to state with the team after qualifying as an individual the past two seasons. “It’s going to be so much fun just because everybody’s going to be there. We’re one big, happy family. I’m just so happy I get to experience this with all of them.” Lincoln-Way’s 144.075 points were 3.875 points better than second-place Downers Grove South’s 140.200. Lincoln-Way posted the best team score in vault (36.625), floor (36.275), bars (35.800) and beam (35.375). The 144.075 is a drop from its regional-winning score of 145.475, which was down from a season-high 145.95 to win the South- West Suburban Conference • Mar 4 - Apr 15 • Saturdays, 9am - 11am • 7 Week Program • $250 Per Player • Ages 8 - 14 Lincoln-Way’s sectional title is the team’s first since the 2007-2008 season. championship. It is also the lowest score of the four sectional winners: DeKalb put up a 148.575, Prairie Ridge posted a 147.850, and Glenbrook South had a 145.450. The second-half run has continued without Flondor, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in December. She was in her first season competing for Lincoln-Way after coming over from club gymnastics, and she was expected to be an all-arounder. “She would show up to practices and push us and make sure that we were working hard,” Farrell said. “We needed to make sure that we wouldn’t let her down because she worked so hard for us.” Farrell took third in allaround (36.475), finishing 0.025 points behind the firstplace tie (36.500) between Sandburg’s Maddie Giglio and Lyons Township’s Olivia Kalata. She placed fourth on beam (9.075), tied for fourth on floor (9.200), took fifth on bars (8.925) and tied for fifth on vault (9.275). Last year, Farrell placed 28th at state on beam. She finished 32nd on vault as a freshman. “This is finally her moment to shine,” Lago said. “She knows what to expect, having been at the state series for two years. For her, this is the big part of the season, this is her exciting part, where for others it’s a lot of nerves.” Junior Gabby DeVito placed fourth on vault (9.300) to advance to state for the second straight season. She finished 26th on floor at state last season. Sophomore Barb Belka earned her first trip to state with a second-place finish on floor (9.300). It’s her first year competing for Lincoln- Way after she spent last year on a club team. Freshman Korina Jarosz will also be making her state debut after taking second on bars (9.325). Jarosz, the SWSC all-around champion, finished 11th in all-around (34.800). “We have yet to have a meet where we hit 5-for-5 routines,” Lago said. “That’s really our goal at state is to show everybody that hey, Lincoln-Way is a great program, and we’re somebody that everybody’s going to have to watch out for.” Sandburg, the only other area team at the sectional, had a gymnast win all five events, but the top-heavy, young Eagles finished fifth out of six as a team. Freshman Maddie Giglio won the all-around title, and she and junior Maddy Roe qualified Lincoln-Way’s Barb Belka performs her floor routine Thursday, Feb. 9, during the Oswego Sectional. Photos by Mark Korosa/22nd Century Media Una Farrell, who will make her third consecutive trip to state, competes in the vault. for state as individuals in four events each. “The two of them together give us a great 1-2 punch,” Sandburg coach Mike White said. He added: “This is valuable experience, especially for those younger ones who had some falls tonight. We had seven falls last week, so I said, ‘Let’s try and cut it in half,’ and we had eight on the first event on beam. That made it easier for me to lighten the load and say, ‘Let’s have a little fun with this, let’s work on what we need to work on.’” The highest-scoring team and top five individuals automatically qualified for state. At-large advancers will be announced on the IHSA website. SPORTS the Mokena Messenger | February 16, 2017 | 55 fastbreak Girls bowling Young East, Central teams look to next year 22nd Century Media File Photo 1st-and-3 Prepping for postseason 1. Chris Robinson (ABOVE) The Lincoln-Way Central junior accounted for 30 of the Knights’ points, scoring 19 of his own and assisting on five more baskets during a 67-58 win in over Andrew Feb. 7. 2. Aaron Michalak As the senior guard so often does, Michalak scored in double figures, adding 12 points to Central’s win. 3. Abi Baumgartner The Central girls basketball forward was a bright spot for the Knights, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a 63-38 loss to Bradley-Bourbonnais Thursday, Feb. 9. Griffins, Knights not able to advance beyond tough sectional Frank Gogola Freelance Reporter For the first time this postseason, things were not coming easily for Lockport. The state’s No.-1 ranked team according to Illinois- had been in second place the majority of the day at the Andrew Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Orland Bowl. As other teams started to fade late in the day, strong play from junior Bailey Delrose and a lineup change helped the Porters win the sectional title and earn their fifth consecutive trip to state. “It’s been a fantastic run, especially these last three years,” Lockport coach Art Cwudzinski said. “You don’t see girls with this ability this often, and all on the same team. It’s been a pleasure to watch them work and mature. They’ve accepted both the good and bad breaks.” Lockport was the only area school to advance to state as a team. Andrew’s Noelle Doody and Danielle Stefanski qualified for state, as did Sandburg’s Emily Schrader. Sandburg’s Sophia Jablonski advanced to state in the wheelchair division. Lincoln-Way West, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln- Way Central and Tinley Park did not qualify any individual bowlers. The lowest individual advancing score was a 1,259. The four highest-scoring teams and five top-scoring individuals who didn’t advance with a team moved on to state. The state finals are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Cherry Bowl Lanes in Rockford. Lincoln-Way East sophomore Angela Juskie closed the afternoon session on a high note but missed qualifying for state as an individual by one spot, as her team settled for an eighth-place finish. “We had a rough start,” East coach Carlie Premo said. “We just talked about having fun, and they were relaxed after that. We hit one of our goals of getting 1,000 pins. We also wanted to stay above 900 each game but didn’t do that twice.” Juskie bowled a 1,241 to finish sixth among individuals without an advancing team. She was 18 pins behind Yorkville’s Hannah Jaros for the final individual spot. Her 1,241 was 189 pins better than her 1,052 at regional. She followed up a 579 in the morning session with a 662 in the afternoon. Her 221, 225 and 242 in the third, fourth and sixth games, respectively, were her three best games across the conference championship, regionals and sectionals. As a team, the Griffins finished in eighth place with a 5,528 pins. They finished 249 pins behind fourth-place Oswego (5,777). They bowled a 2,842 in the afternoon session after going for 2,686 in the morning. Their 1,035 in Game 4 was a season high and their first game of 1,000 or more pins this season. Their series total 5,528 was better than their 4,792 at the conference championship and 5,170 at regional. “It’s been a reverse bell curve type of season,” Premo said. “We started strong, had a lull in the middle and kicked it up when we needed to these past few weeks. Sophomore Sydney Tyler bowled an 1,176. Senior Olivia Heppeler rolled a 1,081. Senior Mary Toman had a 1017. Freshman Katelyn Adamitis put up a 623 in four games, while junior Cheyanne Sanchez had a 390 in two games. The Griffins will return five bowlers, losing starters Heppeler and Toman and sub Maritza Sanchez. It was a bit of a learning season for Premo and the Griffins, as Tyler was in her first year bowling, and the rest of the bowlers came over from Lincoln-Way North. The team’s score of 5,528 was 794 pins better than North’s last-place finish (4,734) at last year’s sectional. “It’ll be a decently young team, but there should be some good talent,” Premo said of next year. “We have to work on staying relaxed and having fun. When they get in their own heads, they tend to get down on themselves.” East has never advanced to state as a team. Central’s season came to an end, as its three individual sectional qualifiers failed to advance to state. Senior Maddy Willson bowled a team-high 1,143 to finish 17th among individuals without an advancing team. Her best games were a 224 and 221 in Games 3 and 4, respectively. However, a 144 in the first game and 154 in the sixth game hurt her chances. “The competition was just so good,” Lincoln-Way Central coach Steve Paulsen said. “You almost couldn’t get away with even one bad game. You had to have six solid games. It was just very good bowling in this sectional.” Sophomore Kalei Bass bowled a 1,084. She was 17th overall after a 626 in the morning session, but a 458 in the afternoon put her in 27th among individuals without a qualifying team. Senior Maria Buck finished with a 957. She followed up a 482 in the morning with a 475 in the afternoon. For Willson and Buck, it was their final games bowling for Central. “You could tell the emotions got to them,” Paulsen said. “They were crying, hugging each other. It got to me, too, because I’ve seen them grow up having been around them for four years. I’m proud of them and their perseverance.” Central will return regular starters Bass, sophomore Maddie Conroy and freshman Marianna Hristakos. Next year, the team will have only one senior, Amber Winemiller, but she has no varsity experience, having been on junior varsity. “Out of all our underclassmen, Kalei exceeded all the expectations I had of her,” Paulsen said. “She was so above and beyond. There will be a lot more bowling for her. We’ll be looking upon her for leadership next year, because without a doubt, we’ll be young.” Lincoln-Way West coach Scott Jablonski knew it would take a minimum score of 5,700 to be in contention for a trip to state. That would require a 950 average. The Warriors averaged a 942 to finish in sixth place with a 5,652. They just missed a trip to state, as they were 125 pins behind fourthplace Oswego’s 5,777. “We have a scrappy team, and we knew we’d have a better chance of qualifying as a team than individuals qualifying,” Jablonski said. Listen Up “It was like I was running off adrenaline [today] because I knew my team needed me last game. I felt like I let them down last game, so I had to come through for them this game.” Chris Robinson – Lincoln-Way Central boys basketball guard, on what fueled his performance in a rematch against Andrew. TUNE IN Boys basketball 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 • Lincoln-Way Central boys basketball will conclude its regular season home schedule with a Senior Night matchup against T.F. South. Index 49 - Providence hockey 48 – Athlete of the Week FASTBREAK is compiled by Editor Tim Carroll,