Girls Bowling Finishes the Season


Rachel Nelson, Editor-In-Chief

The Belvidere North girls’ bowling team started their season in  November and had their first tournament on November 29, Black Friday. This was the NIC-10 Pre-Season Tournament held at Cherry Bowl. North took 7th as a team shooting a 4466. Rachel Nelson (‘20) finished the day in first shooting a 1266 and averaging 211. 

They had another tournament on December 7, the Jefferson Invite. North placed 10th this day with a 3867. Nelson finished in 5th individually with a 607 series averaging 202. This tournament was different from others because they only had three traditional games unlike the normal six. The rest of the tournament was 12 baker games, which is where five girls from each team bowl two frames per game. 

The first match of the season was December 10 against Jefferson. Nelson averaged 203 for the day, while Jessica Schardl (‘20) shot a 614 averaging 205. North beat Jefferson 2760-2119. They followed this up with a loss to Marengo 2783-2572. High bowler for the day was Nelson with a 572 averaging 191. 

The next match was against cross-town rivals Belvidere. They lost this match 3025-2526. Nelson was high for the day with a 667 averaging 222. They followed this with a win over the Auburn Knights on December 17 winning by 62 pins. The score was 2700-2638. Nelson had her PR game of 277 that night, finishing with a 692 series and averaging 231. 

Two days later they versed the Hononegah Indians. North lost this match 2999-2768. Schardl had her PR for both game and series with a 236 and 646 with games of 201, 209, 236. Nelson also had her PR for series that day with a 730 going 236, 236, 258. 

North traveled to a few different tournaments over winter break. They started out at the East Invite on December 21. North wasn’t able to field a team of their own that day so they were joined by a bowler from Geneseo and became a team of individuals. They took 7th that day with a 4718. Nelson placed 3rd individually with a 1233 series averaging 205. Kalaya Smelter (‘20) had a good day as she placed 23, shooting 1009 and averaging 168. 

Next they traveled to Forest Hills Lanes for the Harlem Invite on December 27. The team placed 16th shooting 4556. None of the girls placed individually. 

North picked it up at the Belvidere Invite on January 4. They placed 11th that day, but they had their highest game team score of 947. Paige Stolp (‘21) had a good day shooting her PR game of 203 and PR series of 992. She placed 37th individually. Nelson missed making the top 10 by 8 pins, shooting a 1155, but she won the survivor tournament at the end of the day. 

The first match back from break was against Woodstock at Kingston Lanes on January 6. The lanes were oilier than what North is used to, so it took them a game or so to get into their groove. Nelson started out with a 156 but was able to pull it back and followed it up with a 201 and a 255 for a 612 series. North lost to Woodstock 2548-2440. 

Next they had Harlem at Forest Hills Lanes. The day didn’t go well for many girls from either team. Majority of the girls had their lowest series of the season. North lost 3554-2456. 

They came back at the next match against Guilford and won 2838-2574. Nelson had the high series for the day with 556 while Stolp had the high game with a 197. Another high series came from Smelter as she had a 555. 

Next they had Freeport. North lost this match 2994-2732. Nelson was high for the day with a 579 followed by Smelter with a 519. 

The next match was against East. They lost this match 3224-2705. They followed this up with a win against Boylan 2932-2287. High for the day was Nelson with a 632 and Smelter with a 580. They had another non-conference match against Huntley. They won this match 2957-2908. 

Their next tournament was the Viking Girls Invitational. The team placed 18th with a 4867. Nelson was high for the day shooting a 1250 and placing 3rd individually. Schardl was the next high with a 984. 

Following the Viking Invite, the girls traveled to Town and Country Lanes to bowl Oregon HS in their last match of the season. Nelson bowled her first 300 in the second game and finished the day with a 687. Schardl had a 550 with a high game for the day of 212. North finished the season with a loss of 3383-2941. 

They finished the season 5-8 and placed 7th in conference. 

On Saturday, February 8, the team traveled to Don Carter Lanes in Rockford for the Guilford Regional. The shot was tougher that day than it normally is at Don Carter. You needed to have an end over end roll to be able to get the right reactions from the lane. North took 7th as a team that day with a 4646. Nelson took 4th individually overall with an 1183. Smelter also advanced to the Sycamore Sectional on February 15 at Mardi Gras Lanes. Smelter had a 1029 to take the 10th spot for advancing individuals not on qualifying teams. 

At sectionals, Smelter didn’t bowl well enough to advance to the state tournament only shooting a 1036. Nelson was able to make it out shooting a 1291 and placing 5th, just 9 pins out of 4th.

The girls bowling state tournament took place on Friday, February 21 and Saturday, February 22. Nelson advanced to day two after she bowled an 1134 averaging 189 for the day. The team leading the tournament was Lockport. On day two, Nelson was able to string some strikes as she figured out the right line for the pattern. She ended state finals in 33rd place averaging 198 for the weekend. 

“It definitely wasn’t how I was hoping to end my high school bowling career. I started state with a 150 game and ended state with a 150 game. If they had been higher I might have been able to make all-state, but it was a good run,” said Nelson.