OTTAWA — The Streator High School girls and boys bowling teams saw some pretty significant improvement in their scores during Thursday's visit to Dettore's Town Lanes to take on the Ottawa Lady Pirates and Pirates.
Host Ottawa High School, however, saw two varsity victories go in the books.
In their first home meet of the season, the OHS girls claimed two of three games and held on to win the series from the Bowlin' Lady Bulldogs by a scant 59 pins, 2,379-2,320. Returning sectional qualifier Emma Lieser led the Lady Pirates and all bowlers on the south end where the girls teams were competing, carding a 506 series (179, 178 high games).
Behind Lieser's strong effort, Ottawa received a 455 series (202 high game) from Kaitlyn Gribbins, a 403 courtesy of Kyra Straith and a 356 off the hand of Micaela Sandoval. The Lady Pirates' scorecard was rounded out by Michaela Boaz (137 high game), Maryaha Gribbins (148 high game) and Alex Graham Harris (110 high game).
Streator's team score improved with every game, and after losing the second by 13 pins the Bowlin' Lady Bulldogs salvaged the third game by an 842-704 count. Kaylee Sroka's 471 series (172, 166 high games) led Streator.
"Honestly, it was just listening to what the coaches say," Sroka said of the reason for her team-high series, "and then applying what they were saying. That was it, really. Strikes are great, but spares make the game ... and I focused on that."
Rachel Cox with a 458 series (163 high game), Hallie Ligori's 404 (165), Presley Walker with an even 400, Madi Mertes' 338 and a 249 from Kelly Connor finished off the SHS team score.
Over on the north end of the lanes, both Ottawa's and Streator's boys posted better scores than they did in Wednesday losses — the Bowlin' Bulldogs' over 1,000 pins better against Ottawa than they rolled the previous day against Hall.
Even that incredible improvement wasn't enough for the visitors to catch their high-powered hosts, though, as Ottawa won all three games and took the series by a final 3,491-3,189 count.
The Pirates' Brandan LeRette led all bowlers, starting out strong and when the pin dust cleared recording a 668 series (257, 233 high games).
"As a team, I think we're pretty solid," LeRette said. "We only lost one guy from last year's team ... and we do have some things to work on, but that's just what will make us better.
"For me, it's just a matter of focusing and not worrying about throwing strikes. I just have to throw the ball."
LeRette's Pirates teammate, Bernie Pullara, was right behind him with a 658 (244, 257 high games). Josh Norsen added in a 590 series (195, 223), Kenny Parise marked a 560 (191), Isaac Jung contributed a 551 (191, 190) and Bryant Morgan rounded out the Pirates scorecard with his 464 series.
Streator's Zack Grabowski joined LeRette and Pullara as the day's other above-600 scorer, finishing with a Bowlin' Bulldogs-best 608 series (217, 200, 191 games). Ashton Kling pitched in a 552 series (203), Chandler Bedecker a 531, Max O'Brien a 524 (204), Seth Kelly a 514 (193) and Jesse Cashmer a 460.