ETHS boys bowling: Team advances to state finals for 1st time in school history

Whoever created the cliche that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, must have had the Evanston boys bowling team in mind.

The Wildkits have had their share of fast starts at various alleys during this historic season. But nobody closes out a tournament quite like Evanston.

Coach Harold Bailey’s squad leapfrogged two other challengers in Game 6 and punched a ticket for the Illinois High School Association state finals for the first time in school history at the Glenbard East Sectional tournament Saturday.

The Wildkits put together a score of 1092 over the last 10 frames of a long day, and even endured a late equipment malfunction, but clinched an automatic team qualifying berth with their fourth-place finish.

ETHS finished at 6244, off the pace the Kits strung together at the regional but easily enough to advance as one of the six automatic qualifiers out of each sectional.

Saint Patrick set the team qualifying pace with a pinfall of 6585, ahead of Glenbard East (6328), Lyons (6297), ETHS, Lane Tech (6172) and Reavis (6113) in the 12-team field.

The state finals are set for Friday and Saturday in downstate O’Fallon. Evanston is the only team from the Central Suburban League to advance to the finals.

Senior John Leibforth’s sizzling score of 260 in the final game helped him earn seventh place overall in the individual standings with a team-best 1363, backed up by teammates Isaac Clay-Barbour (1336), Andrew Bartol (1241), Justin Davis (1129 ) and Clayton Krasinski (1175).

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