By Scott Taylor
For the Bugle
FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS — It was another state tournament that featured Lockport advancing to the final round after the Porters finished in 10th place over the weekend at St. Clair Bowl.
However, that didn’t appear to be the case as the Porters were in 20th place after the morning session on Friday.
A strong afternoon though vaulted them into the final qualifying spot in 12th place after the day Friday.
“It was a grind and it was rough,” Lockport senior Andy Sims said. “We bowled really well in the afternoon yesterday to get a berth here today. I wanted to bring the younger guys here today to see what it is like in the afternoon to see how loud it gets.”
“It was great,” Lockport junior Alec Buchaas said. “In the morning we didn’t bowl up to our standards, but in the afternoon we came back and we killed it and brought it back.”
In the end the Porters finished with a 12,012 total. Buchaas led the way with a 2,552. Caleb Derrig added a 2,352, Joe Wagner shot a 2,311 and Sims had a 2,196 in 11 games.
“It was a struggle,” Sims said. “They wanted to bring scoring down with the pattern and they did. My team did good. Nobody put us in a position to get this far. Our team wasn’t ranked to start the season, so to get here and finish 10th is a great accomplishment. We have a young group and they are going to be really good next year.”
“I’m very happy,” Buchhass said. “We have had a great season and finished good. I’m excited to have the spot as a leader and Im going to be ready to take it and we expect to be back here next year.”
It was the final tournament for Sims, who was a part of the past three Porter state final teams.
“I had a lot of fun,” Sims said. “There were a lot of great times and great memories. I made a lot of good friends.”
Minooka missed the cut as a team for the second year in a row and qualified just one individual for finals for the second straight year.
The Indians finished in 18th place with a 5,902 total. Last year they placed 17th.
Austin Schomig, a senior, was the lone advancer after shooting a 1,336 on the opening day.
“It started off real good as a team but it got a little slower as we progressed,” Schomig said. “We came out and stuck together and really tried. We stayed together as a team and tried to figure it out.”
Schomig gave it a run at an All-State berth (top 12) but ended up in 18th place with a 2,620 total, 23 pins out of 12th. He finished his career with a 257.
“I would have loved to make it with the team, but they were still here to support me,” Schomig said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted. I’m not as happy as I would have been, but I’m happy. I just gave it everything. It was a good feeling to bowl the last day of state.”
Jon Studer shot a 1,157, Kai Devine had a 1,157 and Ryan Koesema added a 1,153.