A strong final two games pushed Plainfield South junior Cassie Bucaro to state for the first time in her career.
Heading into the final two games, Bucaro was outside the top five individual qualifier spots after she salvaged a 180 fourth game at the Joliet Sectional after starting the game with three opens in five frames.
“I know my fourth game was probably my worst game of the day and I bounced back with the help of my coaches,” Bucaro said. “I just kept bowling. I stayed positive and didn’t let bad breaks get to me and move on from it.”
In the fifth game she moved back into contention with a 215 and then completed the comeback with a 217 to take the fourth of five qualifying spots with a 1,217 six-game total.
“I had no clue how close it was,” Bucaro said. “I had people coming up to me after asking how I did and I didn’t know. It feels amazing.”
Her advancement marks the second straight year Plainfield South will be representing the entire district at Cherry Bowl in Rockford. The state meet takes place this Friday and Saturday.
“I just want to do the best I can do,” Bucaro said. “I just have to take it frame by frame and stay positive. You can’t really predict anything.”
Last year it was Paige Kwitakowski who qualified for state, but this year was passed in the final game by her teammate. Kwiatkowski finished one spot and seven pins out of the final qualifying spot with a 1,204.
“We knew it was close between us,” Bucaro said. “She (Kwiatkowski) did the best she could do today. I just hope it doesn’t cause any problems. It was nice to have her here with me since the team didn’t make it.”
Plainfield Central was the only district team to advance to the sectional round, but it came up short of a state berth (top 4), finishing seventh with a 5,391 total.
Junior Heather Petwekwicz finished in 17th place overall with a 1,160. She was in position to advance to state after the morning, but a 130 in the fourth game was the difference in her goal to advance to state.
“It was more the pressure of wanting to go to state,” Petwekwicz said. “I didn’t know I was so close at the time. I’m hoping next year we can take it to state as a team. I was happy today.”
Esmerelda Flores (1,124), Meghan Tatera (1,069), Megan Allensworth (1,043) and Kristen Carr (995) contributed.
North and East also had representatives at the sectional meet.
The Tigers had scores from Nadine Krasauskis (1,070) and Kelsey Hobbs (1,033), while East was represented by Kristin Ruzicka (1,043), Skylar Walsh (1,000) and Kayla Dench (883).