The Dixon Dukes bowling team won its second straight sectional title Saturday, winning a close 4-team race in DeKalb to earn back-to-back state berths.
The Dukes rolled a 5,935 as a team, edging runner-up South Elgin (5,898) by 37 pins. DeKalb took third (5,880), Sycamore finished fourth (5,831) and Rochelle placed fifth (5,828), but only 25 pins separated the first- and fourth-place teams heading into the sixth and final game.
Connor Allen’s six-game series of 1,241 was good for eighth individually, and it included five 200 games and a 257 high game. Josh Rex was close behind, rolling four 200 games and a 1,234 series. Andrew Hamburg (1,184 series) was the only other Duke to bowl all six games, while Brandon Bonnette’s opening 268 game topped the team.
Oregon, battled some illness, finished seventh as a team with a 5,558 total, its lowest tournament score of the year. Senior Dan Grimm led the way with an 1,178 series that included three 200 games, while freshman Brandon Taylor added an 1,164 series with four 200 games.
South Elgin will join the Dukes next week at the state meet in O’Fallon, as will the top two individuals: Sycamore’s Kyle Bonnell (1,375 series) and Mendota’s Cody Phalen (1,357).
Panthers third at Orion: Brandon McCullough won the 106-pound title to lead Erie-Prophetstown to third place at the 18-team Bob Mitton Invitational.
Dakota (245) and Mercer County (199.5) were the top two squads.
McCullough won an 8-0 major decision against Sherrard’s Hunter Spengler in the finals. Also for the Panthers, Seth Montgomery was second (160) and John Butts was third (195).
Oregon was 10th 62 points). Taking second for the Hawks were Brandon Sklavanitis (170) and John Brink (195).
AFC placed 13th 36 points). The Raiders’ Jake Kaecker took second at 152.
Newman 8th in East Moline: The Comets got a pair of runner-up finishes from Warren Melton to tie for eighth in the 11-team United Township Panther Invitational.
Melton took second in the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.11) and the 100 butterfly (54.97 seconds), and Newman scored 73 points to tie Davenport (Iowa) Central for eighth. Rock Island won the meet with 262 points, well ahead of runner-up Normal (192.5).
Sterling 2nd at Ottawa:
Keanu Interone and Keaton Dir went 1-2 as the Warriors took second at the Ottawa Pentathlon.
Byron 7th in suburubs: Aaron Helander set a pair of personal bests at the St. Charles Invitational, as the Tigers placed seventh out of eight teams.
The Dixon junior won the 100 backstroke in a meet-record 52.82 seconds, and took third in the 100 butterfly (52.10).