DEKALB – Consistency put the Sterling Golden Warriors girls bowling team in prime position to win the Northern Illinois Big 12 tournament Monday at Mardi Gras Lanes.
A momentary loss of that consistency cost them the title in the final game.
The Warriors dropped from first to fourth in their sixth game of the day, as Sycamore leapfrogged both Sterling and Morris to claim the title by 1 pin over the Redskins.
Sycamore had a score of 6,336. Morris was second at 6,335. Dixon, the regular-season conference champions, rallied with a strong sixth game for third at 6,325. Sterling was fourth at 6,282.
Morris' Savannah Strange won the meet with a 1,261.
"It's a big disappointment," Sterling coach Dennis Black said. "All we had to do was bowl decently in that final game, and we would have won it. We weren't able to do that."
The Warriors started slow with a 988 in the first game, putting them in sixth place, but they methodically moved up the field.
They shot 1,092 and 1,070 in the next games, which helped them climb into second place and within 69 points of Sycamore.
They blew past the Spartans in the fourth game, outscoring them 1,071 to 996, and seemed to have them buried by adding 42 more pins to that lead in the fifth game.
The real threat seemed to be Morris, which pulled with eight pins of the Warriors in the fifth game by throwing the high-series of 1,148.
"The day was not without positives," Black said. "We bowled four very consistent games, and we were right in position."
Sterling was in first place going into the last game by eight pins over Morris. Sycamore trailed by 48.
While the Spartans excelled with a 1,075 game, the Warriors fizzled out with a 973.
Dixon made good on the chance to finish strong. The Duchesses had held steady in third place most of the day before being overtaken in the fifth game by Morris.
Dixon found the pocket in the final game, scoring an 1,117, led by Autumn Day's 257 and a 256 by Emily Quaco.
"We finally remembered how to bowl that last game," Day said. "I think it will give us a lot of confidence going into our invite on Saturday and into sectionals next week by finishing strong here."
Day placed fourth on the day with a 1,216. She had three games in the 200s, including a 207 and 208 to go along with the 257. It was a welcomed improvement from the previous couple of weeks.
"I have really been struggling lately," Day said. "My timing has been off. It's really nice to come out and throw better, especially in that last game."
Quaco placed 10th with a 1,115. Devan Gearhart was 17th with a 1,057 followed Jenna Longan in 18th at 1,050.
"We didn't bowl quite the way that we wanted to, but we had two girls in the top 10," Dixon coach Larry LaCoursiere said. "We got rolling a bit in that sixth game, but we needed more of that throughout the day."
Sterling's Destinee Howard paved the way for the Warriors with an eighth-place finish at 1,141. Senior Amber Granzow was 12th at 1,107, and Samantha Lewis finished 15th at 1,071.
Individual champion: Savannah Strange, Morris 1,261
Team champion: Sycamore 6,336