The Sterling Golden Warriors girls bowling team found the consistency it's been looking for all season at just the right time Saturday at the United Township Sectional at Highland Park Bowl.
The Warriors finished second with a pin total of 5,542 to advance to next weekend's state tournament at Cherry Bowl Lanes in Rockford. Moline won the meet with a total of 6,119.
The Warriors trailed United Township after three games. The turning point was the fifth game, where Sterling bowled a 979 and the Panthers struggled with a 798.
"These girls did what we needed them to do," Sterling coach Dennis Black said. "After the second game, they were consistent."
It is the third year in a row that Sterling has qualified for state, and the fourth time in 5 years.
Senior Destinee Howard led the way with a pin count of 1,226. She was followed by Amber Granzow (1,168), Brandy Behrens (1,142), Magan Tintori (1,065) and Samantha Lewis (941).
Duchesses sixth in Rockford: The Duchesses were unable to advance to the state meet, placing sixth with 5,318 pins at the Rockford Auburn Sectional.
Jefferson won the meet with 6,101 pins. Harlem was second at 6,076.
Dixon's Devan Gearhart still has a chance to make state. She had the high at-large total from the meet at 1,246. A total of six at-large bowlers from around state will be selected today.
Sterling 60, Peoria Manual 56: The Warriors outscored Peoria Manual by six points in the second and third quarters Saturday in a nonconference win at Musgrove Fieldhouse.
Kiarra Harris led Sterling (17-12) with 17 points and eight rebounds, and she also had three assists and three steals. Stephanie Kester had 14 points, McKenna Pearson scored nine, and Gabby Sandoval chipped in six points, four assists and four steals.
Mercedes Davis led Manual with 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
Oregon 55, Mendota 33: The homestanding Hawks led 35-16 by halftime and cruised to a victory that officially wrapped up second place in the Big Northern West.
Emylyn Wright scored 12 points to pace a balanced attack for Oregon (22-6, 10-2), which had a dozen different girls score. McKaylee Beeter added nine points, and Sam Lambrigtsen scored eight.
Polo 61, Warren 44: Aleetra Roberts had 25 points and eight rebounds to lead the Marcos to a road victory in their regular-season finale.
Alina Llanas added 18 points, and Brecken Albrecht chipped in seven points, nine assists and four steals for Polo (8-16), which led 20-6 after one quarter.
Faith wins conference tourney: The Falcons swept a pair of games Saturday at Galena to win the NICC Tournament.
Faith beat Fulton Unity 32-13 in the semifinal. Amanda Smith, who was voted conference MVP for the season, had nine points.
In the championship, Faith beat Morningstar 48-29. Smith had 15 points, while Sarah Smith chipped in 13 and Tressa Schuler had 11 for Faith (22-2). Sarah Smith was voted a first-team all-conference player, while Schuler and Krista Beach were second-team selections.
Black Hawk East 61, Sauk Valley 52: Sheldeen Joseph had 19 points and six rebounds for the Skyhawks in a road loss to the Warriors in Kewanee.
Also for Sauk Valley (11-10, 2-4 Arrowhead), Lydia Box had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and Holly Nicklaus added 10 points, seven boards and five assists.
Lexis Lozano-Blanks had 22 points for Black Hawk East, and Kate Morrissey added 19.
Destinee Howard, Sterling bowling, team-high 1,226 total at UT Sectional
Aleetra Roberts, Polo hoops, 25 points, 8 rebounds
Kiarra Harris, Sterling hoops, 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Amanda Smith, Faith hoops, 24 points in 2 games at NICC tourney, named conference MVP