REDBIRDS WIN CHAMPIONSHIP — The Alton Redbirds had plenty to celebrate Tuesday. They emerged as undisputed champions of the Southwestern Conference.
Alton defeated Belleville West by a score of 2,961 to 2,665 at Bowl Haven to finish 10-2 in the SWC and 12-2 overall. And when Collinsville defeated O’Fallon on Tuesday, it gave the Redbirds the outright title. They had been tied with the Panthers for the lead. Both O’Fallon and Collinsville finished 9-3 in the league.
“It’s the first time we’ve done that (outright title) since the first year I coached in 2000-2001,” AHS coach Jeff Woszczynski said. “The girls really bowled well.”
Eryka Graham rolled an impressive 760 series, including a 290 game, to pace the Redbirds. She also spun games of 233 and 237. Graham is carrying a 225 average.
“I think that’s the best game of her career and it’s the first time she has bowled a 700 series,” Woszczynski said.
Elizabeth Hanke contributed a 639 series, including a 246 game. Ashley Heistand added a 534 series and Chloe Greenberg had a 511.
The Redbirds are idle until Saturday, Feb. 6, when they compete in the Collinsville Regional at Camelot Bowl. Sectional action follows Feb. 13 in the Johnston City Sectional at Carterville and the IHSA finals run Feb. 19-20 in Rockford.
Meanwhile, the AHS boys are participating this weekend in the IHSA finals at St. Clair Bowl in O’Fallon. The Redbirds finished fifth in the Cahokia Sectional after taking third in the Taylorville Regional.
“We’re excited about the boys going to state. Timing is everything,” Woszczynski said of their solid postseason showings.
BIRDS BOW TO O’FALLON — LaJarvia Brown scored 19 points, but Alton lost to O’Fallon, 49-32, in a SWC game at the Panther Done on Tuesday.
The senior made 8 of 9 free throws to boost her big night. Teammate Jewel Wagner chipped in with 11 points.
The Redbirds, who dropped to 3-17 overall and 0-11 in the SWC, trailed 27-13 at half and could never recover. O’Fallon lifted its record to 13-8 and enjoyed a sweep of Alton this season.
“I know it was a 17-point loss, but we competed much tougher than the loss indicates,” AHS coach Bob Rickman said. “One of the big differences that gave O’Fallon the advantage was rebounding. They got a lot of second-chance points that killed us.”
OILERS FALL TO HILTOPPERS — Visiting Hillsboro rolled by East Alton-Wood River, 75-27 in a nonconference game at Memorial Gym on Tuesday.
The highly regarded Hiltoppers jumped in front 20-4 by the end of the first quarter and led 37-9 at half.
Carly Campbell’s 11 points paced EA-WR, which slipped to 1-21. The Oilers are scheduled to welcome Nokomis on Saturday in a Prairie State Conference game.
WARRIORS TUMBLE TO MAROONS — Belleville West defeated Granite City, 67-42, in a SWC game at Memorial Gym on Tuesday.
The Warriors, who dipped to 5-14 overall and 2-8 in the SWC, are back in action Wednesday at the 42nd annual Carrollton Invitational. They will play Metro East Lutheran at 5 p.m. in a consolation semifinal game.
If Granite City wins that contest, it will play at 2 p.m. Saturday in Carrollton for the consolation championship.
OILERS ROUT WARRIORS — The Oilers got going early and never let up in pounding host Granite City, 9-1, during MVCHA action. The Oilers led 3-0 after the first period and 7-1 after the second one in improving to 7-14.
Cole Ford and Kaleb Harrop both scored three goals for EA-WR. Ford also collected three assists and Harrop had one.
Jacob Disher, Chris Hamby and Nolan Royse also notched goals. Tyler McHatton pitched in with three assists. Royse, Bryce Bazzell, Ethan Fillop, Tyson Knight and Jacob Vassos each contributed one assist. Goalie Blake Stone made 11 saves.
KAHOKS SHADE REDBIRDS — Collinsville edged Alton, 6-4, in MVCHA play at the East Alton Ice Arena.
The Redbirds, who sank to 9-10, are slated to meet Highland at 7:15 p.m. Thursday in East Alton. The game wraps up Class 1A pool play and teams will be seeded to begin the 1A and 2A MVCHA playoffs.