Boys Varsity Bowling
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Boys Bowler of the Year Justin Milliman of Alton
Pete Hayes, firstname.lastname@example.org
Billy Hurst | For The Telegraph
Alton High bowler Justin Milliman captured the individual championship at the Jersey Regional and helped the Redbirds eventually grab a state tourney berth. He is the 2018 Telegraph Boys Bowler of the Year.,
ALTON — Justin Milliman had quite a postseason for the Alton High boys bowling team - and it all helped land the Redbirds kegglers an all-expense-paid trip to … O’Fallon.
While a trip to another Metro-East community might not normally enthuse the young bowlers and their famlies, the reason for it sure did:
The IHSA Boys State Bowling Tournament at St. Clair Bowl.
And Milliman, a senior, was right in the thick of the postseason action.
Milliman captured the individual championship at the Jersey Regional Tournament, paving the way to the sectional, where AHS claimed a state team berth at the two-day state tourney.
With a strong bowling tradition at AHS, Milliman was perhaps surprisingly the first Redbirds boys bowler to win an individual regional crown. He won the regional championship by 34 pins and missed just 10 spares. He rolled a 1,305 for his first tournament championship of any kind.
And he was loving every minute of it.
“I was so happy when I found out I won,” Milliman said. ““This is like no other, but it was pretty stressful.”
Led by Milliman, Alton repeated as the regional team champ, getting past host Jersey in the battle for the top spot, 5,891 to 5,819. Abingdon was third at 5,727 and Roxana nabbed the final team berth at the Mount Vernon Sectional Tournament. The Shells got past fifth-place Marquette Catholic 5,551-5,450, which slipped past Civic Memorial by eight pins for the fifth spot. Taylorville finished seventh with 5,385 pins, followed by Southwestern with 5,231, West Central 5,192, Hoopeston 5,155 and East Alton-Wood river 4,767.
Milliman also posted the high game for the day with a 259. He beat runner-up Nate Simpson of Abingdon by 34 pins for the individual championship. Jersey’s Zane Longley was third with 1,260 pins and Tyler Jones of North Mac, competing as an individual, was fourth with 1,230.
At the ensuing Mount Vernon Sectional the following weekend, Alton rode a roller coaster and slipped past rival Highland for the sixth and final team state-qualifying spot at the Mount Vernon Sectional at Nu Bowl Lanes
After the fifth game of the afternoon session moved the Redbirds up from eighth to seventh place, they stepped up and combined for a 1,017 sixth game to ease past Highland.
“After the fifth game, (assistant coach) Brian Stawar and I had a talk with the boys,” Alton coach Dave Meyer said, “and let them know they were 100 pins out of state qualification. The boys stepped up.”
O’Fallon won the sectional team crown, followed by Collinsville, Belleville East, Columbia, Freeburg .. and Alton.
Milliman had the second-highest Alton pin total at the sectional, wth 1,253. Teammate Derek Henderson led the way for the Redbirds with 1,346.
The Redbirds stumbled at the state tournament, finishing 23rd on the first day. But what a ride they had heading to O’Fallon.Boys Bowler