Illinois’ prep postseason began with boys bowling regional competitions in the single-class format Jan. 14.
Hononegah, South Beloit, Belvidere, Machesney Park and Belvidere North participated in the 11-team Rockford Guilford Regional at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford.
The top four teams and best 10 individuals not on a qualifying squad from each of the 16 regional sites advanced to sectionals. Rockford area athletes moved on to the Vernon Hills Sectional in the Chicago suburbs, which was held Jan. 21.
From there, the best six teams in each of the four sectionals qualified for the state tournament, which is set for Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28, in O’Fallon (east of St. Louis).
Brad Sommer’s Hononegah bunch finished second, 40 pins back, in 2015-’16, a year after the Indians won the state title. HHS has finished in the top 10 at state three straight seasons and four of the last five.
The Indians earned the regional title by 264 pins over Machesney Park, with senior Brandon Mooney winning individual honors by nearly 200 pins.
Despite finishing ninth in the regional team standings, two South Beloit bowlers advanced to sectionals: juniors Cullan Boeck and Tray MacCormack.
However, Hononegah slipped to fourth place at Vernon Hills, although that still gave the Indians a coveted spot at state.