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Grant’s Zak gets on a roll, wins tournament

Round Lake-12/27/12 Thurs./Lakes Bowl
Katie Smart Antioch during bowling invitational Thursady Lakes Bowl Round Lake.
| Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

Round Lake-12/27/12, Thurs./Lakes Bowl Katie Smart, of Antioch during bowling invitational Thursady at Lakes Bowl in Round Lake. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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TEAM SCORES (6 games) — 1) St. Charles East 5,316; 2) Jacobs 5,236; 3) Grayslake North 4,997; 4) Wauconda 4,973; 5) Warren 4,891; 6) Grant 4,852; 7) Grayslake Central 4,785; 8) Huntley 4,751; 9) Johnsburg 4,480; 10) Vernon Hills 4,472; 11) Antioch 4,456; 12) Lakes 4,416; 13) Round Lake 4,413; 14) North Chicago 3,674.


1) Sami Jo Zak (Grant) 616-599—1,215

2) Erin Heuer (St. Charles East) 576-621—1,197

3) Dana Brandt (St. Charles East) 579-605—1,184

4) Sarah Littleton (Grayslake N.) 628-538—1,166

5) Amy Antezak (Huntley) 536-595—1,131

6) Ariel Haith (Warren) 563-550—1,113


Grant — Sami Jo Zak 1,215; Jenelle Nikolai 991.

Warren — Ariel Haith 1,113; Terra Telow 940.

Grayslake Central — Josie Taylor 1,050; Kaite Adkins 968.

Wauconda — Cyndi Teuber 1,040; Melissa Ohms 1,018.

Antioch — Cassie Giamarusti 1,032; Sam Scroggin 1,017.

Round Lake — Felicia Klask 1,024; Sarah Steele 916.

Grayslake North — Sarah Littleton 1,166; Kaitlyn Christiansen 1,007.

Vernon Hills — Kelly Kalsch 984; Meghan Calderone 977.

North Chicago — Yesenia Fernandez 954; Breanna Bates-Gray 831.


Lakes coach Melissa Cross — “Compared to other years, it’s been a good year. The girls have stepped it up and become a lot more competitive. They are in it to win it. We’re not winning every game, but we’re showing teams that we’re not just going to back down.”

Lakes coach Melissa Cross (on team’s black/gray tie-dyed shirts with a quote attributed to Julius Caesar, “I Came. I Saw. I Conquered.” in red.) — “We just wanted to do something different. We looked around for some different quotes and they picked out ‘I Came. I Saw. I Conquered.’ We definitely came and saw, now we’re working on the conquering part.”

Antioch coach Phil Lindberg — “I have nine freshmen this year, which is fantastic for the program itself. They’re growing. They’ll be a well-established team down the road. We’ll be contenders again next year or the year after, but this is a rebuilding year for us. Some of these girls have never bowled before. We’re not as strong as we have been, but we’ll get there. It’s going to take time, and some motivation on my part to adjust and get them to adjust as varsity bowlers.”

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Updated: February 26, 2013 2:39AM

For the second year in a row, a local bowler has held off quality competition to win the Grayslake North Invitational girls tournament at Lakes Bowl in Round Lake.

Last year, Grayslake North’s Sarah Littleton won the title with a six-game score of 1,196. Third last year was Sami Jo Zak of Grant with 1,158.

Thursday, it was Zak who was on fire, averaging 202 for six games and winning the six-game tournament with a total pin fall of 1,215.

Two girls from team champ St. Charles East were 2-3 and Littleton was fourth, although she did have the tourney’s high game — 267.

“I’m proud of the way I bowled today. I had a lot of games above average, so that was good. It was obviously good enough to win, so I can’t complain,” said Zak, a senior who had series of 616 and 599.

“The first games were tough. Even for being our home lanes, it wasn’t what I was used to. When I finally got in the groove, it felt good.”

Zak’s goals this season are to qualify for the IHSA state tournament, and ...

“I really want to bowl a 700 and place well in a lot of tournaments,” she said.

The pivotal game for Zak was the fifth, when she was bowling right next to Middleton and rolled a 235 that put her well clear of the field.

“I felt more pressure during the fifth game when I was bowling next to Sarah. Knowing that she was up there at the top with me had me scared a little bit.” Zak said. “I thought I was going to end up freaking myself out. She’s a good bowler, so it’s fun to have that kind of competition.”

Middleton led Grayslake North to a third-place finish in the 14-team field, behind St. Charles East and Jacobs.

“It was a good finish for us, but we know we have a lot to improve on. It feels like it’s just coming in stages right now,” the sophomore said.

Antioch coach Phil Lindberg has nine freshmen in the program and knows that better days are ahead for the Sequoits.

“They’re good girls. They’re smart and they want to learn,” he said. “That’s going to play a big part in how quickly they come along.”

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