DEKALB — Logan Ortega entered this season as Rochelle’s most experienced varsity bowler, and the senior showed his skill when the Hubs battled the Sycamore Spartans in their 2019 opener at Mardi Gras Lanes on Tuesday.
Ortega started the match with 203 before rolling 232 and 226 to round his series out with a team-high 661 score. His second and third games included one five-strike sequence each, and while Ortega’s individual effort was impressive, it wasn’t enough to take down a talented Sycamore squad, as the Spartans took all three games and won the series 3,685-2,833. Rochelle fell to 0-1 overall with the loss, and the Hubs will host Sterling on Thursday at 4 p.m.
“It’s good to be back,” Ortega said. “The main thing I focused on was not dropping my right shoulder and I think that’s what really helped me out tonight… We have a lot of young guys and I want to help all of them. We didn’t come out expecting to win but I thought we did well.”
Sycamore’s Riley Runowiecki and Jeffery Gasso dominated their home lanes on Tuesday, with Runowiecki posting a match-best 726 series score while Gasso added 672 to lead the Spartans. Ortega was the only Rochelle bowler to break 200 during the match, and the senior accounted for nearly 25 percent of the team’s pins. Sycamore’s Tommy Reboletti scored 626 in the match.
Sycamore claimed the opening game 1,178-894 before the Spartans threw a huge score on the monitors in the second game, winning 1,303-971. Sycamore closed the match out with a 1,204-968 victory over Rochelle in the third game to complete a 10-0 sweep of Interstate 8 Conference points. Junior John Henson rolled 502 and a high score of 178 for the Hubs, while junior Keith Holland recorded 467 with a high game of 183.
“We want to go to regionals and bowl well there,” Ortega said. “We really want to show what we have… I really want to help the younger guys who are bowling on varsity and it’s nice to have bowlers who look up to me. They listen when I show them things and I think they’re going to get better as we go.”