Evanston bowlers huddle before their matches at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove. Credit: Michael Kellams/thatphotodad.com

The Evanston Township High School girls bowling team beat Wheeling High School on Tuesday night and the boys team fell to New Trier at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove.

Evanston’s Bridgette Bueltmann is feeling good about her game. Credit: Michael Kellams/thatphotodad.com

Jai “JB” Burgess led the girls with a 574 series. Bridgette Bueltmann had the high game of 220. Kaelexx Oats led the boys with a 667 series. Jonah Fogel had the high game of 241.

The boys’ loss came after eight consecutive wins for the team, which now has a record of 9-2 (7-2 in conference) this year. Last year the ETHS boys made their first-ever state appearance as a team, but five of the eight bowlers have since graduated.

But as head coach Harold Bailey thought about the youthful talent in the program, he knew he would have another great group on his hands.

“A lot of other teams that were watching us last year and said, ‘Oh, they lost all those seniors,’ but they never asked me, never looked at our JV team,” Bailey said. “Your JV team is the builder, and I knew we had some guys that were coming up, and some guys who were gonna step up.”

Junior Caleb DeSavieu, senior Clay Krasinski and sophomore Kaelxx Oats were a part of last year’s state-qualifying team. The three returners have been consistent contributors for the Kits, and have the ability to give a monstrous performance on any given night.

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DeSavieu, Krasinski and Oats all have a series above 700, and the trio (as well as Graham McKee) each have scored over 275 in a single game.

But no performance was better than Krasinski’s on Dec. 1 against Glenbrook North – and that’s because you can’t top perfection.

After nine frames, there were nine X’s next to Krasinski’s name on the scoreboard. When the 10th came around, everyone in the building was watching. Krasinski was just three strikes away from scoring 300 and earning the first perfect game in program history.

And he delivered. After the southpaw with a two-handed release notched his 12th strike, Krasinski was met with cheers, hugs and high-fives from his coaches, teammates and even opponents.

“He’s our guy, he’s the lead dog in the dog sled that’s gonna get us going,” Bailey said. “He came out late to bowling … we had him take a few lessons and the [instructor] said ‘Listen, if you don’t take this kid, you’re crazy.’ I said all right, he developed his two-handed style two to three weeks in, and the rest is history.”

The boys bowling team faces Deerfield in Vernon Hills on Thursday, as the Wildkits look to continue their success as they enter the latter half of the regular season.

The girls team defeated Niles West at Bowlero in Niles on Wednesday, and will take on Bloomington at Twin City Lanes in Bloomington on Saturday.

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