TINLEY PARK | Javon Brown wasn't sure if he would be bowling Thursday at the Tinley Park Invitational at Centennial Lanes and it wasn't because of the weather.
Brown spent the last two days in the hospital. He was on the verge of a medal heading into the last game as he was in 11th place, less than 10 pins out of medal contention.
Brown had been the model of consistency for T.F. North all day averaging 212 through the first five games, but even after the hot start Brown couldn’t avoid the bug that cost his teammates. Brown struggled, rolling a 135 in his last game and it cost him a shot at a top 10 finish.
“I felt good today, a lot better than I expected,” Brown said. “A medal would have been nice but the goal coming in today was to be at the top of the guys that are here from our conference.”
T.F. North finished in 14th place.
Both T.F. North and T.F. South had moments when both looked like contenders, just not enough of them.
After the second game of the day, T.F. South was sitting in in fourth place, just three pins away from a medal position, but a terrible third game saw the Rebels drop all the way back to seventh heading into the lunch break. Coach Eric Valiska felt as if his team was at the Chicago Board of Trade.
“We were up and down like the stock market today,” Valiska said. “We really have to work on our concentration, certain games we look like world beaters then the next we bowl in the 800s.”
That trend continued after the break as the Rebels used a 1,097 game to get back into the top four, but followed it with another poor showing dropping out of medal contention and finishing in eighth place.
“There’s a certain level of concentration we have to get to by next Saturday for the (South Suburban Blue) conference meet,” Valiska said. “We definitely have something to work on the next couple weeks.”
The story was the same for T.F. North as each bowler had their moments but tended to follow a game in the 190-200 range with something below 150.
“They have to have a plan on every shot,” T.F. North coach Steve Twietmeyer said. “We missed a lot of easy spares because guys weren’t focused on the next shot. We have to think of what we did wrong and do the little things, that (lack of focus) has to be gone by next week.”
With five of the conference's seven schools present, including leaders T.F. South and Tinley Park, Brown did accomplish that goal finishing third among all South Suburban Blue bowlers.
“With conference coming up next week this gives us an idea of where we need to be,” Brown said. “This showed that as a team we need to learn to adjust better, not everyone is doing it properly. They ask coach what they are doing wrong but then they go throw how they want to on the next ball.”