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Scholastic bowl team wins 5 matches at EIU Honors Bowl, giving ALHS its best finish ever

Arthur Graphic-Clarion of Arthur, Illinois

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The Arthur-Lovington High School Scholastic Bowl team competed in the 2013 Eastern Illinois University Honors Bowl on Saturday, February 2. The meet is hosted by the Honors College at EIU and features some of the top teams in the state.

"It is a very challenging meet for us as most of the teams that we are competing against are AA," said Coach J.D. Graham. "Although we did not place this year, we won more matches than we have ever won at this tournament before, including besting the fourth place team, Fairfield."

Fairfield is typically one of the state qualifiers in post-season play and was one of many such teams the students faced this weekend. The team won five matches and lost four. The losses were to Paris 166-112, Effingham 118-116, Marshall 149-81, and Cumberland 147-109. The wins were over Mt. Carmel 129-80, Mattoon 200-63, Windsor 179-30, Fairfield 150-63, and South Central 78-34.

"I was very happy how we played as a team," Graham said. "Being that this is a mental game, attitude and focus are paramount. If just one member of the team disrupts either of these, they will have lost the match before it had even begun.

"We have several strong members on the team; however, Jake LaGrou was a real standout at this meet. The EIU honors college noticed him as well. His toss-up point totals were recognized at the tournament. With over 120 players competing, he was awarded one of the five MVP medals."

Arthur-Lovington won their first four conference meets. Conference competition began Monday evening, February 4, at Cerro Gordo versus the hosts and Martinsville. The team competed in Broadlands on Thursday, February 7, against Heritage and Bement. The first home meet is on Thursday, February 14, against Atwood-Hammond and Tri-County.

The team will compete in a huge statewide meet involving 294 schools in Class A and AA, the Masonic Academic Bowl Tournament, on Saturday, February 16.

Arthur-Lovington has been assigned to compete in the Neoga Sectional. Other teams competing there are Arcola, Shiloh, Tri-County, Teutopolis, Tuscola, Sullivan, Cumberland, and Villa Grove.

The winner of the sectional tournament will advance to the State Tournament on Saturday, March 2, at Springfield High School.

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Original Publication Date: February 13, 2013

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