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LAKE OF EGYPT -- Elverado's Alec Valerius and Zach Berner had the experience of advancing out of the sectional to the state finals a year ago. That experience rubbed off on the school's other boat Friday.

Justin Sorenson and Nolan Waller reeled in a tournament best 13.29 pounds to capture the Lake of Egypt Sectional Friday afternoon at Mack's Lake of Egypt Marina. Valerius and Berner finished second with 12.41 pounds.

Both Elverado teams, along with Brennan McCord and Lane O'Daniel of West Frankfort (12.13 pounds) advance to the state bass fishing at Carlyle Lake in two weeks.

"I'm ready for it," said Sorenson. "This is my senior year and it would have been my last tournament if I hadn't placed."

Sorenson and Waller said their day started out fast, catching their limit by 10 a.m. As the day slowed down, they were able to cull out four bass.

For Valerius and Berner, previous experience helped them.

"We finished here two weeks ago in the Marion Invitational and finished third," Berner said. "We did a lot of the same stuff. We just tried to do the same thing and it ended up paying off."

Valerius said fishing stayed pretty steady the whole day.

"We were catching a few here and there throughout the day," Valerius said. "It never really turned on."

Now it's on to Carlyle in two weeks. Berner said it's going to be a challenge.

"It's open and muddy," he said. "I don't like it very much."

There were 20 boats in Friday's sectional. Following the top three, Blake Jackson and Zach Lidell of Carterville finished fourth with 10.76 pounds. Hunter Lincoln and Matt McAuliffe finished fifth with 10.68.

Sorenson and Waller had the big bass of the day, bringing in a 4.22-pounder.

At the Rend Lake sectional, two Pinckneyville teams and a Benton squad moved on to the state finals.

Pinckneyville — 8.73, 4.9 big bass — Kaylee Rulevish and Grant Murphy, Fawyer Loos won the sectional with 8.73 pounds. They also earned big bass honors with a  4.9-pound fish

Cale Jausel, Jacob Louis and Danny Spann, also of Pinckneyville, placed second with 7.93 pounds. They also won last year's sectional. 

Benton's Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney grabbed the third state berth with 7.19 pounds. The duo went to state two years ago.

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