D4 Filled with Pin Falling, History Making

March 7, 2015

By Mark Meyer
Special for Second Half

LANSING – Kyle Tuttle felt the target on his back all weekend at Royal Scot Bowl, but it was the Xs he marked in the late frames Saturday afternoon that really hit the sweet spot.

The St. Charles sophomore became only the second bowler in MHSAA competition to win back-to-back singles championships by edging Bad Axe junior Ethan Sobczak by one pin, 379-378, in the Division 4 title match.

Jordan Richard of Tecumseh won consecutive Division 2 singles titles in 2012 and 2013.

Tuttle trailed by 15 pins (175-160) after an uncharacteristically well-below-average first game, and then compounded matters by committing a line violation in the opening frame of game two.

“But that’s when he shows how mentally tough he is,” said St. Charles coach Mark Faupel. “Kyle is an extremely hard worker, he’s mature, meticulous and very precise. Anybody else might have packed it in at that point.”

Trailing by eight pins heading into the eighth frame, Tuttle reeled off four straight strikes (he left three pins standing on his last ball) to finish with a 219. He then had to sit and watch Sobczak take aim at the title.

“I thought he was going to double and win it,” Tuttle said.

Sobczak cleared he deck with his first throw in the 10th but left one standing on his second attempt. He cleaned up the spare, but it wasn’t enough to dethrone Tuttle.

“I had a terrible start, no doubt about it,” Tuttle said. “But thankfully I was able to pull it together when it counted.”

Tuttle, who carried a 210 average into the weekend, defeated Oscoda freshman Grant Huebel in the Semifinals, 433-402, and Dryden senior Patrick Kaliszewski in the Quarterfinals, 418-329.

Tuttle was seeded second to Bailey Budnick of Rogers City – the 2013 Finals champion – after the morning qualifiers.

“We talked before the second game, and I told him he needed to go get it,” Faupel said of Tuttle, whom he’s helped coach since the sixth grade. “(Sobczak) was not going to let it get away. Kyle had to go out and win it.”

Sobczak, who also received a second-place team medal Friday, reached the Singles Finals by defeating St. Louis senior Zach Fenby in the Quarterfinals, 370-329, and Riverview Gabriel Richard senior Christian O’Callaghan in the Semifinals, 411-395. Sobczak closed out that match with four straight strikes.

The other two Quarterfinal qualifiers in the boys competition were Niles Brandywine senior Jakob Azilagyi and Hanover-Horton sophomore Zach White.

Hanover-Horton junior Emma Davis made it look easy in the Division 4 Girls Singles Finals, as she cruised home with four victories in bracket play by a combined pinfall of 469.

Davis, who came out of the qualifying round seeded second behind Ithaca senior Chelsea MacLennan, strung together two-game totals of 532, 408, 444 and 384, the last of which defeated runner-up Rebecca Bannasch of Rogers City by 43 pins.

“I really felt good all day and was able to put together some solid games at the right time,” said Davis.

Solid is an understatement. Davis rolled 245-287 to defeat St. Ignace senior Sharman Colegrove in the round of 16; 221-187 against New Lothrop junior Jenna Johnson in the Quarterfinals; identical 222s versus Oscoda senior Paige Huebel in the Semifinals; and 213-171 over Bannasch in the title match.

“Her consistency, from start to finish, was right where it needed to be,” said Hanover-Horton coach Rob Davis. “She had a couple of great games in the round of 16 and from there it was all Emma. She was focused and throwing the ball really well.”

Davis qualified for the round of 16 last year but did not advance further.

“I slowed things down a bit more this time, and it seemed to work well for me,” Davis said.

Bannasch reached the Final by defeating Mason County Central senior Lindsay Koch, 361-298, in the round of 16; Ithaca junior Arianna Woodrow, 346-267, in the Quarterfinals; and Portland St. Patrick senior Madison Schrauben, 332-324, in the Semifinals.

Clinton junior Elizabeth Heimerdinger and Rogers City junior Sarah Meredith also earned medals for reaching the Quarterfinals.

Click for full girls results and boys results.

Gobles' Brunner Closes with 3rd Title, Nouvel's McCarthy Locks Up No. 1

By Tim Robinson
Special for MHSAA.com

March 4, 2023

BATTLE CREEK — A few minutes after making history, Gobles senior Morgan Brunner was calm.

No loud celebration, just smiles all around Saturday after becoming the first competitor in the 20-year history of MHSAA girls bowling to win three Singles Finals titles in a row.

“She’s very even-keeled,” said her mother and coach, Karrie Brunner. “She knows she’s got a job to do, and she comes to do it. But she comes to have fun. That was a big part of today. She relaxed and had fun.”

Morgan Brunner rolled to the title, taking first in qualifying and defeating Traverse City Christian’s Brooke Smith 415-303 in the Division 4 final.

But that’s not to say she was expecting an easy time of it.

“I clinched it early, but I was definitely nervous,” she said. “I was nervous all day.”

Brunner dealt with the nerves by concentrating on the task at hand.

“I just tried to stay calm and make my best shots,” she said.

Brunner helped organize the Gobles program, and Saturday’s third-straight title was the latest achievement in a journey that began when she was 2 years old.

“As soon as she could walk,” Karrie Brunner said. "She was pushing the ball down there. I don’t know how many strikes she threw, but she was knocking pins down.”

Morgan hasn’t stopped since.

In the moments after the feat was accomplished, she said it felt like a weight off her shoulders.

“I don’t think it’s going to set in for a while,” she said of her accomplishment. “But it's nice to win.”

Saginaw Nouvel sophomore Alex McCarthy, meanwhile, jumped for joy as he threw the final ball of his boys match.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said afterward. “It’s hard to put it into words right now.”

McCarthy defeated Bryce Cadaret of Allen Park Cabrini, another sophomore, 433-393 in the final.

McCarthy finished 10th in qualifying, then won two matches before meeting Cadaret in the championship.

Cadaret came out hot, starting the match by rolling three strikes in a row.

“It got me back in the match mentally,” McCarthy said.

After a conversation with coach Brian Montini, McCarthy found his groove and never looked back, right through the final ball, which knocked down six pins as he celebrated.

“I had all these thoughts of my coach and all the other coaches and all the hard work I put in through the years,” he said.

Montini, for his part. wasn’t entirely surprised.

“The experience last year helped him,” Montini said, noting McCarthy’s quarterfinal run as a freshman. “We had it in our minds that he was going to do this. And he pulled through.”

Division 4 Final Results - Boys | Girls