Grandville Emerges from Semifinal Tie-Breaker to Sweep 1st Championship Win

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for

March 1, 2024

ALLEN PARK – Grandville senior Mason VanDyke was looking at a difficult 1-2-4-6-10 in the eighth frame of the third game of Friday’s Division 1 Final against Davison at Thunderbowl Lanes.

He threw the ball and looked away, then was in shock when he heard cheering.

VanDyke indeed picked up the spare, Davison eventually opened in that frame and again in the ninth, and Grandville captured the team title 3-0 with a 162-144 win.

“Unbelievable; I couldn’t believe it honestly,’’ said VanDyke. “This means everything. Last year we missed the cut by 50 pins. Being able to go from 12th to fifth (in qualifying) was absolutely amazing.’’

Said Coach Nick Watkins: “I always tell the guys to concentrate on every shot. That was a big spare because they ended up opening that frame and the next one. Extremely proud of this group.”

Grandville’s lineup included senior Justin Schmidt, freshman Cash Pulcifer, senior VanDyke, junior Bonham Pulcifer, sophomore Ethan Brown, junior Carter Holt and junior Gavin Dailey. 

Grandville won the first game 193-191 and went up 2-0 winning the second 195-156. The championship was the Bulldogs’ first.

The Team Bowling Finals went to a new format this season with five Baker games determining the champion.

Davison advanced to the Final by sweeping Holt 3-0, while Livonia Churchill and Grandville went to a five-frame roll-off in their Semifinal after tying the fifth game. Open frames were Churchill’s undoing, as Grandville advanced to the championship with a 93-74 victory.

Churchill had made a huge jump in the first regular game of qualifying, shooting 1,158 to vault from 14th into 10th. A 1,016 in the second regular game garnered Churchill the eighth seed and a match against top-seed Jenison, which finished qualifying with a 3,792.

Waterford Mott was second in qualifying at 3,682, Macomb Dakota third at 3,619 and Grand Haven fourth at 3,571. Grandville, Holt, Davison and Churchill rounded out the top eight.

Holt swept perennial contender Dakota in the Quarterfinals, rolling a 237 in the first game.

Churchill continued its momentum from qualifying, eliminating Jenison 3-1 to set up a Semifinal with Grandville, which had knocked off Grand Haven, 3-1. 

Davison defeated Waterford Mott 3-2 to face Holt in the other Semifinal.

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