Girls Bowling: Great Expectations Met

March 2, 2012

BATTLE CREEK – Davison was the favorite all season to win the MHSAA Division 1 championship at M-66 Bowl.

On Friday, the Cardinals made good on that high expectation.

After being ranked No. 1 in every state poll this winter, Davison ended it with a 1,292-1,129 win over reigning champion New Baltimore Anchor Bay in the Final.

"We had big expectations. We knew we had to work for it, but we did it,” Davison senior Erin Brown said. “And even though we had that expectation, we worked for it, and we accomplished it. And that's exactly what we wanted."

Davison finished second in qualifying. But the Cardinals then beat Northville by 199 pins and Walled Lake Central by 134 in the two matches leading into the Final.

Brooklyn Greene led Davison with a 181 in the championship match, while Kelsey Fader rolled a game-high 184 for Anchor Bay.

The Cardinals previously finished Division 1 runners-up in 2010, but had never won an MHSAA team title.

Click for full Division 1 results.

Division 2 at Century Lanes

WATERFORD – Father and daughter sounded a lot alike celebrating the Division 2 championship Friday.

But Rob and Lindsey Ploof hit the winning strategy right on the head pin.

One strong individual – like reigning Division 2 individual champion Lindsey – can make a team strong. But a line-up stacked with solid bowlers can make a team impossible to beat.

Lindsey, a senior, was one of three Kearsley bowlers who topped 200 on Friday as her team won its first MHSAA team championship with a 1,408-1,247 win over Tecumseh in the Final. Tecumseh entered the postseason ranked No. 1, and Kearsley entered No. 2.

“As a team, it feels just amazing to win. But I get to share it with my best friends,” Lindsey Ploof said. “The main point of high school bowling, as (former University of Michigan football coach) Bo Schembechler said: ‘The team, the team, the team. No one person is bigger than the team.’”

Ploof did lead her team with a 224 in the Final, but Jessica Dawes added a 212 and Kayla Emmendorfer rolled a 205. Kearsley rolled a 212 and 223 in the Baker games. Tecumseh was led by Haley Richard’s 215.

Kearsley previously finished Division 2 runner-up in 2010, but had never won an MHSAA team title.

“This is what I’ve been preaching to the girls for years,” Kearsley coach Rob Ploof said. “I don’t care what any individual does. It’s all about the team. This is sweet. … To have our four seniors get to experience this is a dream come true.”

Click for full Division 2 results.

Division 3 at Airport Lanes

JACKSON – It was easy to pick a favorite for the Division 3 championship Friday. All four semifinalists from 2011 were back for another try.

It’s fair to say few expected unranked Flat Rock to finish ahead of them all.

The Rams defeated also-unranked Corunna and Ovid-Elsie before knocking off No. 4 Richmond 1,274-1,168 in the Final.

“This was an amazing team win. Every single girl worked hard all season to get this far,” Flat Rock coach Kristi Hill said. “As a coach, I could not have asked for more. They are an amazing group of girls, and I am proud to be a part of this team.”

Emily Alexander led Flat Rock with a 211 in the Final, while Noelle Schever rolled a 196 for Richmond.

It was the first time the Rams finished among the top two at an MHSAA Bowling Final.

Click for full Division 3 results.

Division 4 at Sunnybrook Lanes

STERLING HEIGHTS – Although nine of the top 10 teams in Division 4 advanced to Friday’s Final, the title came down to the two at the top who also bowled for last season’s championship – Sandusky and Vandercook Lake.

This time, it was Sandusky’s turn to finish No. 1.

Reigning champion Vandercook Lake was top-ranked and Sandusky No. 2 entering this postseason. But the Redskins held on for a 1,256-1,223 win in the Final, their second championship to go with two runner-up finishes.

Melissa Sleda rolled a 236 to lead Sandusky in the Final, while Kelsea Reichard had a team-high 198 for Vandercook Lake.

Click for full Division 4 results.

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

By Tim Robinson
Special for

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