Girls Singles Finals: Four Strikes

March 4, 2012

BATTLE CREEK – Ann Arbor Huron freshman Allison Morris has been in pressure situations before.  

She’s an accomplished youth bowler, and she’s bowled in matches with the Huron boys team. But not much could prepare her for the deficit she found herself in during the MHSAA Division 1 Girls Singles championship match Saturday at M-66 Bowl.

Morris trailed Clinton Township Chippewa Valley junior Kristen Young by 50 pins heading into the second game of the two-game singles match, and was rattled.

“I was kind of out of it.  I didn’t know what to do, but my coaches just said don’t worry about it; bowl like you know how to do. Throw strikes. You can do it.”

Fans were scoreboard watching as Morris mounted her comeback. But she was unaware of the ground she made up in game two.

Morris ended with four straight strikes to finish with 224 and the first bowling title for Huron High School.

“I wasn’t looking at the score. I had no clue, I thought I was down. It was really nerve-wracking,” she said.

“It feels really good. I’m just really happy that I came back and won it.”

Division 2 at Century Lanes

WATEFORD – Tecumseh’s girls now have three Singles champions in nine years of bowling being an MHSAA-sponsored sport.

But even after reaching the Semifinals last season as a freshman, Jordan Richard never expected to become that third winner from her school – or second from her family.

With sister and 2010 champion Kara Richard cheering her on, Jordan finished first in qualifying and then edged reigning champion Lindsay Ploof of Flint Kearsley 425-413 in the Semifinal. Richard defeated Flint Northwestern’s Alonna Tipton 469-382 in the championship match – winning their first game by 15 and second by just two pins.

“Going into today, I never imagined winning. There are a lot of girls out there that are just as good as I am,” Richard said. “Everyone always says I’m following in (Kara’s) footsteps. But it’s really good to have Kara there behind me."

Tecumseh also finished runner-up to Ploof’s Kearsley team in Friday’s Team Final.

"Going into yesterday’s finals, we weren't expecting to win,” Richard said. “Flint Kearsley is a great team. We're all sophomores. So yesterday was just a learning experience, and I learned from it and took it to today."

Division 3 at Airport Lanes

JACKSON – Wyoming Kelloggsville was not going to leave Airport Lanes without an MHSAA championship. After Saturday’s Singles Semifinals, that became guaranteed.

The Rockets fell in Friday’s team Semifinals, ending their 2011 title defense. But on Saturday, seniors Chelsey Purdum and Jessica Lubbers faced off in the Singles Final.

Purdum, last season’s runner-up, edged Lubbers – the 2010 Singles champion – with a two-game score of 370-353.

“While this is my last year of high school bowling, I have been blessed at Kelloggsville High School to have talented bowlers year after year,” Purdum said. “And to go out with a state championship and runner-up is unbelievable.”

Purdum will continue her bowling career next season at Grand View University in Iowa.

Division 4 at Century Lanes

WATERFORD – Unionville Sebewaing's Kyleigh McCarthy was the only freshman to make the Division 4 match play Sunday.

She had to wait an extra day to compete -- a power outage at Sunnybrook Lanes pushed the Singles Final back a day -- line up to bowl at a different center, and then take on the favorite in the championship match.

None of that seemed to bother her.

McCarthy scored her first MHSAA title in her first high school season, defeating Sandusky senior Lillie Miller 342-332 in the Final. Miller, a senior, also was runner-up in 2011.

PHOTO of final eight match players at the Division 1 Final. Click for detailed results from all MHSAA Singles Finals.

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