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.