History Made in D1 as Senior Champs Strike

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for MHSAA.com

March 27, 2021

ALLEN PARK – Reigning Division 1 singles champ Izaac Goergen almost met his fate in the ninth frame of his second game in the boys semifinal Saturday at Thunderbowl Lanes.

A 3-7-9 split paved the way for Holt’s David Schaberg to reach the final. Goergren’s 233 could have been beaten if Schaberg struck out. But Schaberg left a seven-pin on his first shot in the 10th and his 245 game left him three pins short of advancing, 467-464. 

“I threw three good shots in the 10th and I wanted to make him earn it if he beat me,’’ said Goergen. “I did that and was lucky enough to advance.’’

Schaberg, meanwhile, was stunned: “I wanted to stay aggressive. I thought it was down. In that situation, you have to stay aggressive.’’

Goergen emerged with an opportunity to make MHSAA Finals history – and took advantage. The Midland senior faced junior Ian Cain from Livonia Franklin in the championship and became the first Division 1 bowler (and second across all divisions) to repeat in singles, claiming his second straight title, 463-384.

“This means everything to me,’’ said Goergen. “With the pandemic and how the season went, there were things going on that weren’t in my favor.’’

In the girls division, Westland John Glenn senior Anna Maxwell, who shot a 278 in the semifinal, knocked off the top seed on her way to the final. There she faced South Lyon’s Ava Crumley, who had stopped second-seed Melanie Straub of New Baltimore Anchor Bay to advance.

Maxwell came out firing in the championship, throwing the first 10 shots for strikes to shoot a 289 and build a 54-pin lead on her way to the title, 470-389.

“The big lead gave me some room,’’ said Maxwell. “(Crumley) is a friend, so even if she won I would’ve been fine.

“This means so much considering what we have been through.’’

Cain advanced to the championship by knocking off Nick Johnson of Swartz Creek 377-331.

Goergen was the top qualifier at 1,361, 10 pins higher than Northville’s Brandon Leavitt, whose 279 in the sixth game shot him up to second in the qualifying block.

Jacob Vernier of Wyandotte Roosevelt was the final qualifier at 1,210, one pin better than Gabe Johnson of Plymouth and three more than Patrick McLetchie of Clarkston.

Despite a split in the 10th frame of his second game, Goergen advanced to the quarterfinal with a 383-371 victory over Vernier.

The toughest match pitted Franklin teammates Cain and Kenneth Kloth Jr. Cain advanced to the quarterfinal with a 399-368 win to face junior Brandon Leavitt of Northville in a semifinal.

“It was tough, especially with him being a senior,’’ said Cain. “I just concentrated on my game. The lanes are really tough.’’

Schaberg moved into the semifinal by eliminating sophomore Jermiah Swain of Hudsonville 445-308.

Nick Johnson of Swartz Creek shot 254 in his second quarterfinal game and beat Andrew Martin of Utica Ford 489-434. 

Goergen reached the semifinals by eliminating Shane Legeret of Macomb Dakota 388-335.

Grace Meyer of Oxford was the top girls qualifier at 1,271, 17 pins better than sophomore Straub.

Meyer eventually met her match and fell to Maxwell in the quarterfinal, 411-282.   

Meyer had eliminated Sarah Lyeria of Lapeer, 432-351, to get to Maxwell, while Straub moved past Alexis Thompson of Grand Haven, 466-365.

Belleville, the team runner-up on Friday, had two singles advance to the quarterfinal. Junior Sydney Allison eliminated Carrington Beamon of Farmington, 426-308, while teammate Asia Wells beat Kaitlyn McGovern of Midland, 352-345.

Straub, who hadn’t bowled a game under 210, beat Wells, 441-393, to advance to the semifinal to face Crumley, who had defeated Morgan Smith of Zeeland East 415-335. Allison, meanwhile, was stopped by Monroe’s Nataleigh Eagle, 368-319, in the other quarterfinal.

Click for full singles scores.

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