History Made, History Ended in D1
March 6, 2015
By Jon Malavolti
Special for Second Half
STERLING HEIGHTS – Macomb Dakota’s girls ended Davison’s MHSAA title streak, while Wayne Memorial’s boys topped Saginaw Heritage in their Division 1 Bowling Final on Friday at Sunnybrook Lanes.
Davison was looking to become the first school to win four straight MHSAA team bowling titles. But Dakota had other plans when the squads met in the Final.
The Cardinals took a two-pin lead following the pair of Baker games to open the match, but the Cougars took over from there, filling up the frames with strikes and spares.
“We were completely determined,” said Dakota’s Sierra Stade, one of five seniors who bowled in the Final. “We came in here saying we want to win this, it’s our last year, and we did. To finally win was amazing.”
Led by sophomore Hannah Forton’s 228 and Stade’s 222, the Cougars won 1,321-1,228, avenging last year’s loss in the MHSAA Semifinals to Davison.
“You can see at the end, they fired back, Hannah and Sierra shot those awesome games to keep us on fire,” Dakota coach Kevin Wemyss said. “How do you put it into words? It’s awesome. All in all, they bowled great all day.”
The title is the program’s first.
“It’s really exciting, I’m really happy,” Forton said. “We did really good in the last game.”
While it was a bittersweet end of the run for Davison, Cardinals coach Tracey Greene was proud of how far the squad got this season.
“Actually, I didn’t know if we’d get to the Finals,” he said, noting the team’s overall youth. “They’ve been working hard all year to get to where they got, but it wasn’t quite enough in that last game. Dakota … they had a good start and we just could never catch them. Hopefully we’ll get back here again next year.”
The team’s lone senior, Brooklyn Greene, a member of the previous three championship teams, also was impressed with the team’s effort.
“I think getting second was awesome. I didn’t really expect to get this far,” she said. “I’m so proud of them.”
In the Boys Final, Wayne Memorial coach Bob Jawor said his bowlers “never quit.”
“We were down a couple of times, and they bounced back. They never stopped trying,” he said. “They fought hard all year. I’m really happy for them because they deserve it. I’m really proud of them.”
Junior Conner Weber led the way for the Zebras with a 231 in the final game, helping them top Heritage 1,281-1,229.
“It’s honestly mind blowing, it’s crazy,” he said about winning the title. This is one thing I’ve always been wanting, especially the team … it’s big. It really brings it home. This team started from the bottom, and we got there, we got on top.”
Heritage coach Todd Hare believed his bowlers gave it their all during the long day of intense competition.
“We bowled really well most of the day,” he said.
The coach noted that the Hawks “turned it up a notch” late in qualifying before making their run. “And then we just couldn’t quite get it rolling,” he added.
The Finals appearance was the second in three years for the Hawks, as Hare noted it was the end of an impressive era for his five seniors.
The title is Wayne Memorial’s first, after the Zebras lost in the 2009 Final.
Click for full girls results and boys results. Photos will be added Saturday.
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.”