Powers Freshman, Clarenceville Junior Find Winning Shots
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 27, 2021
JACKSON – Elizabeth Teuber’s first MHSAA Singles Finals seemed similar to a lot of tournaments she’s bowled over the years.
But the next generation of one of Flint’s best-known bowling families set herself up Saturday for some intriguing opportunities at the high school level over the next three seasons.
The Powers Catholic freshman – whose grandfather was a state Hall of Famer in the sport and whose family co-owns a bowling center – finished her first Chargers season with a dominating run to the Division 3 championship at JAX 60.
After qualifying for match play as the second seed, Teuber won her first three matches by 75, 65 and 139 pins before defeating Corunna senior Bridget Ryon 418-366 in the final. After rolling two games of 200 or more across the six-game qualifying block, Teuber topped 200 in six of eight match play games with a high of 233.
“I didn’t think I was really going to do this good. The first game I struggled, but after that I found my shot and it was easier,” Teuber said. “I bowl a lot. I bowl three or four days a week, and when I do, I practice – I don’t try to bowl for score. I try to get better, and so I think that’s what helped.”
Livonia Clarenceville junior Jacob Johnson still has a season to go, but added a crowning achievement as well to his first three already full of highlights.
Johnson has been on a tear over the last eight days – on March 20, he won his second Regional singles title (to go with his first as a freshman) with the highest score of any bowler at any Division 3 tournament that day. On Saturday, he averaged 221 in qualifying to finish first in the block at Jax 60, then 206 in match play capped with a 396-373 win over Belding junior Trenton Altman in the final.
Johnson’s first two trips to the Finals had ended with an upset loss in the first round of match play as a freshman when he was seeded second, and then in qualifying last season.
“I’ve been trying to find a look. Our home house is really tough and I couldn’t really find a look, so I just kept drilling bowling balls and drilling bowling balls over and over again to find what works,” Johnson said. “I finally found three or four balls that worked. After yesterday we bowled our team event, finished seventh, I brought a ball in from the car, changed one out before today, and it really paid off.
“I thank my dad. He left to bowl a state tournament, and I had one job today – to win, and I finally did it. It took a couple of years, and I finally did it.”
Teuber had finished second in qualifying to Flat Rock senior Alyssa Kmiotek, who was two pins better at 1,150, while Hillsdale senior Karissa Maniford was third at 1,145 and Ryon fourth at 1,130 after she closed with a 213 game.
Ryon won her first two matches by 26 and 24 pins before rolling a 206 and 214 in a 112-pin semifinal win.
Johnson won his first two matches by 61 and 83 pins, but had to fend off Boyne City senior Michael Deming in the semifinal, 407-403. Altman, meanwhile, had qualified sixth and won his first matches by 79, 134 and 45 pins before running into Johnson. Altman won their second game 194-190, but Johnson’s 206-179 margin in the first made the difference. Altman rolled games of 255 and 265 during his run.
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.”