Tuttle Wins 3rd, Fish Strikes 1st in D4
March 5, 2016
By Mark Meyer
Special for Second Half
LANSING – Kyle Tuttle is the undisputed, three-time heavyweight champion of Division 4 bowling in the state of Michigan.
The junior’s victory Saturday in the Singles Final at Royal Scot, 418-381 over Luke Cantrell of Genesee, contained very little of the drama that surrounded last year’s one-pin survival against Ethan Sobczak of Bad Axe.
Tuttle started the first game against Cantrell with strikes in four of the first five frames en route to a commanding 225-192 lead.
“I try not to put myself in situations where I have to dig out of a hole,” said Tuttle, the only three-time singles champion in MHSAA history. “I try to make as many quality shots as possible, and make ‘em all count.”
St. Charles coach Mark Faupel watches Tuttle not so much in amazement but as in admiration.
“He really battled today,” Faupel said. “It might not have showed on the scoresheet, but his hand was sore from a lot of bowling this weekend. Our team made it to the Finals (on Friday), and today he comes back and bowls another full day.
“But, he’s used to it, and he really enjoys it.”
Tuttle, the second seed behind freshman Korey Reichard of Vandercook Lake after the morning qualifier, rattled off match play victories over Logan Hughes of Sandusky (479-353), Tucker Hemmila of L’Anse (419-388) and Austin Kraemer of Riverview Gabriel Richard (392-346) to reach the Final.
Cantrell, a sophomore and the ninth seed after qualifying, reached the Final by defeating Blake Gulick of Ithaca (393-318), Reichard (426-371) and Isaac Solis of Adrian Madison (346-332).
“A bit less hectic this year,” said Tuttle, who practices at least five times a week while also working at Crooked Creek Lanes in Saginaw. “I had things going pretty well this weekend and was able to stay out of trouble.”
Senior Brianna Fish of Vandercook Lake made the big shots when they counted most by striking out in the 10th frame to defeat Alana Wirgau of Rogers City 350-344 in the Division 4 girls championship match. Fish lost the first game of the Final, 181-158, but didn’t reach for the panic button.
Fish’s coach, Todd Reichard, helped her relax and “bowl her game” despite trailing at the midway point.
“Coming into the tournament, I certainly didn’t expect to make it this far,” said Fish, who was seeded third after qualifying and then defeated Rachel Forest of Galesburg Augusta (412-373) in the round of 16, Erica Jones of Sandusky (342-339) in the Quarterfinals and Hayley Sigafoose of Ithaca (363-314) in the Semifinals. “As I went along I gained confidence and felt pretty good going into the Finals. I didn’t get started quite the way I wanted to but it worked out well at the end.”
Wirgau, a senior, worked her way through the bracket as the fourth seed by defeating Shai’erica Gould of Flint Beecher (442-420, including a 49-27 tiebreaker), Lillian Warner of Vandercook Lake (384-380) and Jasmine Lowe of St. Louis (378-357).
Reichard complimented his senior champion for her persistence and practice.
“We worked hard on our 10-pin and spare drills,” Reichard said, “and Brianna showed that, although she struggled at times early in the season, she was willing to put in the work on her game and became a much better bowler by the end of the season.”
Click for full boys results and girls results.
PHOTO: Vandercook Lake's Brianna Fish claimed her first MHSAA title at Royal Scot on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Vandercook Lake athletic department.)
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.”