Wayne Boys, Holt Girls Rally from Early Deficits to Clinch 2nd Finals Titles

By Perry A. Farrell
Special for MHSAA.com

March 3, 2023

ALLEN PARK – Wayne Memorial bowling coach Christine Day will be celebrating her 34th birthday Saturday with a state championship.

Led by Jeremiah Hodge’s 212 game, Wayne rallied from a 59-pin deficit to defeat Brownstown Woodhaven 1,331-1,244 to win the Division 1 championship Friday at Thunderbowl Lanes.

“I have an entire group of seniors – seven,’’ said Day. “This was present enough. I’m so proud of these guys. They kept fighting and coming back.’’

Down 59, senior anchor Donovan Uselman called a team huddle in the third frame, and his teammates eventually responded.

“He just said to keep our focus and keep executing our shots,’’ said Hodge. “It was a long day. We were down every game. We shot 1,100 today. We shot 1,000. I just tried to control the pocket.’’

Wayne Memorial advanced to the boys championship by defeating Livonia Churchill, 1,385-1,315, while Brownstown Woodhaven topped Jenison 1,382-1,268. The title was the second for Wayne, which previously won Division 1 in 2015.

Holt captured the girls title, also its second, behind a 214 game from Lola Knox, 1,197-1,078.

“It was hard getting here, but I was just happy I could pull it out for my team,’’ said Knox. “I’m very proud of my senior class.’’

Coach Sandra Teague said she knew early in the season this group was special.

“We won a title in 2010,’’ said Teague. “With this group I said there was no way I was going to mess this up.’’

Wayne Memorial opened the boys championship match with a 224-202 win in the first game of the Baker match. Both teams struggled in the second Baker game as Woodhaven shot 170 to open up that big lead.

Woodhaven then went ahead 101 pins, but Wayne made a comeback to get the deficit back to 51.

The effort was sidetracked with four opens in the seventh frame, giving Woodhaven a chance to reassume control.

“It was a matter of making good shots,’’ said Hodge. 

The Holt girls bowling team celebrates its 2023 Division 1 championship.

In the girls Final, Traverse City West led by 18 pins after the first Baker game, but Holt shot 157 to open up an 10-pin lead going into singles play.

Traverse City West had advanced to the championship match by easing past Grandville 1,265-1,111, while Holt edged Westland John Glenn 1,167-1,155.

Zeeland was the top girls qualifier at 3,271 pins, followed by Sterling Heights Stevenson at 3,174 and Grandville at 3,159. The hard-luck school was South Lyon, which missed the last qualifying spot by one pin.

Zeeland’s run for the girls title was short-lived, though.

With a raucous crowd behind them shouting “Rocket Power,” Westland John Glenn’s bowlers knocked off the top seed in a heart breaker, 1,089-1,088, to advance to the semifinals.

Stevenson, the No. 2 seed, also had a tough afternoon and fell to Traverse City West, 1,149-1,132. That set up the Titans’ showdown with Grandville, which had eliminated Grand Blanc 1,198-1,122.

It was a tough day for annual powerhouse Macomb Area Conference teams, girls and boys, as they were all eliminated in the quarterfinals. Holt defeated reigning Division 1 champion Dakota in the girls division 1,245-1,195.

On the boys side, Davison jumped from ninth after the first singles games of qualifying to first with a 1,113 score in the second set of singles for a total qualifying score of 3,598. The Cardinals had lost five of six starters from a year ago, which made the run to the top even more impressive.

Jenison was second in qualifying at 3,594, Utica Eisenhower third at 3,538 and Wayne Memorial fourth at 3.496. Macomb Dakota was the other Macomb Area Conference team to make the top eight with a score of 3,474.

Davison’s run abruptly came to an end, however, when eighth-seed Livonia Churchill prevailed, 1,177-1,162 to start bracket play. Churchill moved on to face Wayne Memorial, which had eliminated Dakota 1,179-1,162.

Brownstown Woodhaven bested Eisenhower, 1,308-1,251, and moved on to face Jenison, which was six pins better than seventh-seed Byron Center, 1,258-1,252.

Division 1 Final ResultsBoys | Girls