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BOWLING: State finals roundup

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Defending champion Flat Rock fell two wins short of repeating as the best Division 3 girls’ bowling team in Michigan as the state tournament concluded this weekend.

The Rams were one of seven Downriver teams and 18 individuals to bowl in the state finals on Friday and Saturday. The Gabriel Richard boys’ team won the Division 4 state championship. (See related story.)

The Flat Rock girls placed second in the 18-team qualifying block on Friday at Airport Lanes in Jackson, just 51 pins behind leader Croswell-Lexington, 3040-2989. The qualifying round saw each team bowl eight Baker games and two regular games with the top eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals.

The Rams defeated seventh-seeded Perry, 1140-1023. In the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, teams matched up against one another bowled two Baker games and one regular game. The team with the most total pins advanced to the next round.

It was in the final four that Flat Rock’s attempt to repeat as Division 3 champions came to an end. The Rams fell to Battle Creek Pennfield by just 37 pins, 1166-1129. Flat Rock won the regular game, 849-838, but lost the two Baker games, 179-151 and 149-129.

Pennfield went on to defeat Grand Rapids South Christian to win the Division 3 title.

Flat Rock senior Lindsay Risden and junior Holly McQuithey also bowled the next day in the Division 3 singles state finals. Risden kept up the torrid pace that earned her a regional championship the weekend before. She tied for first in the qualifying block with Noelle Scheuer of Richmond with 1175 total pins in six games – an average of 195. The top 16 bowlers advanced to the next round.

In her next match, Risden defeated Madeline Laux of Belding in two regular games, 181-116 and 168-144. In the quarterfinals, Risden fell short by 17 pins against Loretta Hinds of Pennfield, 384-367.

McQuithey finished 25th in the qualifying block, falling short by 17 pins of advancing to the round of 16.

Three Downriver boys also bowled in the Division 3 singles state tournament. Flat Rock junior Brett Zurawski finished 32nd in the qualifying block. Cabrini senior Mike Kuschel was 39th and Flat Rock sophomore Aaron Wojtylko placed 42nd.

Division 1

Roosevelt’s dream season came to an end in the Division 1 state tournament at Northway Lanes in Muskegon.

The Downriver League champions finished 11th in the 18-team qualifying block – just 60 pins out of the cut.

Anderson junior Ryan Merchak was the only Downriver bowler in the boys singles finals. He placed 49th in the six-game qualifying block with 1082 pins, an average of 180.

Anderson senior Paige Podlaszuk was 41st in the girls’ singles qualifying block with a 1064 series. Serena Belanger, a junior at Woodhaven, finished 44th with a 1055.

Division 2

Kennedy’s girls’ team – in its fifth straight regional tournament – made it to the Division 2 quarterfinals before falling short against a dominating Jackson Northwest team, 1360-1124, at Century Bowl in Waterford.

The Downriver League girls’ champions were coasting in the 18-team qualifying block in the tournament, earning a No. 2 seed. The Eagles led after the eight Baker games, but fell to second to Tecumseh after the two regular games.

Three Kennedy girls competed in the Division 2 singles state tournament. Sophomore Morgan Alexis finished fifth in the 60-bowler qualifying block, but lost in the round of 16 to Kasie Allen of South Lyon. The girls were tied at 139 after the first game before Allen took the second, 159-130.

Kennedy juniors Melissa Woloszyk and Andrea Claypool also bowled well in the qualifying round, but did not advance. Woloszyk placed 17th with a 1132 series. Claypool was 21st with 1113.

None of the three Downriver schools made it out of the qualifying block in the boys’ team tournament.

Kennedy did the best of the three, placing 10th with 3235 pins – just 46 pins behind eighth-place Flint Kearsley, which earned the right to advance.

Truman was 14th in the qualifying block with 3144. Huron – the Huron League champion – placed 15th with 3096.

Truman senior Ryan Vernier was the only one of four Downriver bowlers in the boys singles state finals to advance out of the qualifying round. Vernier earned the 11th seed with his 1206 series – an average of 201 over the six games. He lost in the round of 16 to Nathan Moszyk of Bay City John Glenn.

Teammate Zack Lewis, also a senior, placed 19th in the qualifying round – just three spots and 40 pins out of the final qualifying spot. Trenton sophomore David Owens placed 27th. Huron sophomore Tony Leo was 43rd.

Last Updated: 3/6/2013 11:06:23 PM EST