Dakota, Wayne Memorial roll to state bowling titles
Sterling Heights — The Division 1 bowling finals crowned two first-time champions Friday — Macomb Dakota took home the girls title and Wayne Memorial won the boys title.
After escaping the semifinals against Utica Eisenhower, Dakota rolled over three-time defending state champion Davison, winning by a total pinfall of 1,321-1,228.
While Davison had five early open frames, Dakota's Sierra Stade got her team off to a hot start with five straight opening strikes en route to a 222.
Hannah Forton and Ashley Jordan finished with a split-score of 228 after Jordan bowled Forton's final frame with the game well in hand.
"It feels good," Dakota coach Kevin Wemyss said. "I feel bad for (them) but it feels good being able to take down the top dog at the end of the day."
On the boys side, Memorial and Saginaw Heritage bowled a tight game, with Conner Weber's 231 giving Memorial the edge, 1,281-1,229.
"It just worked for me out there," Weber said. "The lanes acted in my favor. Everything was carrying for me. I've been talking about this all week. It's all I wanted. I just can't wait for next year. I want to do it again."
... Despite falling to Heritage in the semifinals, Zeeland senior Corey Baker made waves with a 300 game in the quarterfinals against Eisenhower.
The perfect game was Baker's first.
"It's awesome," Baker said. "I just blocked everybody out, sat by myself, and told myself to throw good shots. It's unbelievable because it's my first one and it's at state."
... Canton was the top qualifying team from the morning session, amassing 3,760 pins. But its day was ended by Memorial in the semifinals, 1,370-1,277.
■Flint Kearsley won its second straight girls championship with a 1,242-1,212 triumph over Bay City Western.
Hannah Ploof's 238 was the difference for Kearsley, which was the top qualifying team of the morning with a score of 3221.
■The Flint Kearsley boys also won its second straight title with a narrow win over Bay City Western, 1,351-1,344.
A Chad Stephen-Phillip Hawes split of 228 led the way. Anthony Kelly had the highest single score, rolling a 226 for Kearsley.
Dylan Brown paced Bay City Western with a 216.
The Kearsley boys put up a mammoth score of 3,689 in qualifying, which was more than enough to grab the top seed going into the quarterfinals.
■The Corunna girls won their first state title, defeating Coloma, 1,233-1,170.
Hannah Eldridge led Corunna with a 208.
■The Armada boys defeated rival Richmond, 1,202-1,166.
Richmond's Marc LaGrois rolled a 201 to lead all finalists, but balanced scoring from Armada allowed it to capture the school's first state title.
■The St. Louis girls snuck into the quarterfinals as the No. 7 seed, but finished with its first championship, 1,197-1,072 over Clinton.
St. Louis' Riley Smith and Clinton's Miranda Porath bowled 190s.
■Hanover-Horton had no problem with Bad Axe in the boys final, cruising 1,319-1,273.
Zach White rolled a 247 and Scott Vacek had a 212 to lead Hanover-Horton to its first state championship.
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer