KALAMAZOO PROVES TO BE TOUGHER THAN EXPECTED

The annual stop in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the Michigan Junior Masters Association was a little tougher than many expected it would be. The scoring pace on the 33 foot pattern was very low and not one bowler averaged 200 for the six-game qualifying block. Alex Ouellette (Linwood, MI) navigated the pattern to take the top qualifier spot for the guys with an 1196 score while Taylor Davis (Burton, MI) led the way for the ladies with a 1033 six-game total.

In all, twelve guys and eight ladies advanced to the bracket match-play portion of this one day event and the scoring continued to be challenging. All the top seeded players advanced out of round one for the ladies as the top four seeds went into the semi-finals. Davis faced off against the #4 seed, Sierra Howes (Corunna, MI) while #2 seed Julia Huren went to battle with #3 seed Hannah Forton (Macomb, MI). Davis was behind after game one but a strong finish in game two, a four bagger late, gave her enough to win the match 378-323 and advance to yet another finals match. Forton built a small lead in game one and then held on to win 334-331 over Huren to advance to her first final.

Davis, who has six MJMA titles, started the match slow and Forton took advantage and built a 26 pin lead after game one. Davis tried coming back in game two but Forton was up to the challenge and held of Davis to win her very first MJMA title 354-327.

The guys also saw the top seed advance in round one as the top eight seeds faced off in round two. This second round was not as kind to the higher seeds as the #2 and #3 seeds, Zachary Brandt (Kalamazoo, MI) and Chad Stephen (Flint, MI), both bowed out. That left Ouellette, #4 seed Ryan Winters (Livonia, MI), #6 seed Shane Barthlow (Chesterfield, MI) and #8 seed David Northouse (Byron Center, MI) left to battle for the title.

In the semi-finals, Ouellette faced off with Winters and things were close after game one with Ouellette holding a 5 poin lead. However, game two was not as kind to Winters as Ouellette built a good sized lead and ended Winters run of four straight tournament wins with a 387-352 win. The other semi-finals saw Barthlow and Northouse battle frame by frame but in the end it was missed spares by Northouse and a couple of key strikes by Barthlow that made the difference as Barthlow advanced to the finals, 360-348.

In the finals, it looked like fatigue from the long day of bowling and the tough pattern was starting to take its toll on the players as Ouellette built a small lead and continued to widen the gap in game two as he earned his second MJMA title with a 373-320 victory.

We also crowned two new Junior Gold participants from the event as Alexandria Smigiel (Clinton Twp, MI) and Chad Stephen (Flint, MI) earned their ticket to the National Tournament in Indianapolis this coming July. They will be two of a good sized field of representatives going to the event with the hopes of continuing the tradition of having at least one member on the Junior Team USA roster for MJMA.

Our next event is in two weeks and will be up in the northern area in Bridgeport, Michigan at Candlelite Bowl. Bob Klein and his staff always roll out the red carpet for us and this year will be no different. It will be another one-day event with qualifying starting on Saturday, April 16th at 9:00AM. Check in will begin at 7:30AM and if anyone is walking into the event please try to get there as early as possible to avoid starting later that 9:00AM. The bracket match-play portion will begin roughly 30 minutes after the qualifying scores are tabulated and the number of qualifiers will be dependant on the number of entries for both the girls and the guys.

Also, we announced at the event in Kalamazoo that starting next season, MJMA will be running two divisions with a U20 and a U15 group for each event. We are hoping that this will allow for many of the up and coming younger players the opportunity to compete and learn on the tougher conditions and play against their own age brackets. More information will be coming out on this grouping before the start of the fall season so look for that on our website at www.mjma.net or on our Facebook page.

AttachmentSize
FINAL ::: Ladies53.92 KB
FINAL ::: Gentlemen56.14 KB
RESULTS ::: Top Qualifiers110.89 KB
RESULTS ::: Non-Qualifiers87 KB