BRADLEY WINS AGAIN IN CLARKSTON
Michigan Junior Masters Association rolled into our annual stop at Cherry Hill Lanes North in Clarkston, Michigan with 74 bowlers looking to test themselves on the challenging 38 foot IBC Youth Junior Gold pattern from this past year’s event. Both U20 and U15 bowlers anticipated in the second event of the season as we continue to get the word out and build on the new U15 division.
In the U15 division, we had six boys and our first three girls take to the lanes and test themselves on the challenging conditions. Bailey Brandt (Kalamazoo, MI) led the way for the boys with Christopher Clark (Bay City, MI), Andrew DelCourt (Westland, MI) and Bradley Folks (Belleville, MI) all joining Brandt to move on to the Sunday matchplay portion of the event. After the six games of matchplay, Clark had assumed the top spot and Folks and Brandt joined him in the stepladder portion of the event. Brandt was able to convert a few more spares in the first match and advanced to the finals over Folks 143-111. Brandt and Clark were neck and neck in the finals match but a late double in the 9th and 10th frame put Brandt out of reach and he took home his very first MJMA title with a 167-164 win.
The three U15 girls also had a good competition as Emilea Sturk (Flint, MI) led the qualifying but Allison Robbins (Mt Morris, MI) and Samantha Lawson (Lansing, MI) were not far behind. In the revised matchplay portion of the event, Sturk maintained her lead throughout and Robbins held off a late charge by Lawson to be in the finals match against Sturk. Sturk, however, left little doubt that the title was hers as she built an early lead and then extended it even more with strikes in the 5th through 8th frames to take home her first MJMA title in a 211-141 victory.
In the U20 division, Alexandria Smigiel (Chesterfield, MI) led the way after the 8-game qualifying to take the top spot gong into the matchplay on Sunday. Imari Blond (Flint, MI) however rolled good games and with a 6-2 matchplay record took the top spot going into the stepladder finals. Smigiel joined her as the number three qualifier as did Samantha Gainor (Clinton Twp, MI) and Candyce Bradley (Farmington, MI).
Bradley, who won the first event in Belleville a few weeks ago, was looking to take advantage of sqeeking into the stepladders by 15 pins and show why she was a title holder already this season. Bradley started with a 5-bagger after a first frame open and then struck in the 10th and 11th frames to secure the first win over Smigiel 213-190. Gainor was next up against Bradley but a couple of early misses put Gainor down and when Bradley struck in the 8th, 9th and 10th frames, it was another win 210-158 and a second straight trip to the finals.
Waiting in the finals however, was Blond who had found her zone throughout the day and was looking for her first MJMA title. Bradley started fast with a spare and then the next six strikes but Blond was staying close and started stringing strikes of her own. A 9th frame split by Bradley pulled the match almost even and when Blond struck out in the 9th and 10th frames, all the pressure was back on Bradley to convert a mark to win the match. Her first ball in the 10th gave her a nine count and she confidently converted the spare and got the pin count she needed to win one of the most exciting matches we have seen 231-226 and take her second MJMA title.
The U20 boys had some fun of their own as well. Alex Ouellette (Linwood, MI) led all the qualifiers with a fantastic 1665 score for his 8-game block but Kyle McGrath (Davison, MI) was not too far behind with his 1605 score. After the 12-game matchplay portion, Ouellette still led the way but a couple of bowlers had made significant charges up the rankings throughout the day as well. Ryan Winters (livonia, MI) had moved from 5th to 2nd but the more significant jump was Marcus McClain who went from 9th to 3rd during the morning session on Sunday. McGrath stayed in the hunt in 4th and Jordan Bryant (Detroit, MI) continued his good season by sneaking into 5th spot by 10 pins over Chase Kaufman (Swartz Creek, MI).
In the first match, McGrath struggled with the changing conditions and when Bryant struck in the 4th through 9th frames there was no looking back as Bryant advanced with a 236-129 win to face McClain. Bryant and McClain made the pattern look like a house shot in match number two as both of them struck at will as the match went back and forth the whole game. McClain stepped up in the 10th needing a mark and when he struck on the first shot he garnered the win and advanced 248-241 to meet Winters in the semi-finals. Winters build an early 10 pin lead into the 5th frame but a split in the 8th and another one in the 10th was all McClain needed as he strung some late strikes to take the win 225-191 and advance to the finals. In thoat finals match, both Ouellette and McClain were even through 6 frames but it was a 3-10 split in the 9th frame by Ouellette that opened the door for McClain and he slammed it shut by striking out from the 8th frame on to win his second MJMA title 258-224.
Our next event will be held on September 10th in Kalamazoo, Michigan at Pinz of Kalamazoo. This one day event will begin at 10AM with check-in beginning at 8:30AM. We will have a Junior Gold buy-in at this event as well for both the U20 and U15 divisions and will look at qualifying 1 in 5 in each division. The buy in will be $40.00 per entry and as long as we get 5 in each division, we will run all four divisions. Qualifying will be a six game format with a single elimination, two game – total pins matchplay bracket starting approximately 30 minutes after we announce the qualifiers.
Please get your entries in early and if you are going to walk-in, make sure you are there early so we can get paperwork processed and start on time. If you have any questions please contact us at either firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 616-780-2095. Look forward to seeing everyone in Kalamazoo and continuing to grow our U15 divisions.
Up Next: Mar. 18-19
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