Bobcats host successful regional tourney, Niles sends pair to state

NILES — For the first time in school history, Brandywine hosted the Division 3 Regional Tournament at Joey Armadillo’s last Friday and Saturday.

Brandywine Coach Pepper Miller was pleased with how the tournament ran and was thankful to have so much help in bringing the regionals to southwest Michigan.

“First time ever having a regional high school bowling tournament at Joeys, and it ran so smooth,” she said. “I had a lot of help from my husband (Jeff Miller), my sister (Chris Marlin), my bowlers, their parents, Vance Stratton our athletic director and the whole crew at Joey’s. I volunteered our school and Joeys to MHSAA before I even asked them. My thinking was how awesome it would be to not have to travel for a two-day tournament and helping Joey’s trying to recover from being shut down so long because of COVID?”

Hillsdale won the girls regional title with 3,451 pins, while Jonesville was the runner-up with 3,435 pins. Brandywine finished eight with 3,118 pins.

Cassie Gosa missed out on qualifying for the finals, which will be at Jax 60 in Jackson, by six places. She finished 16th overall, 21 pins out of the final individual qualifying spot.

Myranda Adams finished 33rd, Brianna Leeper 36th, Natalia Adams 42nd and Melanie Vazquez/Shelby Axline 48th.

Miller was proud of her teams and how they performed at the regional.

“My boys team this year was young. We were the youngest team in the tournament this year with two freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors in our lineup,” she said. “Only one of those was a returner. They did well for their first regional together, and I know they were nervous. My girls team is a solid group. We struggled as a team in the regional with a few good games in there for the day. Regionals always get the nerves going, and with the different format this year, you didn’t have as many games to recover.”

Miller also had good things to say about Gosa’s performance.

“Gosa had a solid series and was only 21 pins from making the cut,” she said. “She really improved this year, and I look forward to seeing what she does next year. We will definitely miss our seniors, Bel Leeper and Myranda Adams. They were my co-captains this year, and I never had to worry about anything. They always took care of things.”

Division 2 Regional

The Niles boys bowling team missed qualifying for the Division 2 state finals by one spot this past weekend.

Byron Center won the regional championship at Continental Lanes in Kalamazoo with 3,894 pins. Wyoming was second with 3,672 pins, while the Vikings were third with 3,603 pins. In a normal year, the top three teams would advance to the state finals. Due to COVID-19, the state revised the format to allow for better social distancing.

Niles sophomores Trenton Phillips and Nathan Ryman both advanced to the state finals at Century Bowl in Waterford on Friday and Saturday.

Phillips was the individual regional champion with an average of 202.5. Phillips rolled games of 231, 184, 179 and 215.

Ryman placed third with an average of 200. He rolled games of 223, 192, 162 and 223. The top 10 individuals also advance to the state meet.

The Vikings averaged 180.15 as a team.

Preston Sharpe finished 12th, Matt McKeel 27th and Conner Weston 52nd.

The Niles girls team finished 10th overall. Allegan won the regional championship with 3,471 pins, while Bryon Center was the runner-up with 3,253 pins. The Vikings finished with 2,500 pins.

Laura Golubski placed 20th, Savannah Marinelli finished 37th, Cory Wright placed 51st., Riley Hooper placed 54th, and Kaeylnn Smith placed 56th. Niles bowled without Chevelle Jaynes, who was at home in quarantine.

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