BOYS BOWLING: Troy rises to grab first Oakland County title
BY DAN STICKRADT
CLARKSTON — For the past couple of years, Troy has taken its lumps on the Oakland County bows bowling circuit. Now the Colts are the ones laughing.
Troy rose to the top of the 28-school field Saturday at the 10th Annual Oakland County Boys Bowling Championships, downing Walled Lake Central in the finals, 381-354, at Cherry Hill Lanes-North near Clarkston.
Seeded second after the qualifying block (3618), Troy won all four of its matches in bracket play to claim its first county title.
The Colts finished in the bottom half of the field last season, placing 21st in the qualifying block and failed to advance to bracket play.
Not this time.
With five of its top six bowlers back from last season and far more mature, Troy won its first title of any kind during the past three seasons.
“I think we are much more serious than we were before,” admitted Troy senior captain Jeff Peltier. “We are a better team than we were. We have never won a (championship) of anything before.”
Troy has not won a title of any kind since 2009-10, when they emerged as a top 10 team in the state. The last couple years, they competed with an extremely young team and have been building for the 2012-13 campaign with a veteran lineup of mostly upperclassmen.
“In the past we had a team of freshmen and sophomores mostly,” offered second-year coach Bob St. Onge. “This year we are just bowling better. I am just proud of these boys for doing such a great job today.”
Walled Lake Central held a 16-pin lead (224-208) heading into the second Baker game of the finals before Troy caught fire. The Colts rolled to a 173-130 victory in Game 2 to prevail as the county champ.
“We had the lead but we had a couple of tough breaks in the second game and they had a couple of breaks that went their way,” said Walled Lake Central coach Rich Kidwell. “It was still good, though. It was a lot of fun today.”
Troy defeated South Lyon (368-328) in the Round of 16, downed Oxford (392-371) in the quarterfinals and rolled over Ortonville Brandon (395-356) in the semifinals.
Berkley defeated Brandon in the third-place match (400-284).
Walled Lake Central knocked down South Lyon East (409-395) in the Round of 16, defeated Ferndale (394-371) in the quarterfinals and downed Berkley (337-310) in the semifinals to reach the championship match.
In the qualifying block, where the top 16 school advanced to bracket play, Detroit Catholic Central had the highest teams core with a 3905 collective effort. Troy was second with 3618, while Clarkston (3618), Waterford Kettering (3573), Walled Lake Central (3566), Ortonville Brandon (3500), Oxford (3497), Berkley (3496), North Farmington (3417) and Walled Lake Northern (3417) rounded out the top 10.
Livonia Clarenceville (3381), South Lyon East (3342), Ferndale (3321), Waterford Mott (3287), South Lyon (3240) and Farmington/Harrison Unified (3225) also made the cut into the Round of 16.
In singles play, McClain Canfield of Detroit Catholic Central posted a convincing victory with a three-game total of 685, 37 pins ahead of the nearest competitor. Ferndale’s Nick Melton was second (648), Catholic Central’s Joe Alvord third (640), Milford’s Ryan Garvey fourth (638) and Waterford Mott’s Riley McNabb fifth (629).
Ortonville Brandon’s Jason Quintanilla claimed sixth (627), followed by Oxford’s Sean McKinley (626), Catholic Central’s Joey Kryzywonos (623), North Farmington’s Aaron Radner (622) and Troy’s Tyler Giddey (621) in the top 10.
(Dan Stickradt is Senior Editor for Digital Daily www.northoaklandsports.com and The Real Deal sports and coupons magazine, as well as a freelance writer for multiple media outlets, including State Champs! High School Sports Show website. He is a 20-year veteran sports journalist based in Oakland County, Mich. He can be reached by email at [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans.)