Clinton Township Clintondale’s Jenna Mathison takes a roll during the 2019 Macomb County championships. The Dragons finished 11th out of 24 teams at the county tournament.

Clinton Township Clintondale’s Jenna Mathison takes a roll during the 2019 Macomb County championships. The Dragons finished 11th out of 24 teams at the county tournament.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Local prep bowlers take home Macomb County titles

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published January 25, 2019

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MACOMB COUNTY — Prep bowlers and fans from all around Macomb County converged Jan. 18-20 on Sterling Lanes for the Macomb County championships.

The St. Clair Shores Lake Shore girls bowling team bested Utica High 558-482 in three games Jan. 20 in the finals to win the girls team championship. In the championship round, which included 16 of the 24 competing teams, the Shorians went 4-0 to claim a county title. Lake Shore won the title a year after finishing second to New Baltimore Anchor Bay.

“Utica is a young but talented team,” Lake Shore coach Greg Villasurda said. “We bowl against them in the (Macomb Area Conference Red Division) all the time. The difference in the match was in game three we started strong with four strikes and a spare in the first five frames. They opened a few frames, and that allowed us to pull away.”

Villasurda, who is in his fourth year leading the Shorians, said depth is the strength of the team, and that factored into their performance at the county championships.

Dani DeCruydt — who holds the team’s highest average at 207 — had to withdraw from the county tournament due to an illness. Team captains Jessica and Rebecca Ludwick — along with Aeryn Rutt, Hailey Ruggs, Danylle Schowiak and Mackenzie Greenshields — continued their season-long strong play at the tournament, Villasurda said.

“We’re really blessed to be so deep,” Villasurda said. “This win is huge for the girls’ confidence. We won earlier out (at a tournament in Bay City), and this just helps prove that Bay City was no fluke. Bay City was the first tournament win for our girls program in school history. (The Macomb County tournament) is huge because of how many great teams are in this area.”

Anchor Bay beat St. Clair Shores Lakeview 480-470 to take third place.

On the boys side, Utica Ford II Jan. 20 got by Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 591-530 to cap off a 4-0 run in the championship round to take a county championship.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, which won the 2018 crown, beat Lake Shore 602-546 to take third place.

The individual championships took place Jan. 19. Anchor Bay’s Merisa Batkins bested defending champ Danielle McBride, of Macomb Dakota, 183-150 in the final. In total, 32 competitors advanced to the championship round in the individual bracket.

McBride is the defending Division 1 state champion.

“The county tournament is one of the toughest tournaments I’ve competed in so far this season,” said McBride, who put winning a team state title atop her to-do list. “I had to go against two of my teammates — Emma Price and Carly Scanlon — in back-to-back matches. Those two girls are like sisters to me. Having to go against both of them was one of the most emotional things I have had to deal with.

“I feel like the reason I performed so well is because this tournament was important to me to try to win. My teammates definitely pushed me to bowl better, and I just came up short in the final match.”

Dakota’s Carly Scanlon beat Warren Woods Tower’s Miranda Walker 194-167 to take third place in the girls bracket. Scanlon also finished third in 2018.

On the boys end, Lake Shore’s David Ludwick beat Utica Eisenhower’s Nolan Horne 214-202 to win a county championship. Ludwick placed third last year when teammate Tyler Knight won it all.

Dakota’s Kevin Moore took third place with a 261-210 win over Eisenhower’s Tyler Brownsworth.

The state tournament starts with regionals, which are set for Feb. 21-22. The state finals take place March 1-2 at various sites.

“There is nothing more emotional and nerve-wracking than bowling in the state finals,” McBride said.

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