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GH bowling rolls through state finals

Tribune Staff • Mar 6, 2017 at 8:30 AM

The Grand Haven bowlers represented West Michigan at the team and individual state championships, placing Grand Haven rollers high.

In the team event, the Grand Haven boys claimed a top-five finish after a slow start in the Baker games.

Following the Baker games, the Bucs sat in 16th out of 18 competing teams. They turned it up during the two regular games, jumping into seventh place and qualifying for the playoff rounds.

Both Jonathan Garland (275) and Jimmy Mitchell (268) produced big games, while consistent play by Maverick Green helped catapult them into the round of eight.

The Buc boys took on a young Oxford team and handled them to win their first round. In the second round, the Grand Haven boys got off to another lead in Bakers, but lost their mojo during the regular game against Salem, eliminating them from the tournament.

The Bucs finish their season with a conference title under their belts, a second place regional and fourth place state finish after being ranked eighth entering the tournament.

Individually, the Grand Haven girls bowling team got involved, represented by Breanna Olthof, Meagan Batka and Kaleigh Batka.

Senior Meagan Batka was making her second trip to the big dance, taking the Bucs’ top finish at 23rd overall.

Jimmy Mitchell carried the boys banner into the tournament on his own, taking it all the way to the semifinal round.

A rough start and lack of strikes threatened his game, but Game 4 saw a turnaround as Mitchell posted a 278 followed by a 269 and a 212, clinching the No. 1 seed for the final match play rounds.

In match play, Mitchell won his first two-game match by 10 pins and followed that with a 480 in the quarterfinals to win by 140.

The semifinal match spelled the end for Mitchell’s prolific high school bowling career. An open eighth frame put the pressure on late, but the Bucs senior could only muster one strike in the final frame, earning him a third place finish overall.

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