Ishpeming led the way with a big weekend at the MHSAA high school regionals, but first, a little news from Alger County.
The last person to bowl a perfect game at High Fives in Munising is now the person with the last two 300s there - Jeremy VanLandschoot.
The 38-year-old Munising resident bowled his latest almost a year to the day after his first 300 during the Monday Majors League.
Just like last year, the 200-average VanLandschoot rolled 12 straight strikes to open his league session. He added games of 190 and 202 for a 692 series.
And again he used his 16-pound Hammer Black Widow Pearl reactive resin ball, according to High 5's manager Scott Smith.
Now back to high school - four area programs sent bowlers to three MHSAA regionals on Friday and Saturday. Marquette was at Division 2 in Bay City and Saginaw, Ishpeming-Negaunee at D3 in Gaylord and Westwood and L'Anse in the D4 at Traverse City.
While only Ishpeming and L'Anse had bowlers finish well enough to advance to this weekend's state finals, both Marquette and Westwood had performances that just barely missed the cutoff.
That's pretty good, considering there were nine to 15 schools in each team competition, with only three advancing, and 50 to 85 individuals in each singles event, with just 10 going to the finals.
One bowler, Jeff Degenaer, made it in singles from L'Anse, placing in the 10th and final spot with a six-game total of 1,104 - a 184 average as he had a 201 and three games in the 190s. He beat out the 11th-place boy from Whittemore-Prescott by just six pins to advance to Sterling Heights for the state finals.
Ishpeming had a big group of qualifiers, led by Negaunee senior Spencer Leivo and Negaunee sophomore Kaytlynne Carlson each finishing third in singles.
Both have built up impressive resumes with Leivo reaching the state singles semifinals last year and Carlson winning the Upper Peninsula girls singles crown just a few weeks ago.
And both Ishpeming teams had top-three finishes to also qualify for the team finals. They will be in Jackson this weekend.
For the boys, Leivo rolled 1,201 over six games - a 200.2 average - including the day's highest opening game of 235 and none lower than 178.
Ishpeming senior Jordan Windahl, after leading the Hematites to an upset basketball victory over Munising on Friday night, traveled with mom, Diana, back to Gaylord to qualify No. 6 in singles with 1,147, including 663 his first three games.
And sophomore teammate Matt Kilberg was eighth with 1,122, avoiding a three-way rolloff for the last two spots by just six pins as he had three games over 200.
Carlson was Ishpeming's lone girls singles qualifier, rolling 1,062 - a 177 average - including 607 the final three games.
Team-wise, the Ishpeming boys quintet was second among 14 teams with 3,912, nearly 400 pins ahead of the top nonqualifying team, Menominee, and only 50 pins behind regional winner Pinconning.
The Hematites got off to a 205-244 start in the notoriously tough Baker games, then averaged better than 900 a game during the regular team portion.
The Ishpeming girls grabbed the third and final qualifying spot by just 11 pins over Farwell, totaling 3,009. They had top Baker games of 189 and 174 while averaging well over 700 per team game.
The bowlers who had the closest calls, but didn't quite make the state finals, included junior Andrew Virch of Marquette, who was 13th in the D2 boys singles with 1,125, just 18 pins out of 10th even though he had three games over 200.
Then there was Kathryn Kulju of Westwood - 14th in D4 girls singles with 942 - who was just 13 pins out of 10th. She had a 231 game and closed with 177 to give herself a chance.
And Kassy Harsila of Ishpeming - 15th in D3 girls with 900 - finished 58 pins out of 10th as she had a pair of games in the 170s.
Others with top-30 finishes included Brandon Young of Marquette, 19th in D2 boys, 1,100; Zach Scott of Marquette, 26th in D2 boys, 1,060; Tyler Windahl of Ishpeming, 23rd in D3 boys, 1,060; Ann Alanen of Ishpeming, 28th in D3 girls, 840; Alex Mayo of L'Anse, 17th in D4 girls, 845; Amanda Prophet of Westwood, 20th in D4 girls, 826; Brianna Mayo of L'Anse and Kendra Musselman of Westwood, tied for 23rd in D4 girls, 810; and Dustin Juntunen of L'Anse, 22nd in D4 boys, 1,036.
Team-wise, Westwood was seventh with 2,669 for boys and eighth with 2,555 in D4 girls. Marquette picked up a pair of 11ths in D2 with the boys totaling 3,352 and girls 2,785.
Now for a little Mining Journal Bowler of the Week recognition, starting with John "Vinny" LaCombe, who came within one shot of being at the top of today's column instead after he shot 795 in the Wednesday Industrial League at Superior Lanes. His games of 237, 289 (first 10 strikes) and 269 was 135 pins over his 220 average.
Tim McIntire, in the Tuesday Mixed at Superior, was next at plus-129. Coming in with a 200 average, he shot 267 in 729. Close behind was Ryan Kennedy at 128 over his 173 average in the Friday 800 Mixed at Superior with 235 in 647.
For the women, it was recent 300 bowler Bonnie Mattson as a runaway winner at 124 over her 179 average with 245 in 661.
Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.