Ishpeming-Negaunee’s Caitlyn Lee top girl in U.P. Bowling Conference

Steve Brownlee

Area girls one-upped the boys — literally — in their Upper Peninsula Bowling Conference singles tournament held recently.

The boys held their event at River Rock Lanes on Feb. 3, while the girls went a week later at The Dome Lanes in Marinette, Wisconsin, on Feb. 10. The Dome is home to Menominee High School bowlers.

While six area boys made the top-16 qualifying cut in Ishpeming, one more than that — seven — girls made it to the match-play round despite a road trip of two to three hours and competing at probably more unfamiliar lanes.

And the girls championship match featured teammates from an area school.

But don’t let me get ahead of myself.

First off, the seven qualifiers from the area included four of the top half-dozen bowlers in their opening six-game block.

Caitlyn Lee of Ishpeming-Negaunee led the way in second place with a 1,083, just 11 pins behind qualifying leader Lizzie Taylor of Escanaba.

Lee rolled games of 172, 150 and 163 for 485 her first three games. Then with a short break to tabulate the top 36 who would continue, she added 213, 162 and 223 for 598. Overall, that was a 180.5 average on an oil condition tougher than any a regular adult league sees.

Right behind her was teammate Megan Wilkins, who was third and totaled 1,075 with a 223 second game and 201 fifth game.

Then came Megan McIntire of Marquette, fourth with 1,021 and a high of 191; and Amanda McIntire of Marquette, sixth with 990 and a high of 192.

Another Redette was next on the local list, Kaylee Reader, who was ninth with 922 and a top score of 175; followed by Alissa Johnson of I-N, 12th with 878 and top of 163; and tying for the 15th and 16th spots was Kassidy Pirkola of I-N, who had 864 and a best game of 157.

Cracking the top 30 but missing the cut were Jenna Messer of L’Anse, 19th with 832 and just 32 pins out of qualifying; Melissa Bauer of Westwood, 27th with 798; MacKenzie Ryan of I-N, 28th with 786; and Antoinette Levra of I-N, 29th with 768.

Like the boys, the final 16 bowlers took part in two-game knockout matches that after three rounds brought it down to the final two — teammates Lee and Pirkola, with Lee winning, though I don’t have scores available.

Each of the finalists defeated an Iron Mountain bowler in the semifinals, Lee taking out No. 6 qualifier Hannah Bastian and Pirkola defeating No. 5 Maddy Doucette.

Back to the boys from the week before. Last week, I said I’d check to see if I missed an area boys qualifiers, and I found out that I certainly did.

They were, in order of qualifying, Stephen Kangas of Westwood, who was fifth with 1,106 and second with 600 after his first three games. His high game was 226.

Mason Garceau of Marquette was 12th with 1,046, including a 206 game, while Redmen teammate Conner McLaughlin tied for 13th with 1,044 and 231 tops.

That was in addition to I-N’s Hunter Peterson, the No. 1 qualifier with 1,204 and games of 223, 212 and 211; Marquette’s Kennan Johnson, sixth with 1,100 and top games of 209 and 205; and I-N’s Dawsen Emanuelson, eighth with 1,091 and 213 best game.

Also cracking the top 30 but missing the cut was Evan Rae of Westwood, 20th with 1,018 and a high game of 201. He missed the cut by just 23 pins.

There was Dylan Junak of Westwood and Jack Waananen of I-N, who tied for 24th with 947, then Orion Haataja of L’Anse, who was 26th with 943.

Finally, I want to remind adult league bowlers about the 13th annual Marquette County USBC Association open tournament to be held March 10-11 and March 17-18 at River Rock Lanes in Ishpeming.

There are three-person team, doubles, singles and optional all-events available during shifts to be held at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. each of those Saturdays and Sundays.

Cost is $20 per bowling event and $5 for all-events, with $10 of the fee in regular events going to the prize fund.

Entrants are encouraged to reserve a spot as there will only be a guarantee of six lanes available each shift. Do that by emailing bowlmqtusbc@gmail.com or calling 869-3531.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.