The Monona Grove girls bowling club team came away with silver at the 2021 Wisconsin High School Bowling Club State Championships in Ashwaubenon.
At state, which was held March 5-7, each team bowls 15 games Saturday during the day, with the top five teams emerging for a tournament Saturday night and the top two teams meeting in the state final on Sunday.
Through 15 games, Monona Grove was third of 12 teams with a score of 2,621, behind only Peshtigo (2,657) and Wittenberg/Birnamwood (2,644).
MG’s best games came in game four, six and 14, where the girls bowled scores of 200, 202 and 205, respectively.
With the top spot of all teams, Peshtigo earned a bye to Sunday’s final. The other four teams – MG, Wittenberg-Birnamwood, West Bend East and Union Grove – faced off in two-game competitions Saturday night to earn their way to a Sunday spot.
Monona Grove faced West Bend East, the fourth seed, in the first match of the stepladder tournament. MG trailed 192-180 after one game, but West Bend East struggled to a 158 score in the second game, while MG put up a 190 to win 370-350.
That advanced MG to face Wittenberg-Birnamwood. MG trailed 193-152 after the first game following a rough start, but the MG bowlers didn’t lose the faith, putting up their best score of the tournament in game two, a 217, to get the 369-368 win.
“The girls just stepped up,” MG coach Dave Guenterberg said of his team’s overall performance. “They all bowled exceptionally well.”
Unfortunately for the MG bowling squad, they weren’t able to keep that red-hot hand into Sunday, as Peshtigo beat MG by a 370-300 score over two games.
“They all bowled well during the weekend to get there,” Guenterberg said of his team. “It’s a crapshoot. Emotions play a big part in it.”
He said Peshtigo picked up some big spares and started to hit their strikes in the matchup.
Making up the MG team were Brooke Way, Lucy Stebbins, Mya Frank, Marissa Anderson, Anneeshya Perkins and Zoey Darwin. Guenterberg was assisted by coach Sadie Frank. It was Monona Grove’s eighth consecutive season qualifying for state.
Darwin competed at individual state over the weekend as well, bowling a 530 over three games (173, 180 and 177). That was good for 35th. The top 14 girls moved on to the semifinal round.
The Monona Grove boys also had a couple of individual state qualifiers. Ryan Knudtson bowled a 592 over three games (155, 243, 194) to place 33rd, while Riley Allen placed in the top 24 to move onto the semifinal round.
Allen was 17th after the qualifiers with games of 176, 210 and 223 to bowl a 609 over three games.
In the semifinals, Allen bowled games of 178, 175 and 188 for a 541 over three games. Combined with his first three games, that gave him a 1,150, good for 22nd in the state.