It was a fabulous finale to a superb season.
District competition that began statewide back in November finished with a flourish in central Wisconsin. A total of 80 teams and 164 singles competitors hit the lanes to compete for state championship hardware and thousands in scholarships at the BCAW 2023 Wisconsin High School Bowling Club State Championships March 3-5 at Dale’s Weston Lanes in Weston.
In Division 1 and 2 team competition, Sun Prairie East/Sun Prairie West/Marshall/Cambridge and Campbellsport won the girls’ championships while Watertown and Marinette took home boys’/coed team titles.
Two-handed bowlers Juliana Bergman of Sheboygan North and Braden Mallasch of Waupaca won the girls’ and boys’ state singles titles, respectively.
Huge crowds of enthusiastic fans jammed the 60-lane center and enjoyed exciting bowling action all weekend starting with singles and Baker-style team qualifying on Friday and Saturday, and singles semi-finals and team stepladder starting Saturday night. That set the stage for “Championship Sunday,” which included stepladder title matches in boys’ and girls’ singles and boys’/coed and girls’ team in Division 1 and 2.
Sunday’s finals were webcast by Emil Williams’ BowlStream TV with ESPN Madison’s Jesse Nelson providing commentary. PBA and USBC Hall of Famer Norm Duke – representing Storm Products – joined the webcast with entertaining and knowledgeable analysis.
In girls’ Division 1 team competition, Sun Prairie East/Sun Prairie West/Marshall/Cambridge marched through qualifying and the semis to earn the top seed in the Sunday stepladder where the co-op squad downed Sheboygan Area, 349-294, in the two-game championship match. Campbellsport beat Antigo and Sauk Prairie in the stepladder before downing Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, 377-369, in the title match to earn the Girls’ Division 2 state championship.
In boys’/coed Division 1 action, Watertown edged D.C. Everest by one pin (50-49) in a two-frame rolloff Saturday night in the stepladder before downing Sheboygan South/Random Lake, 342-317, to earn a spot in the final match on Sunday. In the title match, Watertown earned the Division 1 state title by beating Oak Creek, 440-389, two-game Baker match
Meanwhile in boys’/coed Division 2, Marinette took the state crown with a 358-341 victory over top seed Antigo. Marinette, seeded second in the stepladder, defeated Oostburg/Sheboygan Lutheran, 427-385, to earn a spot in the Sunday stepladder final match.
In singles competition, top-seeded Bergman defeated Ava Butt of Wautoma, 202-163, in the stepladder title match. Mallasch defeated Green Bay Preble’s Carter Wescott 231-222 in the boys’ championship match.
Wescott led qualifying with a 730 three-game total while Bergman led girls’ qualifying with a 672 series. Mallasch fired a 730 set in the semis to take over the boys’ singles lead and grab the top seed for the stepladder finals. Bergman earned the top stepladder seed for the girls on the strength of a 609 set in the semis.
Full tournament results are available on the High School Bowling page of the BCAW website:
The BCAW extends a tremendous thank you to Dale Elliott, proprietor of Dale’s Weston Lanes, for hosting another great event. Thanks to sponsors Bobs’ Business, QubicaAMF and Storm Products, as well as official apparel provider H5G.
Special kudos go out to Storm’s Norm Duke, who proved to be a crowd favorite the entire weekend autographing bowling pins and programs and was very generous with his time.
BCAW appreciates the Wisconsin State USBC Association for providing the Phil A. LaPorte Scholarships totaling $3,000 to our top five singles finalists. Team scholarships in the amount of $2,000 were provided by BCAW.