By Jason Wesseldyk
KALAMAZOO—The Otsego girls bowling team posted a third-place finish at the Portage Northern Invitational on Sunday, Jan. 28.
Seeded first after two regular games and eight baker games, the Bulldogs baker-game scores of 187 and 159 to open the playoffs and advance to the final four. Otsego fell to Portage Northern in the semifinals but bounced back to beat South Haven in the consolation match to take third.
“The format used in this tournament is the same format that the regional tournament will use, so we gained valuable confidence,” Otsego coach Chuck Kinnane said. “Many of the teams in this tourney will be in our regional and have been given notice that we will be a force to be reckoned with this year.”
Otsego’s Alicyn Klok was first in individual scoring, while teammate Wybie Burke was fifth.
The Otsego boys also competed but were unable to advance past the qualifying round.
The previous day, both Otsego teams took on Kalamazoo Central, with the girls winning 30-0 and the boys winning 28-2.
And on Tuesday, Jan. 23, the Bulldogs squared off with rival Plainwell. The Otsego girls won 29-1, with the Otsego boys prevailing 26-4.
“Everyone knows about the Otsego-Plainwell rivalry, but it’s a little different in bowling as we both practice at the same time and same place each week on lanes right next to each other,” Kinnane said. “So, everyone is really familiar with each other. Although this makes everything a little friendlier, I also believe it makes you want it more when you get to see them on a regular basis.”
For the Otsego girls, Mercedes Edney had a team-best 315 series, followed closely by Alicyn Klok at 310. Lily Jones, making her return following a wrist injury, had a career-best 289 series.
Cole Kortokrax (182) led the Otsego boys in game one, with Jack Ordway (169) leading the way in game two.
Plainwell’s Dylan Wheeler had the high game of the night at 196.