The SEC co-champion Saline boys’ bowling team nearly pulled off an incredible upset at the state meet.
Bowling against the eventual state champs from Waterford Kettering in the semifinal, Saline was just 39 pins short of advancing to the championship.
In the end, Saline placed fourth – the highest the team has placed since John McMullen began coaching the team 14 years ago.
“I’m proud of the team. It’s a great group of kids led by three seniors. They’re disciplined. They talk to each other about shots. They listen to their coaches,” McMullen said. “It was a great showing.”
Saline finished third in their regional. Taking fourth at the 18-team state tournament was a feat.
“At the finals, we had a team who just gelled together,” McMullen said.
Bowling for Saline were seniors Drake Jones, Tanner Wiedmeyer and Tristin Marion, sophomores Cameron White and Colin Mitchell, and freshman Dallas Casey.
In the qualifying block Saline finished in the top eight to advance to match play. Saline upset Warren DeLaSalle, 1338-1255 to advance to the final four. Scores were down a little in the semifinal, but Saline nearly unseated the eventual state champs.
Coach McMullen said this year’s team is the best he’s coached.
“We had a team that a good average like one before, but it that team didn’t get as far in the playoffs. I’ve never had a team bowl this well before,” McMullen said.
Casey was the lone Saline bowler to qualify for the individual state meet. The freshman placed 36th. He went out on a high note, scoring 226 in his final game.
Saline was well-represented on the All SEC Red team. Jones, Wiedmeyer, Marion, Mitchell and Casey earned all-conference honors. White earned honorable mention.