Highland High School senior bowler Brandon Munie made the most of his final attempt to qualify for the IHSA Boys State Bowling Tournament. He made the cut as an individual after finishing in seventh place Saturday at the IHSA Mount Vernon Sectional.
Munie shot a stellar six-game series of 1,334, which equates to a strong single game average of 222.33. His two best games came right out of the gate with a 256 and a near-perfect game of 290. His 290 was the highest individual game of the entire sectional and sits tied for fourth place in school history with Jordan Buske and Zack Chapman.
Munie also bowled quality games of 213, 202 and 200.
There were only six bowlers who finished ahead of Munie, including sectional champion Tyler Hunter of Freeburg, who fired a sectional-winning series of 1,416 (236 average).
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Also placing in the top six were O’Fallon’s Donny Richards (1,394), Collinsville Major Doublas III (1,373), Alton’s Derek Henderson (1,346), Lebanon’s Brandon Ogden (1,339) and Roxana Christian Bertoletti (1,336).
“After a hot start, I was definitely a little disappointed with finishing (seventh), but nonetheless, I achieved my goal of at least qualifying,” Munie said. “I think our team definitely deserved to go, too, but we fell seven pins short, and with this being my last season, it was tough to see us go out that way. But I am excited for state, and my main goal is just to make it to the second day and give myself a shot at a high finish. There’s going to be lots of talent there, and if can put myself somewhere near the top, I’ll definitely be satisfied.”
As a team, Highland also came in seventh place in the 16-team sectional. HHS had a final team score of 5,984, which was just seven pins behind Alton’s sixth-place total of 5,991. The top six teams qualified for the state tournament.
Placing in the top five and joining Alton at state will be sectional champion O’Fallon, which ran away with the title at 6,480.
Placing second through fifth were Collinsville (6,159), Belleville East (6,147), Columbia (6,088) and Freeburg (6,001).
In between the regional and the sectional last week, the Bulldogs competed in and won their final three dual matches to finish the regular season with a solid 9-3-1 overall record. It included a 6-3-1 Mississippi Valley Conference mark, which ended up being good enough to take second place in the league standings.
Unbeaten Triad dominated the six-team MVC with the Knights’ only blemish being a tie with Highland in the second meeting between the two teams.
Highland 27, Civic Memorial 13
The Bulldogs played host to Civic Memorial on Thursday at Poplar Junction Lanes and knocked down the Eagles 27-13.
CM took the first game by 43 pins, only two see Highland rebound to take the next two games and the ensuing overall pin count by a total of 101 pins, 2,937 to 2,836.
The Bulldogs also nipped the Eagles 12-8 in individual points.
Highland junior southpaw Trevor Leitschuh was far and away the mach’s best bowler. He carved up lanes 9 and 10 at Poplar Junction with a splendid 734 series. Leitschuh fired strong ascending games of 223, 254 and 257.
Also rolling quality games for the Bulldogs were Buske (214, 190), Roach (206), Davis (200, 190) and Munie (194, 192).
Highland 22, Alton Marquette 18
The Bulldogs traveled to Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton and edged the host Alton Marquette Explorers, 22-18, on Wednesday, Jan. 17.
The two squads split the team points 10-10, with Highland winning the first team game (867-864) and third team game (994-985). The Explorers offset the Bulldogs’ 10 points by dominating the second team game (976-856) by enough that they also took the match’s overall pin count (2,825 to 2,717).
The difference in the match was that Highland edged Marquette 12-8 in individual points.
Although Munie was the Bulldogs’ best bowler in the match, Buske was Highland’s lone bowler to sweep all four of his individual points.
Alton Marquette’s Sam Cogan and Jake Gatermann shared top-series honors with matching 622s. Cogan also carved out the match’s superior game with a 269 finale.
Munie hit for a 608 series that featured a 236 final game that ranked second best. He also had a 198 first game.
Also rolling good games for Highland were Davis (231), Buske (201) and Roach (197).
Highland 27, Waterloo 13
In the battle of the Bulldogs on Tuesday, Jan. 16, Highland was the victor after winning 15 of the 20 team points and 13 of the 20 individual points.
In team points, Waterloo edged HHS in the first team game by only three pins — 1,006 to 1003 — in a game where both sides bowled very well. Highland then took the final 15 points after winning the next two team games — 945 to 869 and 992 to 951 — and the overall pin count, 2,940 to 2,826.
Roach and Leitschuh both swept all four of their individual points, while Munie won three of them.
Highland featured the match’s top two series, with Munie at a 664 and Roach at a 647. The duo also fired the two best games, with Munie taking top honors with a 269 first game. Roach was just six pins back with a 263 final game. Munie also added games of 203 and 192, while Roach also had a pair of 192 games.
Waterloo got a 637 series and a 253 game from Ryan O’Guin and a 603 series and a 235 game from Andrew Ottoson.
Also bowling good games for HHS were Leitschuh (220, 190, 186) and Davis (189, 188, 184).