By Jeff Bleiler
Special for Second Half
JACKSON — Make no mistake: Logan Teubert's cool demeanor masks a competitive fire that rages within.
Consider that when he got ahold of the bracket for the Division 3 Singles Bowling Finals at JAX 60, he had his mom fill out his name all the way to the championship.
It proved prophetic as the Jonesville junior rolled out to a 48-pin advantage in the first game of the Final and withstood a midgame rally by Capac junior Kaden Braun in the second game to win 369-349.
Teubert was the first Jonesville boy to win an individual title and the first Comet to claim one since 2011 when Lynsey Molinaro, who remains on the coaching staff, won.
“It’s awesome. I’ve been waiting for this, I finally got to do it and I did it,” Teubert said. “Today I had a rough couple games, got back in the cut and just started throwing strikes.”
Teubert shot 204 in the first game of the Final, his only open frame a missed 10-pin in the fifth after three straight strikes. He clawed his way to a 165 in the second game that included back-to-back splits in the eighth and ninth frames.
Braun struggled to find traction and had three open frames for a 156 in the first game, but pounded a four-bagger in the third through sixth frames of the second game to get Teubert’s attention. A split in the ninth thwarted the comeback, and Braun finished with 193.
Teubert appeared undaunted throughout the Finals, calmly adjusting his glasses in between shots.
“Don’t let his outward appearance fool you; he’s pretty confident,” Jonesville coach Matt Molinaro said. “He stayed focus, he stayed hungry, but he tried to let it slip away because he bowled not to lose instead of bowling to win. So then we got him regrouped, refocused and then he shut the door.”
He had a decided advantage in support, as his backers turned JAX 60 into a 60-lane version of his 12-lane home house of L&J Lanes. It also helped that Teubert has bowled at JAX 60 frequently in tournaments and for matches in the Cascades Conference.
“(The fan support was) awesome. It helps so much,” Teubert said. “The lanes were different today than any other day, but it didn’t affect my performance that much.”
Teubert qualified 10th after the six-game qualifying round with 1,201, a score boosted by games of 242 and 255. He beat Boyne City senior Jack Wicker 391-343, then dispatched Cheboygan senior Dawson Campbell 403-393 thanks to a double in the 10th of the second game for 234. In the semifinals, he turned away Hudsonville Unity Christian senior Kurtis Montsma 370-358.
Teubert praised the Jonesville coaching staff afterward.
“They’re awesome. I couldn’t get any better coaches,” he said. “They’ve made me who I am today.”
The admiration is mutual.
“He’s a phenomenal bowler and he’s worked very hard on his game, so I’m not too surprised that (he won),” Jonesville assistant coach Matt Davis said. “He’s been calling himself a state champion since the beginning of the year.”
Will he be calling himself a two-time champion after next season?
“I guess we’ll find out,” Teubert said.
On the girls side, Big Rapids senior Hope Thebo surprised herself and her coach with a Finals victory in defeating Caro senior Baylee Hutchinson 406-378.
Big Rapids coach David Nawrot said Thebo averaged about 160 in Central State Athletics Association play.
“During Regionals, she was just steadfast. Top game was 167, bottom game was 157,” Nawrot said of Thebo, who qualified for the Girls Golf Finals all four years of her high school career. “I think her golf background helps. Being in that tournament definitely helps with this.”
Thebo rolled eight strikes in the first game of the Final, including seven of the last eight shots, for a 223 opener to Hutchinson’s 155. Hutchinson answered with her own 223 that included a five-bagger, while Thebo battled some timing issues that she said were the result of the positive start in the first game.
“Coming in, I was just trying to qualify and do the best I could from there,” said Thebo, who finished with a 183 game. “After I slowed myself down, I was good.”
Thebo played basketball as a freshman, finished 42nd in the Regional two years ago and was 12th last season before claiming Big Rapids’ first individual Finals trophy.
Thebo qualified eighth with a six-game score of 1,142. Over her four matches, she cleared 200 in five of the eight games. She beat Flat Rock senior Jasmine Carroll in the opener 372-348, then defeated top seed Karissa Manifold of Hillsdale 437-401 before coming back to top Livonia Clarenceville senior Madilynn Kieling 350-328.