Mason Keene Claims Division 3 Bowling State Title
Photos provided by Leisa Gipe
Stockbridge senior Mason Keene made history Saturday by winning the Division 3 boys’ bowling individual state title in Jackson Saturday.
The state title in bowling is the first state title in history for Stockbridge outside of track, cross country, and wrestling.
Keene barely qualified for the state finals with a 9th place finish at Quincy Regional when only the top ten advance and he made it count once he got to Jackson Saturday.
There is more to the surprising story in that Keene just started bowling a year and a half ago and now he is a state champion.
At the finals, the bowlers roll six qualifying games, and the top 16 move on to match play.
Keene finished in the final qualifying spot by three pins with a six-game total of 1144, which included a game of 265 where he threw nine strikes in a row at one time.
The 265 was his only game over 200 in qualifying, but that would change in match play.
Keene was seeded 16th and faced the top seed from Napoleon in the opening round. The Napoleon bowler had out rolled Mason by 146 pins in qualifying, but it was Keene who rolled games of 201 and 2-2 to win 403-337 to advance to the round of eight and earn all-state honors, but he wasn’t done.
Mason got even hotter in the round of eight with games 224 and 246 to scorch his opponent from Armada 470-312 to advance to the semifinals.
Keene continued to roll in the semifinals with games of 202 and 225 to best his Ogemaw Heights opponent 427-386 to reach the state championship match.
He took a 17 point lead after one game by beating his Gladwin opponent 203-186 and needed to stay within 16 pins in the second game to claim the title.
Keene left no doubt by rolling a 204 to for a final score of 407-353 to be crowned state champion.
After averaging 190 during Regionals and his six games of qualifying at state, Keene averaged an astounding 213 in his eight match play games on his way to the title. He shot over 200 in all eight games to roll to the title.