Spera rolls to U.P. bowling singles title

ISHPEMING — Iron Mountain’s Zach Spera turned back Ishpeming’s Dawson Emanuelsen to win the U.P. High School Bowling Conference boys singles championship Saturday at River Rock Lanes.

In the final match, Spera started strong by throwing a 223 to Emanuelsen’s 195. The freshman from Ishpeming fought back, taking game two by 16 pins. But the lead was too great as Spera captured the crown by a 403-386 pin count.

The final four had Spera bowling against teammate Zach Hanson while Emanuelsen took on Calumet’s Jordan Kesanen. Emanuelsen bested Kesanen 351-334 while the match of the Zachs was decided by only four pins — Spera, 336 (160, 176); Hanson, 332 (171,161).

Seventy-two boys from nine schools competed in the tournament.

The tournament format consists of two three-game qualifying blocks, with the first cut seeing the top 48 bowlers move on.

“The cut is determined by the size of the host center,” said UPBC secretary David Ebsch. “Three kids per lane bowl the second three-game block. After that block, we cut to the top 16, and the kids bowl two games head to head in match play fashion with the top score moving on.”

A pair of Escanaba bowlers made the first two cuts, qualifying for the top 16.

Josh Worthen placed ninth after falling to Ishpeming’s Emanuelson and Jake Worthen finished 13th after dropping his match to Iron Mountain’s Ian Driscoll.

Esky’s Lucius Padaoan was 29th, followed by Jordan Nance in 32nd and Matt Cordy 33rd. James Peacock, Eastin Young and Jesse Liukkonen failed to make the cut for the top 48.

The U.P. Girls’ Singles Finals are scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Bowl-a-Rama Lanes.

The U.P. team event takes place Saturday, Feb. 17, at Bowl-a-Rama Lanes.