Updated February 11, 2022 - 7:49 pm
When the bowling season started, Arbor View coach Matt Kranz wasn’t thinking about winning a state championship.
He just wanted to field a full team.
“We only had three bowlers to start the season,” Kranz said. “We had to find a fourth bowler.”
The top-seeded Aggies overcame that challenge and every other one thrown their way, including having to rally in Friday’s girls state championship match at The Orleans.
No. 2 seed Desert Oasis took the first game, but Arbor View won the final two to claim a 7-2 victory (2,112-2,041 pin total) and cap an undefeated season with the first-ever Class 5A state championship and first in girls bowling in school history.
The third-seeded Clark boys ended No. 1 Shadow Ridge’s bid for a perfect season by claiming a 7-2 victory (2,302-2,243) and the 5A title, the Chargers’ second after winning the 4A crown in 2007.
“This is kind of what we did against Liberty in the semifinals,” Clark coach Brian Gregorich said. “Our kids were ready at the outset. They knew what they wanted to do. They had a plan, and they’ve learned these lanes really well this week. These guys believe when they step on the lanes, good things are going to happen for them.”
Arbor View could only sit and watch as Desert Oasis anchor Kelcey Aczon rolled 15 consecutive strikes — eight straight to finish the first game with a 258 and seven to start the second game. Aczon finished with a three-game series of 677 for the Diamondbacks.
“It gets really stressful, but it helps having a team,” said Arbor View senior anchor Audrey Andrews, who bowled a team-high 622 series. “It’s not one-on-one. If you think of it that way, it makes it easier. You don’t want to fall down just because she’s doing well. You never know what will happen in bowling.”
Clark jumped on a Shadow Ridge team that had surrendered only four points all season in 11 matches. The Chargers were the only team to take a game off Shadow Ridge in the regular season, so that gave them confidence, and they rode that to games of 797 and 782 for a 98-pin lead. Shadow Ridge won the final game but not by enough pins to change the outcome.
“Our game during the season really elevated us, because taking one off of them is big,” said Clark senior Joey Gong, who bowled a team-high 613 series. “We knew coming into this game we could beat them head-to-head.”