Grand Island's Kaden Kuusela, McCool Junction's Garrett Hansen win boys state bowling titles

1 month ago Omaha World Herald

LINCOLN — Grand Island's Kaden Kuusela showed he meant business from the first ball Wednesday in the boys state bowling tournament final.

The senior rolled seven straight strikes and went on to defeat Bellevue West's Nate Centineo to capture the Class A title at Sun Valley Lanes. Kuusela won the two-game match 484-427.

He said last year served as motivation as he narrowly fell short of reaching the final eight after qualifying rounds.

"I thought I did well but came up a little short," he said. "That definitely drove me today."

Kuusela was the top seed after Wednesday's qualifying round while Centineo, who rolled a 300 at state last year, was seeded seventh.

In the first game, both bowlers started strong. The only non-strike in the first seven frames was a Centineo spare in the fifth.

"That was pretty nerve-wracking," Grand Island coach Paul Lee said. "It was back and forth, and I know that Nate never gets rattled."

Kuusela lost his chance for a perfect game with a spare in the eighth. He had two more strikes in the ninth and 10th and outscored Centineo 268-257.

Disaster struck for Centineo to start the second game. He left the 4-6-7-10 split and picked up two, starting with an eight-pin open.

Centineo left another split in the third and also had an open in the fifth while Kuusela continued to mark. He had four strikes and two spares in the first six frames and went on to win the game 216-170 to finish as the Class A champion.

"Kaden bowled great today," Bellevue West coach Phil Burlingame said. "Nate did a really good job and he's medaled in each of his three years."

Centineo was eighth as a freshman, fourth last year and second this year.

In the two-game Class B boys final, senior Garrett Hansen of McCool Junction defeated senior Morgan Bailey of Lexington 383-377. Hansen was seeded first after qualifying while Bailey was third.

"This feels amazing, though I was pretty nervous," Hansen said. "I felt like I was sweating more than if I was in a sauna."

Class A: Quarterfinals: Kaden Kuusela, Grand Island, def. Parker Wolfe, Papillion-La Vista, 409-380. Kyle Liewer, Norfolk, def. Matthew Dieterich, Bellevue East, 439-374. Michael Saxton, Fremont, def. Brayden Lee, Grand Island, 494-403. Nate Centineo def. Nathaniel Gust, Millard North, 375-252. Semifinals: Kuusela def. Liewer 458-360. Centineo def. Saxton 440-416. Final: Kuusela def. Centineo 484-427.

Class B: Quarterfinals: Garrett Hansen, McCool Junction, def. Chayse Nelson, Lexington, 418-357. Schuyler Handy, York, def. Carl Taylor, Seward, 341-284. Morgan Bailey, Lexington, def. Kenneth Garcia, Lexington, 428-375. Brogan Foote, Wayne, def. Colin Standifer, Seward, 487-408. Semifinals: Hansen def. Handy 490-404. Bailey def. Foote 383-371. Final: Hansen def. Bailey 383-377.

[email protected], 402-444-1350,

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy. Mike Patterson

Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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