Morgan Brown entered the Brunswick Zone Carolier Center Lanes in North Brunswick with hopes of capturing that elusive state title.
As the state’s top statistical bowler, Brown was one of the favorites to win the crown and didn’t disappoint through the early stages of the tournament. Bowling against 51 other top rollers, Brown made her way into the top five with a total of 1,369 pins through two, three-game series.
Once the tournament is molded down to the final five, the entire format changes into a single-game stepladder model. That means the fifth-place bowler takes on the fourth-place bowler and the winner of the advances to take on the third-place bowler, and so on.
Brown, a senior at West Deptford High School, was a No. 3 seed and took down No. 5 Amy Caruso to advance into the final three. It was there she stumbled, falling to No. 2 Bryce Petraccoro, of Manasquan. Petraccoro, who went on to win the title, defeated Brown 230-190.
The loss left Brown a little discouraged, said West Deptford coach Aaron Burr.
“She was disappointed,” Burr said. “Her goal going into the season was to be state champ, but unfortunately every other top player had that same goal. That still doesn’t take away from the incredible season she had. She had the top average in the state.”
Burr said the one-match formula leads to a lot of unpredictability and leaves little margin for error.
“She had an off-game and that’s what happens in this format,” Burr said. “She knows she will bowl next year in college and maybe greater things are to come.”
Brown has not selected her school yet, but is already considering offers from four universities. Which ever team lands Brown will acquire an athlete who will leave her high school as the greatest bowler in school history.