Freshman Andre Morgan was stuck as the No. 7 bowler for the Bishop Carroll boys all season, competing on the junior varsity. Last week, Morgan moved up to the No. 6 spot and finished 19th at the City League tournament.
Saturday, Morgan made Carroll coach Jim Nance look brilliant for the move. Morgan finished fourth in the Class 5A regional at Seneca Bowl, leading the Eagles with a 665 series and a regional victory.
Carroll finished with a team score of 2,586 to finish nearly 100 pins ahead of second-place Augusta.
"I kind of hated to make a move because you throw a freshman in there for the City League meet and then the regional meet," Nance said. "You think he could get the deer-in-the-headlights look but he's been rock solid, just nothing fazes him."
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After a 225 in his first game, Morgan opened his second game with eight consecutive strikes and finished with a 244.
"I released it wrong, it just didn't get in there," Morgan said of his ninth-frame miss. "We were just so dedicated and we bowled our best."
Andover's Scott Rochat won the boys individual title with a 698 series.
The Carroll boys weren't led by their senior bowlers, Brice Logan and Collin Maes. Instead, Morgan and junior Kolby Franklin, who finished tied for fifth with a 664, took over the top spots.
That was just fine with Franklin, who knows that depth could help Carroll defend its 5A title next week at Northrock Lanes.
"We're ready, we want to get it back to back," Franklin said. "Winning state, everyone is gunning for us, so we had to come out and prove that we can still compete. We all had to step up and do our part."
The Augusta boys, who finished second, were led by Scott Bisarek, who finished second with a 691 series, and qualified their whole team for the first time.
The Carroll girls joined the boys as regional champions in dominating fashion.
They fought out of a recent slump and had three of the top five bowlers. Kaitlin Johnson finished second with a 629, Morgan Kuckelman finished tied for third with a 611 and Erin Sanagorski finished fifth with a 609.
"Morgan has struggled the last couple meets something terrible, so it was nice to see her come out with a couple 200s right off the back," Nance said. "The same with Kaitlin, she got it worked out today and that was huge."
Augusta's Chario Carter won the girls individual title with a 652 series.
"She worries so much about everyone else, finally today I told her, 'You have to worry about Chario today,' " Augusta coach Ray Aguirre said. "She did a great job, fighting back that last game to win, it's really nice. I'm so proud of her, she's worked so hard."
Kapaun Mount Carmel finished second in the girls team standings and qualified its team for state for the first time under coach Marie Thomas.