There's no defense in bowling. That's one of the sport's axioms.
On a day when there was only one 400 series shot against him you would have thought new Tri-City Masters champion Jeff Walsh had a picket fence set up against his five opponents in last Sunday's finals at Parkside Game Zone.
Chalk up Walsh's victory to good shot-making on challenging lane conditions.
"They were low-scoring matches to begin with," Walsh said. "There was a 'whoops' area to the right (as in whoops, there goes that shot) and if you played inside a little (the ball) hung up and you'd leave a washout. You were rewarded for a good shot and you paid for a bad one. The key was making shots and making spares."
The 28-year-old Walsh, who lives in Cheektowaga and works at AMF's warehouse, the company's national distribution center, averaged 213 and placed 11th in qualifying the previous week.
In his second match Sunday he faced Carl Kinyon. "We caught a bad pair (lanes 17-18), but I had a decent last game," Walsh said. "Seventeen was super tight but I made a couple of good shots and he left a couple of 10 pins."
Walsh defeated Kinyon, 397-368, after an opening 396-347 win over Ron Stacy.
In the third round Walsh defeated Steve John Jr., winning, 227-193 and 267-236, for a 494-429 verdict, the lone 400 against him.
Walsh faced high qualifier Frank Cascio in the semifinals. "He hit the pocket flush and left five straight 7-pins," Walsh said of his 198-175 victory.
Maybe there was a picket fence around the 7-pin.
Walsh started the second game with six strikes and won, 243-180, to move on (441-355) and face Mike DeMartinis for the title.
"It was 'Catch 22,' " Walsh said. "DeMartinis had the last five (strikes) to beat Pat Brick (361-430 in the semifinals) so Mike was coming off a big high.
"We were on 17-18 (again for Walsh). The pair was still brutal but I had 258 the first game and he didn't figure it out fast enough." Walsh prevailed, 461-354.
While this was his first Tri-City (covering the Tonawandas, Lockport and Niagara Falls associations) title, Walsh has a good track record in the tournament, placing fourth on the composite list of top finishers over the last 10 years and finishing second to Jack Jurek in 1994.
"This is my biggest accomplishment," said Walsh, whose overall average for four leagues is about 225. "I've always considered myself to be a decent bowler but as far as going out and saying I've won something . . .
"Now, to have my name with (two-time Tonawandas individual champion) Jim Reese Jr., and (five-time Tri-City winner) Jack Jurek, to me I can say, at least for one year, 'I'm up there.' It's a huge accomplishment even though it was in a small tournament."
Along with the $1,000 Tri-City title, Walsh is recognized as the Tonawandas individual champion and earns a paid entry to next year's ABC Masters. DeMartinis (Niagara Falls) and Kinyon (Lockport), as their association's highest finishers, also earned ABC Masters entries.
The application deadline for the Bowling Proprietors of Western New York $1,000 scholarships is March 15. Graduating high school seniors who have been accepted by a college, university, vocational or technical school of higher education are eligible.
Candidates must be a member of a league sanctioned by the Erie or Niagara County YABA and be in good standing for the current season. A bowling minimum of 39 games is required.
The application includes sections to be signed by a YABA league official and by a school official or guidance counselor.
The committee bases its awards on scholarship, citizenship and bowling criteria. It is suggested the work be completed by March 1 to avoid last-minute problems.
Around the lanes
Gary Kinyon had 734, Carl Kinyon 733 and Jim Wangler Jr. 721 as Spare Time defeated Broadway, 29-4, in last Saturday's position round to climb from third to first place in the BPA Buffalo Beverage Miller Lite All Stars. Spare Time leads Ideal by 2 1/2 points and Alden by 4 1/2 .
Jeremy Crist (Orchard Park) and Mike Spulecki (Manor) had 300 games. The league rolls today at 2 p.m. at Broadway. The All Stars' second Challenge Match with bowlers from the BPA's Junior Traveling Leagues is Sunday with the check-in at 4:30 p.m. at Orchard Park.
The Tonawandas Association will induct new hall of fame members Doug Heim and Art Jeziorski for outstanding achievement and Don Springer for meritorious service in ceremonies March 24 at the Gratwick Hose Company Banquet Hall in North Tonawanda.
Tickets are $15, available from the TBA office at 692-8668. There's a cash bar at 6 p.m. and family-style dinner at 7.
The Professional Women's Bowling Association has named Wendy Macpherson player of the year for 2000. In winning the award for the fourth time in the last five years, Macpherson received 70 percent of the vote.
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard was the runner-up for the fourth straight year. She edged Michelle Feldman by four votes. Australia's Cara Honeychurch won rookie of the year, receiving 98 percent of the votes.
Erie Community College will host the National Junior College Athletic Association national championships March 8-10. Former Erie CC bowlers Sue Fulton-Schottke and Mike Faliero will be inducted into the NJCAA bowling hall of fame March 9 at the Holiday Inn-Airport. Bowling will be March 9-10 at Thruway.
Buffalo has been selected to host the 2002 Intercollegiate Bowling Championships, April 17-21. This will be the first time in the IBC's 27 years that the tournament will be held in New York State. The bowling center has not been selected.
The Amateur Bowlers Association has a $1,000 first place tournament Sunday at Manor with five squads beginning at 9 a.m. and finals at 4:30.