It was billed as a Clash of the Titans, the encounter between Hall of Fame bowlers Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Pete Weber on Friday night at AMF Thruway Lanes.
When it was over, Williams was king once again.
Williams, the veteran from Ocala, Fla., defeated the defending champion, Weber, for the seventh straight time in match play, 4-1, to advance to Sunday's televised championship finals of the Denny's PBA Tour Etonic Championship.
Mike DeVaney, Chris Barnes and Mike Wolfe will join Williams on Sunday's TV show (ESPN, 1 p.m.).
Shannon Pluhowsky, who eliminated local favorite Liz Johnson, 4-3, in the round of eight, and Tish Johnson will meet in the championship match of the PBA Women's Series event, also Sunday.
Williams, who has a record 43 tour titles, began his run against Weber in the 2006 Denny's World Championship on TV. The string includes a 19-5 record in games plus another three-game, total pinfall decision in the this year's USBC Masters. Williams has defeated Weber in each of the tournaments on the North American tour this season.
Williams, who won the Motor City Classic last week in Michigan, kept the pressure on Weber all the way before wrapping up the match with a
290-234 romp in the fifth game.
"The lanes were pretty easy this week," Williams said. "Whatever the reason, my ball was carrying better than Pete's."
Most of the crowd at Thruway was gathered at Lanes 13 and 14 to see the Williams-Weber encounter. Williams was like a machine. He never had to shoot any spare of more than one pin and he threw 46 strikes out of 60 balls in his five games.
The only time he slipped up was in the third game, where a roll-off was needed after the players tied at 258. Williams left a 10-pin and Weber stepped up and struck to take the match, collapsing in a mock faint after his winning shot. It was Weber's failure to strike after his spare in the 10th that left the two tied.
Williams started the first game with seven strikes on the way to a 259-214 victory. There was a huge swing in the sixth frame of the second game. Weber's ball washed out leaving the 3-4-6-7-10 split. Then he chopped off the 6-10 for a seven. Williams struck to take a 15-pin lead which he never gave up and won, 228-213.
Williams strung five in a row in the middle of the fourth game then struck out for a 249-224 victory. In the final game, he left a 4-pin on his first ball and struck the rest of the way, Weber left the 8-9 in the sixth frame to fall out of contention and virtually conceded the match right there.
In the other round of eight matches, DeVaney swept Eugene McCune, 4-0; Barnes defeated Mike Machuga of Erie, Pa., 4-3, and Wolfe shot 300 in the last game of his 4-3 victory over Chris Loschetter.
Tish Johnson rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Kelly Kulick, 4-3, and Pluhowsky defeated Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, 4-0, in the other match. Dorin-Ballard won the first of the four Women's Series tournaments last week in Michigan.