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Bowling column: City Tournaments head toward wrapup

The Buffalo City Tournament’s Open and Women’s championships wrap up Saturday night at AMF Lancaster Lanes. It’s the last chance to unseat the leaders in the five handicap events in each tournament.
Matt Noble made the biggest news this week when he took over the singles lead in the Open with an 817. Noble must have been comfortable on his home lanes, bowling a 715 scratch that included a 300 game. He took over the top spot from Richard Bigos, who had posted an 803 that he bowled the week before.
Noble averaged 179 in the 2015-16 season as a regular in the Bellevue Hotel League at Lancaster. He also filled in some in the Nickel Creek Cafe League at Lancaster that season.
Bigos is a regular bowler in the BW/Cagneys C2 League at Abbott Lanes.
Other leaders in the Open heading into Friday night’s action were Mike Zarcone and Matt Zasowski, scratch bowlers, who shot 1,556 in doubles. Zarcone led the six-game combine with 1,552, which included a 785 singles.
Micah Arnold shot 2,357 to lead handicap all-events.
In the Women Championship, Darolyn Nicholls paced the singles with 769. Julie Selk had the top scratch score, a 731. Terry Jaster and Karen Barczak were atop the doubles board with 1,431. Cathy Maser led the combine with 1,444 while Elizabeth Slawek’s 2,154 led all-events. Selk’s 2,020 was the top all-events score.
Team leaders were: A.Y.O.T.S. in the City with 2,915 and Edgy Girls (2,881) in the Women’s tournament.
The City Open and Women’s championships may get the most participation, but the highlight of the local season annually is the prestigious George A. Obenauer Masters Tournament. The 54th edition of the Obie will get underway on Tuesday at Kenmore Lanes, which will be hosting the tournament for the first time since 1982. Kenmore stepped up when Transit Lanes, which originally was to be the host venue, had to cancel because of renovation work at the Williamsville establishment.
Ryan Ciminelli is the defending champion. As of Friday, Ciminelli was not among the 103 bowlers who had signed up for the Masters. If he did, at age 30, he would be gunning for his fourth title, which would equal the record set by Mike Neumann, who won in 1988, 1989, 1995 and 1996 and Brad Angelo (1994, 2001, 2003 and 2012). Last year, Ciminelli became the first top qualifier to go on and win the double-elimination event.
The qualifying record is 1,675 by Joe Ciccone at AMF Airport Lanes in 2009.
Five past champions are in the field – Angelo, Pat Brick, Tony Dolan, Mike Hanes and John Meczynski.
So far there are four female entrants – Sue Jeziorski and Marion Singleton and present collegiate stars Morgan Walsh and Haley Carroll.
Jeff Walsh and Morgan Walsh, who bowls at Fairleigh Dickinson University, are a father-daughter team. Carroll is the granddaughter of Frank Coburn, who won the second Obenauer in 1965.
City Open handicap singles leader Noble is entered.
The Obenauer can be a grueling test, which would seem to suit some of the area’s promising younger bowlers such as Kevin Bienko and Tyler Molina.
The Obenauer gets underway with the first of two four-game qualifying blocks on Tuesday and another four on Wednesday. Match play begins on Thursday and will continue through Sunday afternoon’s championship match or matches.
Entries close at 5 p.m. Saturday. According to Greater Buffalo Association manager Bill Palumbo, bowlers can bring their entries to AMF Lancaster Lanes today before the start of the final night of bowling in the Open and Women’s championships.
Carter leads Bowie
Sweet Home graduate Diamond Carter, a product of local youth leagues at Thruway and Airport Lanes, helped Bowie State University of Maryland win a third straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship in Chesapeake, Va., last month.
A sophomore, Carter made All-CIAA first team.
Carter and her Bowie teammates had to win this year’s title the hard way, coming out of the losers bracket, defeating Fayetteville (N.C.) State four (Baker) games to two in the championship match. An earlier 4-1 loss to Fayetteville had put Bowie into the losers bracket.
Bowie had to defeat Fayetteville twice in the championship round to claim the school’s seventh conference title under coach Kenneth Scott since 2005.
Tonawandas tourney set
The 74th City Tournament of the Tonawandas will continue until next Thursday at Manor Lanes.
James Hamm’s 892 led the handicap singles through Wednesday. Kristina Szczerbinski had the top scratch singles score at 733.
Joey Bellanti and Dan Eberl led the handicap doubles with 1,569.
Kelly Wilkinson led handicap all-events with 2,265. Wilkinson’s Island Ladies aggregation led the Handicap Team scoring with 3,741.
Mike Mallwitz had the top scratch all-events score with 2,136.
Liz Johnson in stepladder
Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga was No. 1 in the stepladder for last weekend’s PWBA Storm Sacramento Open with a 5,308 pins total, that included 90 bonus points for her 3-3 record in match play. The finals will be bowled May 23 in Baton Rouge, La., and taped for later showing (8 p.m. on June 13) on the CBS Sports Network.
Other finalists are Rocio Restrepo (No. 2), Diana Zavjalova (No. 3) and Danielle McEwan (No. 4). Restrepo was the No. 1 qualifier for the first stop on the women’s professional tour at the Sonoma County Open the week before. That final also has not been bowled yet.
Qualifying began Friday for the Fountain Valley Open in California before the pros head to Baton Rouge next week and the Queens Tournament.
Johnson won the Queens in 2015. Bernice Lim of Singapore was last year’s Queens winner in Las Vegas.
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