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TRAVEL DOESN'T SLOW JOHNSON

If it's Monday, this must be Baton Rouge, La. If it's Wednesday, it's Spare Time Bowling Center in Cheektowaga. Only Liz Johnson's travel agent knows.

Two days after the peripatetic Cheektowaga bowler shot a 290 game at the ABC Championships in Louisiana, she was back home leaving her imprint on the Buffalo Bowling Association Championship and Handicap Tournament at Spare Time.

As of Friday, Johnson was leading scratch and handicap singles, scratch combined (singles and doubles) and all-events in the tournament, which has been a male domain. The tournament will wind up May 8.

Johnson bowled a 782 in singles on games of 245-259-278. Teamed with Jay Nephew, manager at Airport Lanes, she bowled 685 in doubles (258, 234 and 193). She bowled 226-205-243 for a 674 in the team. Her combined singles and doubles total of 1,467 is good enough for fifth in the handicap division.

There are no prizes for all-events. Scores are kept for record purposes only. However, Johnson's 2,141 is the best.

Last year, best scratch scores in singles, combined and all-events were 785, 1,560 and 2,087.

Other tournament leaders as of Thursday were: scratch doubles, John Franco and John Meczynski, 1,388; handicap doubles, Ben Schultz and Dominic Termini, 1,449; combined handicap, Wayne Schmidt, 1,584; team scratch, Shim Gangsta, 3,189; and team handicap, Union No. 1, 3,472.

All-Stars to wrap up

It is the final day of the BPA Buffalo Beverage/Miller Lite All-Stars traveling league. Spare Time owned a 23 1/2 -point lead over second-place South Transit going into their position-round match at noon today at Ideal Lanes.

South Transit would have to score a 29-4 win to take away the second-half title. The Lockport team stayed alive with a 28-5 win over Broadway last week. Assuming Spare Time clinches the second half, the Cheektowaga team would face first-half winner Orchard Park Lanes later in the afternoon for the overall title.

Baker solid as senior

The PBA Senior Tour moves to Chillicothe, Ohio, starting Sunday. The PBA Senior Open will be held in two weeks in Sterling Heights, Mich. Buffalo's Tom Baker, who has picked up $6,250 after his first two Senior Tour events, is entered in both.

Baker was second this week in Clarksville, Tenn. To get to the final he had to come back for a semifinal victory over Bob Glass of Lawrence, Kan., the 2004 PBA Senior Player of the Year. Baker had dropped the first game, 226-222, before his 244-241 win tied the match. A 208-193 win put Baker in the title match, where he lost, 2-0, to Dale Eagle.

Obenauer extension

The Buffalo Bowling Association has extended until Thursday the entry deadline for the 42nd George A. Obenauer Masters at Thruway Lanes. Under this year's new format, the tournament will begin with qualifying rounds May 10-11, followed by four days of match play with the finals May 15. Pat Brick of the Town of Tonawanda is defending champion. The champion receives $1,750 (based on a full field) plus paid entry with expenses to the 2005 ABC Masters.

Pin chasers

Chuck Jagodzinski of Lancaster still is in fourth place in the ABC All-Events standing with 2,069.

The Empire State Games Western Region qualifier will be May 14-15 at Leisure Land Lanes in Hamburg.

Jenna Hooper of Jamestown is the all-events leader in the New York State Women's Bowling Association Tournament going on at Airport Lanes with 2,111. Former women's pro tour star Michelle Feldman of Skaneateles is next with 2,100. Cindy Carroll of Williamsville, winner of the New York State Queens Tournament two weeks ago at Transit, stands ninth at 1,971.

The annual Willie Hayes Memorial Pro-Am Tournament will be held Wednesday night at the Jamestown Bowling Co., 850 Foote Ave., Jamestown. All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

Transit Lanes won this week's BPA All-Stars/Pepsi Junior Bowlers challenge at Recckio's with a 2,821 total. Collin Ballou led the Pepsi bowlers with 279-771, while Ray Bellet of Recckio's bowled 299-778 to top the All-Stars.
e-mail: mnorthrop@buffnews.com