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'Final Frame' puts Ciccone in spotlight

The Denny's PBA Tour is off for two weeks for a holiday break, but that doesn't mean television fans can't get their weekly bowling fix.

On Christmas Day at 1 p.m., ESPN will show a special tour event, "The Final Frame," which was taped two weeks ago in Mechanicsburg, Pa. It will be of particular interest to Western New York bowling fans because one of the four finalists is Buffalo's Joe Ciccone.

It seems there's a Western New York bowler on the nationally televised PBA shows each week. Ciccone, Brad Angelo, Tom Baker and Jack Jurek have each made a TV final, one in each of the past four weeks.

"The Final Frame" is a bit gimmicky, for sure, but it's a fun event that demonstrates the imagination of the PBA in creating a variety of attractions such as the weekly skills competition on the television shows.

"The Final Frame" began with 50 bowlers taking one shot each. Any bowler not striking was eliminated from the competition. The elimination continued until just four bowlers remained.

After four rounds seven bowlers were left. Tom Daugherty, Nathan Bohr and Chris Collins then were eliminated when they failed to strike in the fifth round. Besides Ciccone, Tony Reyes, Tore Torgersen and Rick Steelsmith made the finals.

The four finalists then were matched with four "coaches" -- tour players Jason Couch, Danny Wiseman, Tommy Jones and Norm Duke. The first time a player failed to strike he called upon his coach to retake the shot.

The semifinal format was a 12-frame match with no spare attempts. The two highest scores advanced to the title match.

Reyes, with six strikes, and Torgersen, with five, advanced to the final. Ciccone and Steelsmith were eliminated with four strikes each.

Under the same format as the semifinals, Reyes defeated Torgersen, 7-5, in the final and won the $10,000 first prize. Couch, the winning coach, collected $3,000. Ciccone collected $1,000 for making the final four.

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>Leisureland update

The Greater Buffalo USBC has relocated two of its major events that were planned for Leisureland Lanes, which had part of its roof collapse during a November snowstorm.

The GBUSBC Youth Team Tournament now is scheduled for AMF Lancaster Lanes Jan. 28-29 and Feb. 4-5. The GBUSBC Women's Championship was moved to AMF Thruway Lanes and will be run at the same time (April 30 through May 13) there as the GBUSBC Open Championship.

Proprietor Pete Cambio has arranged with Brierwood Lanes to accommodate some of the displaced Leisureland leagues. Cambio's pro shop has relocated temporarily to Orchard Park Lanes.

Repair work at the Camp Road facility is stalled awaiting further OSHA testing.

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>Meczynski buoys Broadway

Broadway Sports Center got the second half season of the BPA Buffalo Beverage Miller Lite All-Stars travel league off to a booming start with a 29 1/2 to 3 1/2 win over Kenmore Lanes. Broadway got a big performance from John Meczynski, who bowled his second 300 of the season in a 768 series.

Southgate, which won the first half by winning at host South Transit in the position round, faced the Lockport crew again, losing this time, 20-13. Tom Denniston led South Transit with 259-705.

The All-Stars averaged 203.36 overall at Orchard Park Lanes.

The travel league will be off until Jan. 7 at Tonawanda Bowling Center.

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>Pin chasers

* Although he lost his semifinal match to Collins in the Empire State Classic in Clifton Park last week, Jurek made a strong showing. In his first television appearance since Feb. 7, 1998, Jurek finished with four strikes, forcing Collins to strike out to win the match. Collins won, 243-234. Jurek drew the 4-7-10 split in the seventh frame, the only open in the match, and it cost him the match. Jurek picked up $10,000 for his fourth-place finish.

* The second annual Sam Repass Memorial Scratch Classic will be held at Mount Morris Lanes on Jan. 21-22 with a $1,000 first prize based on 80 entries. There will be squads on both days, with finals following the last squad. For reservations call (585) 658-2540.

e-mail: mnorthrop@buffnews.com

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