Brad Angelo of Lockport, the last survivor of the nine-bowler Western New York contingent, was eliminated Friday from the USBC Masters in Las Vegas.
Angelo lost to amateur Robert Gotchall of Lincoln, Neb., 647-630, in their three-game total pinfall match Friday at the Cashmen Center. Angelo bowed out with a 2-2 match-play record.
After an opening loss to Norm Duke, 677-614, Angelo defeated Bob Knipple of Long Beach, Calif. 664-569, then defeated Andrew Koff of Miami, 756-577, with the help of one of the three 300 games bowled in Thursday's match play. He couldn't keep up that pace on Friday.
Besides Angelo, only Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga made the cut to match play of the WNY group.
Ciminelli, who as the 14th seed was the leading qualifier from WNY, ran into a tough customer right off the bat -- 2008 Player of the Year Chris Barnes. Ciminelli lost, 691-617. A 603-527 loss to another seasoned pro, Ritchie Allen of Columbia, S.C., knocked Ciminelli out of the competition.
Ciminelli was outside the top 63 needed to advance to match play before he bowled an 1,145 five-game block on Thursday morning to jump to 14th place. He averaged 221.47 with a plus-322 (over 200 average) for the 15 games of qualifying.
Angelo was in fourth place after 10 games of qualifying but 978 in his final qualifying block dropped him to 32nd with a 217 average and plus 255.
Failing to make the cut to match play and their final placing were: Buffalo native Tom Baker of King, N.C. (tie for 100th, 205.73) and Joe Ciccone, Buffalo (102, 205.33).
Failing to make the first cut to 115 in qualifying were: Tom Sorce of Blasdell (tie for 148th, 203.90), Jack Jurek of Lackawanna (186, 201.60), 236, Eric Johns of Niagara Falls (236, 197.0), Lindsay Baker of Amherst (250, 195.90) and Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga (256 tie, 195.40).
Match play Sunday will decide the 18th Tri-City Masters championship at Allie Brandt Lanes in Lockport.
Top qualifier was Kelly Utnik of Niagara Falls with a 1,368 total which included a 256 game. Mike Hanes (Tonawanda) was 82 pins back in second place.
*Bowling begins today at Recckio's for the 42nd annual GBUSBC Me and Mine Tournament. Walk-ins are allowed but only for the 1 p.m. squad today and the 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. squads on Sunday. The tournament continues next Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 22.
*Top qualifier Adam Philp defeated Sheena Wang, 250-241, to win his first Amateur Bowlers Tour title at Voelker's. The ABT moves to Thruway on Sunday with squads at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.