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Szczerbinski ends collegiate career with best season

John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda is wrapping up his collegiate bowling career at Wichita State with his best season yet.

The former Teen Masters champion was the top qualifier in last week's sectional qualifier in Peoria, Ill., to earn a place in the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championship, to be held May 16-19 in Euless, Texas.

Szczerbinski topped the individual field of 68 bowlers in Peoria with a six-game total of 1,372 (228.3 average). Wichita State, the two-time defending national champion, led the team qualifying.

The Shockers easily led the team competition in Peoria, one of four sectional qualifiers held last weekend. The top four teams in each section qualified for the April USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships in El Paso, Texas, next month.

The top four individuals in each section also qualify for the USBC Collegiate singles championship.

Szczerbinski, who is scheduled to graduate in May with a business administration degree, averaged 247.8 to win individual honors and earn MVP in the Blue and Gold Classic at the University of Notre Dame in January. He was second and made the all-tournament team in the Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis last month.

In the most recent national statistics, Szczerbinski had the third-best average (214.3) among male collegiate bowlers.

Last season, Szczerbinski was selected first-team All-America by both the coaches and by the bowling writers.

In the Allentown, Pa., sectional, the Erie Community College women's team finished third to earn a place in the national team competition. Ally Harvey, Gina Maduri, Corey Bernard and Krystal Gravelle paced the Lady Kats.

The ECC men just missed with a fifth-place finish. Jacob Kent of ECC was third in the men's qualifier with 1,296 for six games, including a 267 game. Harvey led the ECC women with a 12th-place total of 1,111.

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PBA has $1 million event

The Professional Bowlers Association outlined its plans for the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour. No word yet on whether a stop in Western New York is on the tour schedule.

Some of the highlights are:

*The 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions will feature a record $1 million prize fund. Different eligibility rules will open the event to any PBA title winner, including players who have won National, Regional, Senior and Women's Series titles. The Tournament of Champions will air on ESPN on Jan. 23, 2011.

*The 2010-11 ESPN television schedule will include 23 original PBA programs, beginning in late November and running through April.

*The PBA World Series of Bowling will return, producing nine separate TV shows and culminating with the PBA World Championship.

*For the first time in PBA history, select events will feature three consecutive days of live television (Friday, Saturday, Sunday time slots on ESPN's family of networks). The PBA World Championship and the U.S. Open have been designated for this presentation.

*The USBC Masters again will round out the list of four major championships and will be aired live from the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

*A new PBA Playoffs will conclude the season with a six-week series of shows. The elimination series will have its own separate prize fund and be a key decider in the PBA Player of the Year race.

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Pin chasers

*Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga defeated Jason Couch, four games to one, Friday to advance to the final four of the PBA GoRVing Match Play championship in Norwich, Conn. Ciminelli will bowl a three-game match against Patrick Allen today with the winner going to Sunday's TV final (1 p.m., ESPN).

*Earlier Friday, Ciminelli beat Buffalo native Tom Baker of King, N.C., 4-2, in the round of eight. Ciminelli won the first three games of the best-of-seven series but Baker rallied to win the next two. Ciminelli started Game Six with seven straight strikes en route to a 268-211 victory. Jack Jurek of Lackawanna lost to Chris Loschetter, 4-2, in the Round of 32.

*Paul Geiger, owner of Central Lanes in Olean, bowled two 300 games last Saturday in the WPIG-St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital No-Tap Challenge at the lanes. The final event of the annual tournament will be today at Byllye Lanes in Bradford, Pa. The event raised $1,990 last week.

*Sal Augugliaro defeated Adam Wilmot, 283-224, to win the handicap combined event on the Amateur Bowlers Tour stop at Manor Lanes. Augugliaro topped Roger Zimmerman, 240-237, in the semifinal. It was the second ABT title for Augugliaro. Next: A Classic/Masters Combined tournament Sunday at Kenmore Lanes with squads at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

e-mail: mnorthrop@buffnews.com

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