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Johnson, two teens grab the bowling spotlight

Last Sunday’s Western New York Queens Tournament at Allie Brandt Lanes saw one familiar name dominate the top division but also revealed two teenage stars from whom more will be heard.

Back from a tournament in Japan, globe-trotting Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga captured her sixth Queens Title in Division 1 (200 average and over), defeating longtime teammate Sue Jeziorski, 192-169, in the title match.

Jeziorski had a high game of 279 as she led the qualifying with a four-game total of 957 (239 average), then had to wait out the stepladder matches. Johnson, who qualified third, defeated Andrea Lofstrand and Carrie Racmsumberger on her way to the title match. Liz shot a 268 in topping Lofstrand’s 227.

Johnson won her first Queens title in 2001. She followed that with victories in 2002, 2008, 2009, and this year. Michelle Sterner has won it four times. Betty Maw won three Buffalo Women’s Bowling Association crowns before the tournament became a regional event in 2000.

In Division 2 (180-199 average), the winner was Sheila Tallarico of Niagara Falls, who shot a 950 to top the qualifying. The next best score was 860 by Mary Grace Williamson. It was the second Division 2 title for Tallarico, who won in 2005.

It was in Division 3 (179 and under average) where the new faces emerged. Dakota Faichnie, 16, from Innisfil, Ont., near Barrie and Lake Simcoe, led the qualifying with an 847.

Last year Faichnie represented Canada in the Tournament of the Americas and placed fifth in the Girls U15 Division of the Junior Gold Tournament here last summer.

Faichnie, however, ran into another impressive teen in the Division 3 final, losing to Madelyn Jensen of Orchard Park, 194-159. Jensen, who bowls for Orchard Park High’s undefeated ECIC North championship team, defeated Cindy Kosanovich, 202-143, and No. 2 qualifier Mary Gorski, 180-153, before the final.

Pin chasers

• With some help from his doubles partner and fellow left-hander Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, Parker Bohn III rallied from 69th to earn the top spot on the stepladder for next month’s finals of the PBA Players Championship.

Bohn and Ciminelli got together at dinner the final night of qualifying to discuss their strategy to make the finals for the PBA Doubles Championship, which was run concurrently with the Players Championship in West Wauwatosa, Wis., this week.

“We were so far out of it, we had no plans to make singles,” said Bohn, who then got hot and finished qualifying by climbing from 69th to 23rd.

Then he went all the way to the top, winning seven of his eight matches and tying the other. He had games of 248, 287, 266, 258, 247, 279, 238 and 270 during the final round of match play to finish the Players Championship with a 36-game total of 9,222 pins. He moved into first with a 270-220 victory over Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., in the final position-round game.

“Tonight was one of those nights when I put it into cruise control and just let things happen,” said Bohn, 51, the winner of 33 PBA titles.

He and Russell will join Jason Belmonte, Norm Duke and Tom Daugherty in the final round that will be bowled Feb. 14 as part of Tournament of Champions Week in Indianapolis, but won’t be shown on television until Feb. 22.

• Australian star Belmonte was voted as the Chris Schenkel Player of the Year for the second year in a row, the PBA announced this week.

Belmonte was an overwhelming winner over Mike Fagan and Russell in a year in which he won three PBA Tour titles, including two majors, the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions and the USBC Masters. He led the tour in earnings ($163,788), average (226.71) and competition points.

• Sunday’s PBA telecast on ESPN will be the Chris Paul CP3 Celebrity Invitational at 2 p.m.