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Bowling: It's an eventful week for WNYers in PBA World Series

Ryan Ciminelli qualified third on the stepladder for the World Championship, Liz Johnson moved on in the Chameleon and Brad Angelo lost in spite of his 300 games this week in the PBA World Series of Bowling at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. Western New York bowlers continued to make their mark in the world of professional bowling.

With all the different competitions going on at the same time, the various changing formats and taping for TV showing five or six weeks in the future,  it's difficult to follow the World Series, which will wrap up its ninth year Sunday with the finals of the World Championship.

The economic realities of the sport seem to dictate that the only way to keep big-time pro bowling alive is to go to the present setup that crams the World Championship with the four Animal Pattern championships and other tournaments into a two-week window in early November at the same location.

Be that as it may, there was a lot going on and Western New York bowlers were right in the middle of the fun.

Ciminelli qualified third place on the stepladder for the World Championship, which will be bowled at noon on Sunday. It will be available on ESPN3 and will be taped for showing on ESPN on Dec. 31. The 31-year-old lef-hander from Cheektowaga will be seeking his second major title on the PBA Tour. He won the U.S. Open in 2015.

The week was a mixed bag for Ciminelli, however. As the No. 5 qualifier in the Chameleon pattern championship, he lost to No. 12 Johnson, 3-2, in their best-of-five match in the round of 16 on Wednesday. Liz rallied to win the last three games. The scores were: 217-236, 238-248, 247-195, 248-207, 267-192.

Ciminelli was still alive for match play Thursday in the Cheetah championship as the No. 14 qualifier. In his first match he defeated Andrew Cain of Phoenix, 3-1 (238-235, 194-237, 217-179, 278-192). That put him up against Jason Belmonte, the two-hander from Australia.

Ciminelli won the first game, 234-206, but the Aussie came back for a 259-189 win then lowered the boom in the decisive third game with a 300 to Ciminelli's 214.

Angelo started his match on Wednesday against Thomas Larsen of Denmark with a 300. His opponent shot 237. Angelo took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five, 267-234, but Larsen won the last three games, 226-202, 261-233, 268-236.

After defeating Ciminelli in the Chameleon Round of 16, Johnson defeated Josh Blanchard of Mesa, Ariz., 2-0 (239-224 and 228-214) to advance to the finals.

Johnson, a native of Western New York who now lives in Palatine, Ill., is a two-time PBA regional champion, but has never won a PBA Tour event. Her best finish was second in the 2005 Banquet Open. She owns a record 10 PWBA Tour major titles. Kelly Kulick, who won the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions, is the only women to win a PBA Tour title.

Another format change will be in effect today when the finals of the Chameleon (noon), Shark (2 p.m.), Cheetah (4 p.m.) and Scorpion (6 p.m.) are held. The four survivors of the round of eight in each event will bowl against each other on the same pair of lanes. The bowlers with the two highest scorers will meet in each championship match.

The Chameleon finalists are: Tom Smallwood, Wes Malott, Anthony Pepe and Johnson.
The Shark finalists: are Marshall Kent, Tom Daugherty and Tour rookie Charlie Brown Jr., and first time TV finalist Richie Teece of England.

It's an all-international Cheetah final: Belmonte, Jesper Svensson of Sweden, Sam Cooley of Australia and Thomas Larsen of Denmark.

The Scorpion finalists: Belmonte, EJ Tackett, Brandon Novak and Shawn Maldonado.
The Chameleon and Shark championships will be telecast (taped) on ESPN on Dec. 17. The Cheetah and Scorpion finals will be shown on ESPN on Dec. 24.

College scene

Villa Maria College made some history last weekend when coach Jack Jurek's women's  team competed for the first time. The Vikings finished second to the host team, powerful Schenectady Community College, in the Royals Open.

Freshman Maddie Jensen (Orchard Park) and senior Kayla Zelasko (Elma), a transfer from Erie Community College, finished among the top six individuals in all-events and made the all-tournament team. Jensen bowled 954 (190.8) for five games, the third-best individual score in the tournament, and Zelasko was sixth with 910 (182.0).

ECC opened its season with both the men's and women's teams finishing third in the Fulton-Montgomery CC all-Baker match tournament at Perry Lanes in Johnstown, Pa.

The ECC men were second in the Royals Open with 6,593 to first-place Schenectady's 6,715. Andrew Burckhalter (West Seneca West) was fourth individually with a 1,032 total. Alex Weinreich (Sweet Home), Joshua Large (Tonawanda), Dom Germano (Kenmore East) and Joe Peters (Williamsville East) completed the Kats' lineup.

The ECC women were fourth. Amy Feldman (Sweet Home) of the Kats was eighth in all-events with 873 for five games. Other ECC bowlers were: Chelsea Simmeth (Frontier), Deanna Nugent (JFK), Kourtney Killian (Cheektowaga) and Haley Shapiro (Williamsville East).

Pin chasers

  • Young Jack Tebeau of Hamburg already has three national bowling titles in just three years of competition. Tebeau won his USBC Golden Eagle for winning the 2017 scratch U10 Doubles in the National Youth Open championship in Cleveland. He and his partner, Camden Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, bowled a 1,024 series. They were fourth in the handicap U10 Doubles.
    Young Malott, the son of PBA Tour pro Wes Malott, was the U10 champion in scratch singles and all-events as well.
  •  Art Mallwitz (meritorious service), Dan Eberl (outstanding performance), Brad Hamilton (outstanding performance), Gail Krywcum (outstanding performance), Ken Pelletier (outstanding performance), and Ron Sutton (outstanding performance) will be inducted into the Tonawandas USBC Hall of Fame at the annual dinner on Nov. 25 at Classic V in Amherst. Ticktss are $45. Doors will open at 6 p.m. For ticket information contact the association at 692-8668. There will be no sales at the door.
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