Freeze the Pinellas County High School League standings prior to last Thursday's regular-season finale and just one defending champ would emerge as a leader _ the Northeast girls scratch team.
However, it's not over until this week's rolloffs determine the final champions.
Tuesday, 3:30 p.m. at Seminole Lanes, the top 4-6 squads in boys and girls scratch competition will be decided after three-game rolloffs. Thursday, 3:30 at Seminole Lanes, the top handicap contenders go after their titles.
The Largo Packers and Palm Harbor High Hurricanes were tied for the lead entering Thursday boys scratch play. Lakewood was third, and defending champion Dixie Hollins was fourth.
Largo had a three-point edge over Seminole in handicap.
Following were Clearwater, Lakewood and Osceola. Defending champ Boca Ciega, sixth, would need a miracle to jump into the rolloffs.
The Northeast girls scratch squad has blown away competitors since taking the lead the second week of the 14-week season. The Vikings are the defending champions and in front of Palm Harbor, East Lake and Countryside.
Seminole's girls, five-time champs, are defending their handicap crown but were second to Palm Harbor entering last Thursday's action.
The key rolloff probably will be between Largo and Palm Harbor for the boys scratch title. It could be as exciting as last year's Dixie Hollins-Largo battle to the final pin.
The Packers have 200-plus average players in Brian Bennett, Greg Ickes and Ryne Podlas. Tony Mainenti (196) and Ryan Alderman (182) round out the team.
The Hurricanes are led by Jon Wilson (203), Josh Guinand (202), Andrew Carr (194), Chris Fecke (190) and Steve Wells (177). Guinand got the season off with a bang, rolling a 300 in his first match.
The Northeast girls have lost only 29 points, with 170-plus average players Tanya Veitch, Brandy Bryan and Danielle Fox backed by Allie Smith, Jessica Moore and Cheryl Klein.
Palm Harbor is playing Teresa Scanlon and Kelly Fecke, who each have a 194 average. Kristi Montone, Becky Marhafer and Melissa Van Swearingen are the other members.
For the first time in the league's 32 years, Baker games were introduced.
The traditional three regular games were cut to two, and two Bakers followed. In Baker competition, each bowler on a five-player squad rolls two frames per game. Because of a shortage of participants, four-person teams were utilized.
Baker games were introduced because the state championships, Dec. 14 in Fort Lauderdale, will use the format.
SMO MOVES AHEAD: The Single Membership Organization proposal took a giant step forward recently when the ABC, WIBC, YABA and USA Bowling approved the plan.
The merger of the groups, if it's approved, will be called the United States Bowling Congress. The ABC delegates will vote on the proposal March 14 in Knoxville, Tenn., during their annual convention.
The WIBC delegates for the 2003 meeting in Reno, Nev., first must rescind a proposal to delay action on the vote until 2004. If the motion passes, the delegates will vote on the proposal April 29, 2003.
ABCWIBC: Bill Hevel and Don Johnson, Largo, are among the season leaders. They're fourth in two-player series with a 1,589 that was rolled in December.
Creative Coating of Clearwater is fifth in four-player game with a 1,105 pinfall. The team included Pete Stebleton, Ben Johnston, Kent Worrall and Ken Puchowski.
Five individuals have posted ABC-sanctioned 900 series, starting in 1997 with former University of Nebraska player Jeremy Sonnenfeld.
The others are Tony Roventini, Greenfield, Wis.; Vince Wood, Moreno Valley, Calif.; Robby Portalatin, Jackson, Mich.; and Jamie Hylton, Salem, Ore.
FUND-RAISER: The University of Central Florida team will play host to a fund-raiser and scholarship doubles tournament today at the new 80-lane Boardwalk Bowl in Orlando.
For information, go online to www.alomabowlingcenters.com.
AROUND THE LANES: Bob Williard fired an 804 series, Larry Walters a 300-715 and Roger Wise Sr. a 300-761 at AMF Kenneth City. Nick Bongiorno rolled a 300-796, Kevin Krauss a 299-775 and youth player Shaun Goucher a 300-717 at Seminole Lanes. Liberty Lanes continues to produce the hottest shot: Brian Halstrom, 299-823; Darryl Dempsey, 279-815; Rick Maxey, 278-811; Todd Frame and Joe Bereczki, 300 games; and Joe Wendel and John Blake, 299. Scotty Gormley recorded a 299-723 at Countryside Lanes. Entries are open for the third annual St. Petersburg Bowling Association Senior Tournament, a Dec. 7-15 competition for sanctioned players 55-and-older. The fee is $15 per individual per event. Bill Heym, Dave Kampman and Joe Bereczki won the Liberty Lanes monthly handicap trio tourney and $1,000.
Phil Gulick can be reached at xerxes8msn.com.