There were some valiant efforts, but no hometown champions came out of the Greater St Petersburg USBC Women's Classic Tournament, held at both Twedt's Lanes and Seminole Lanes over the past three weekends.
The All Mounds, No Nuts group from Oneco took the team title with a 3,584 total pin-fall. The Largo-based Terrible Twedts team of Gloria Alore (617), Andrea Sanchez (479), Noemi Torres (509), Lanie Weaver (561) and Karen Burke (570) finished with a solid 3,580 shot in the opening weekend. The score stood strong but fell at the end, just four pins back.
St. Petersburg-based teams the Fab 5 and the Classic Lassies finished fourth and ninth, respectively. The 5 totaled 3,558 pins with Belinda Jines, Vicki Weber, Tammy Weber (247/636), Gillian Dean (604), and Edna Berry (255/616). The Lassies scored 3,473 pins from Marilyn Hill, Leslie McAvoy, Nadine Jackwin, Lorraine Klopp and Sally Porter.
Joyce Crosby and Mette Hahn of Brooksville narrowly won the double division with 1,515 pins. Mother-daughter combo Mildred and Tiffany Crosby dropped from second to fifth and finished as local leaders with 1,452. Tiffany is a former Boca Ciega and Central Florida bowler. Taking the singles competition was Sebring's Monique Dever, who rolled an 839 series in front of Dawn Clark of Southwest Ranches and Deanna Winchell of Naples, who bowled 814 and 806, respectively.
HOLIDAY AUCTION: This holiday season will be remarkable for a few special bowlers thanks to the third annual USBC Holiday Auction, which takes place on eBay through Dec. 10 and will benefit the Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship Fund. Items up for grabs include an expenses-paid trip for two to a PBA Tour event of the winner's choice, a state-of-the-art Kustodian Walker lane conditioning machine, an original cartoon strip inked by Garfield artist Jim Davis and an expenses-paid trip for two to International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas in June.
To find them, go to ebay.com, click on the advanced search link, then items by seller and type in "bowlingscholarships" as the seller's user ID. Then click on search. Over the past two years, the USBC Holiday Auction has raised more than $40,000 for the Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship Fund.
PBA: It was a trying week for Wes Malott, who spent Thanksgiving worrying about his 3-year-old son, Jordan, who spent time in a Vernon Hills, Ill., area hospital. With Jordan healthy and in the stands Sunday, however, Malott won his second career title with a 269-239 win over top-seeded Chris Barnes in the Discover Card Windy City Classic, capping off a high-scoring week.
In the title match, Malott started with eight consecutive strikes, then left a 10-pin in the ninth frame to end the run, but he had a big enough cushion after Barnes had spares in the sixth and eighth frames, giving the "Young Guns" their first title of the season.
The Tour heads to Freeway Lanes of Wickliffe in Ohio for the Ace Hardware Championship this weekend. The live ESPN televised finals are Sunday at 1 p.m. The winner takes home the $25,000 top prize and an exemption for next season.
Freeway Lanes was the site of Liz Johnson's historical high-amateur finish in the 2004 Uniroyal Tire Classic Tour qualifying round, where she became the first woman to advance to a Denny's PBA Tour event.
Much was made of the transition that seemed to occur last season of the Young Guns (Tommy Jones, Wes Malott, Bill O'Neill, Sean Rash) taking over the Tour from the Legends (Norm Duke, Brian Voss, Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr.). Last season, bowlers 30 and younger captured nine titles while the Legends captured four, but three of the four came in the latter part of the season. The Young Guns dominated from the start of the 2005-06 season, winning the first four events.
The tide has turned in 2006-07, as three of the first five events have been won by Legends, while the Guns have come up empty. Williams won the season-opening Dydo Japan Cup, while Weber and Duke captured the past two events. The other two events went to 39-year-old Doug Kent, not yet a Legend, and 33-year-old Tony Reyes, a borderline Young Gun.
CHATTER: To get you caught up to speed, last week at Countryside, young talent J.R. Foraker scored a 300, Liberty's Bobby Redmond rolled a 299/782, and for the third time in five weeks (that's every other week, folks) Seminole shooter Bill Zuben bowled perfectly for a 300 and finished with 748 in the Thursday Scratch Matchplay league.
Also celebrating honors at Seminole were Chuck Minor (300) and Robin Hood, who had the top billing for all houses with a 279/807. Ten Pins' Paul Doyon was close behind with a nice 288/804 and Twedt's John Hackett went 11 in a row for 290/768 alongside Ron Sullivan's 300/789. Mariann Russo was the local leading lady with a 246/683 at Liberty. And a two-week old leftover: Osceola High's Alex O'Neill finished the PCHSL season with a 265/658.
Eric can be e-mailed at Emuskatevc@aol.com