By Dennis Clark
TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute South boys team waited until its seventh and final game to overcome Terre Haute North’s boys 3,012 to 2,977 to win their Indiana high school team sectional championship Monday at the Terre Haute Bowling Center.
In fact, the competition was hotly-contested for all four teams involved, including South Vermillion (third place with 2,912) and Sullivan (fourth place with 2,797).
After two games, North actually led South by 112 pins. But South gradually crept closer and emerged victorious when it counted most.
The girls team sectional was not nearly as tight, with Terre Haute North (2,483) leading from the get-go to easily top Terre Haute South (2,221) for the championship, followed by South Vermillion (2,169) and Sullivan (1,027).
The South boys and the North girls are the lone teams advancing on to Saturday’s 9 a.m. (CST) team regional at Eastown Recreation Center in Jasper.
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On Wednesday, the same four teams competed as individuals in the Individual sectional at Imperial Lanes. Both the boys and girls events played similarly, with the second-high qualifier emerging as sectional champion.
Scott Higginbotham of Terre Haute North was boys sectional champion, while Chelsea Maloney of South Vermillion was girls sectional champion.
All the top five boys and girls advanced to this Saturday’s regional, at 2 p.m. (CST) also at Jasper. The top four boys and girls determined the sectional champion in a stepladder finals.
The top five finalists in the boys competition were Billy Horning (THN, 781 three-game series), Higginbotham (THN, 635), Ian Huffington (THS, 626), Jordan Stone (THS, 622) and Trevor Monroney (THN, 601).
In their stepladder finals, Stone eliminated Huffington 167-156, before Higginbotham sidelined Stone 191-188, before topping Horning 233-204 in a high-scoring title game.
The top five girls finalists were Kristin Zellars (THN, 523), Maloney (SV, 520), Heather Breshears (THN, 511), Tabitha Dixon (THN, 496) and Heather Houston (SV, 493).
In their stepladder finals, Dixon topped Breshears 202-130, prior to Maloney defeating Dixon 172-168 then Zellars 184-154 for the championship.
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n 700 Club results — A trio of “old guys” claimed the top three spots in the second 700 Club scratch singles tournament of the season last Sunday at Vigo Bowl.
The final leaderboard saw Bryan Barton (champion), Tom Barr (second) and Darrell Davis (third) — he’s old and left-handed — were followed by Ryan Nichols (fourth) and Brian Taylor (fifth).
Just 21 bowlers competed in this event, but it was great competition as a five-game accumulated score of 1,176 (a 235.2 average) was needed to advance to the top five stepladder finals.
High individual games included Barr (299, 278), Nichols (290), Barton (279) and Davis (279).
A week earlier on Jan. 21 — also at Vigo Bowl — it was the 700 Club’s 23rd annual Floyd Morgan tournament. This pro-am style event, featured 26 youth bowlers and 16 members of the 700 Club.
Youth division winners included Billy Horning (A), Tyler Lawrence (B), Anthony Cottom (C), Lani Troxel (D) and Michael Throckmorton (E). The individual 700 Club member was Ryan Nichols with a three-game series of 765.
The next 700 Club event is the Trio Tournament at Brazilian Lanes on Feb. 25.
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A trip around the wild-and-wacky world of bowling:
n Video bowling on the Web — If you’re regularly on America Online when surfing the Web, you might have seen a bowling item as their top-ranked — albeit very briefly — submitted video recently.
In this YouTube.com era, fame is fleeting as its ranking dropped like a rock out of the top 10 in a span of two or three days.
It’s basically bowling tricks on a short video clip from a television show on Japanese television. All that’s missing is the subtitles.
If you’re interested, the Web address is www.aolvideoblog.com/2007/01/18/japanese-bowling-tricks
n Getting off the Couch — At the end of 2006, Jason Couch owned a so-so 27th-place in the Professional Bowlers Association World Point Rankings.
Since then, Couch has four top-six finishes, three television appearances in the past two weeks, winning the past two weeks on tour. All of a sudden, Couch is sitting pretty with the No. 1 ranking in the PBA.
He’s also sitting in some very heady company.
Couch is just the sixth bowler in PBA Tour history to win back-to-back titles, defend a title and win multiple major titles in a career. The other five to accomplish this feat are Hall of Famers Earl Anthony, Don Johnson, Mark Roth, Pete Weber and Walter Ray Williams Jr.
n Feeling his Oats — Riding the coattails of Couch’s feat is Billy Oatman.
Oatman came up a 10-pin short of joining George Branham III as the only blacks to win PBA Tour titles. Couch claimed his second consecutive PBA win, 236-228, at Oatman’s expense in last week’s PBA Motel 6 Classic.
Oatman, a 41-year-old “rookie,” had reached the low water mark of his pro bowling career just six months ago. Ironically, his missing a 10-pin conversion allowed Del Ballard Jr. to pass him for the 10th and final exemption slot from the 2006 PBA Tour Trials.
Fortunately for Oatman, by virtue of being a first alternate at the Tour Trials, he picked up that elusive exemption for this season’s tour when Ritchie Allen deferred his exemption due to an injury.
n Sundays are made for bowling — If you need a break from the interminable Super Bowl pregame show — six hours is a wee bit too lengthy — the PBA Tour is in El Paso, Texas, this week. The finals will be at 2 p.m. today, an hour later than normal, on ESPN.
Vigo County Bowling Leagues
Affordable Awards — High games: Pat Stewart 223, Dede Tools 899. High series: Stewart 604, Just Us 2,525.
Bush Restaurant Senior — High games: Larry Land 266, Marilyn Daniel 229, The Bush Restaurant 909. High series: Bob Lovvron 731, Alusta Kneeves 608, The Bush Restaurant 2,559.
Thursday Senior Mixed — High games: Herb Gosnell 247, Barbara Hills 217, Cobras 805. High series: Gosnell 587, Clarene Fisher 530, Cobras 2,222.
Wolfe’s Auto Auction — High games: Virginia Anderson 208, Affordable Awards 867. High series: Linda Campbell 572, Affordable Awards 2,452.
Vigo Bowl Seniors — High games: Tyler Weishaupt 266, Alicia Tarwater 231, Team 5 988. High series: Weishaupt 680, Kristin Zellars 518, Team 5 2,939.
Vigo Bowl Juniors — High games: Nicholas Fields 223, Sara Shepherd 186, Da Patriots 819. High series: James Stuthers 576, Shepherd 487, Da Patriots 2,291.
Vigo Bowl Preps — High games: Levi Elrod 148, Kianna Sweatt and Kaylen Cheesman 122, Team 3 507. High series: Gunner Schoffstall 360, Lacey Cooksey 341, Team 2 1,498.
Vigo Bowl Bantams — High games: Devon Thomson 73, Gabrielle Yeager 87, Dark Dragons 282. High series: Thomson 127, Yeager 155, Dark Dragons 530.
Distributor’s Terminal — High games: Suzanne Finn 205, Steve Burris State Farm Insurance 680. High series: Mary Shake 513, Burris Insurance 1,817.
Eagles Mixed — High games: Jason Hiddle 258, Crystal Sullivan 235, Me and the Cap’n 844. High series: Marlon Watson 667, Sullivan 656, Me and the Cap’n 2,275.
School Staff — High games: Bernard Ridens 248, Marilyn Daniel 201, South Vigo 801. High series: Ridens 664, Daniel 570, South Vigo 2,181.
Springhill Wholesale — High games: Mary Lou Fugate 217, Bell’s Bowlers 653. High series: Fugate 571, Bell’s Bowlers 1,902.
Mic’s Pics — High games: Ginny Chumley 191, Barnes Construction 514. High series: Alusta Kneeves 527, Barnes Construction 1,442.
Terre Haute Bowling Center
THBC Seniors — High games: Justin Moreland and Trevor Monroney 244, Mackenzie Pepper 179. High series: Sean Pepper 638, Pepper 484.
THBC Juniors — High games: Jaron Inhofer 234, Madison Peabody 174. High series: Jacob Vencel 574, Peabody 480.
THBC Preps — High games: Caleb Ingle 189, Kelly Combs 168. High series: Ingle 448, Combs 462.
THBC Bantams — High games: Ben Dillion 178, Kellee Edington 85. High series: Dillion 468, Emma Bly 202.
Gartland Foundry — High games: Robert Pullen 224, Elnora Murrell 229, The Next Level 771. High series: Pullen 630, Murrell 605, The Next Level 2,277.
Toyota of Terre Haute — High games: Dave Elkins Sr. 286, Outkasts 1,215. High series: George Meiners and Darrell Davis 740, Outkasts 3,295.
THBC Majors — High games: Cameron Bolinger 247, Brittany Gambill 214. High series: Sean Pepper 639, Gambill 577.
THBC Minors — High games: Michael Throckmorton 127, Kadi Troxel 155. High series: Roarke Harden 310, Troxel 285.
Affordable Awards Mixed — High games: Jeff Alford 300, Melissa Dressler 277, Affordable Awards 868. Alford 773, Dressler 634, Affordable Awards 2,447.
Chandler Construction — High games: William Stewart 258, Melinda Helmick 188, Lucky Strikes 775. High series: B.L. Chandler 602, Helmick 520, Lucky Strikes 2,128.
THBC Prime Timers — High games: Dale Liggett 268, Rita Turner 207. High series: Herb Gosnell 709, Turner 551.
Ang Mixed — High games: John Chapman and Bryan Salmond 276, Joyce Weaver and Roberta Sipes 190, Big Dogs 808. High series: Salmond 699, Marsha Marcum 498, Big Dogs 2,246.
Terre Haute Restaurant — High games: Jared Menestrina and Dusty Derigo 247, Ashlee Lunsford 199, Texas Roadhouse Roadies 664. High series: Jason Downs 683, Heather VanArsdale 505, Texas Roadhouse Roadies 1,902.
Wabash Valley Christian — High games: David Rottmann 224, Debra Rottmann 195, OBC 6 754. High series: Tom Rottmann 630, Janet Swalls and Jean Vibbert 458, OBC 6 2,151.
Prime Timer — High games: Richard Stephens 268, Jean Liggett 197. High series: Stephens 710, Liggett 560.
Guarantee Roofing — High games: Guy Johnson and Brian Taylor 278, Affordable Awards 1,177. High series: Johnson 772, Affordable Awards 3,308.
Affordable Awards Ladies — High games: Janice Dunfee 214, Wright’s Timber 894. High series: Debi Zebrowski 593, Wright’s Timber 2,608.
Saturday Youth — High games: Jonathon Edington 233, Tabitha Dixon 232, 4s a Crowd 829. High series: Allen Breshears 674, Dixon 621, 4s a Crowd 2,298.
Archie’s Sports Bar — High games: Larry Knight 278, CROCK/Budweiser 1,183. High series: Guy Johnson and Scott Hill 742, CROCK/Budweiser 3,336.
WIMS Lounge Monday Mixed — High games: Mike Holmes 289, Kris Tuberosa 203, Barnes Construction 820. High series: Holmes 790, Tuberosa 566, Hunter’s Tavern 2,275.
Tuesday Morning Ladies — High games: Phyllis Grover 191, 3 Plus 1 440. High series: Grover 497, We Try Harder 1,264.
Austins Bar Thursday Mixed — High games: Jim Shepherd 268, Jenny Tackett 243, Austins 1,000. High series: Tod Harris 674, Lissa Dressler 639, Austins 2,953.
Sunday Mixed — High games: Dan Hunt 278, Dawn Lawson 222, 2 Tired 2 Strike 817. High series: Hunt 733, Lawson 600, 2 Tired 2 Strike 2,366.
Smith Trucking — High games: Scott Hill 279, Al’s Sports Bar 1,141. High series: Hill 800, Al’s Sports Bar 3,272.
John Curry Lanes (Elks)
Thursday Men — High games: Bill Chance 247, CIA 1,041. High series: Chance 736, CIA 3,024.
Tuesday Men — High games: Darrell Davis 290, Greenleaf 1,059. High series: Davis 739, Greenleaf 3,099.
Dennis Clark can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.