By Dennis Clark
TERRE HAUTE — Scott Higginbotham made the most of a rare opportunity.
To set the scene, Terre Haute North’s Higginbotham was a second alternate for Saturday’s Richmond semistate because of his performance in last weekend’s Jasper regional in the Indiana High School Bowling state tournament.
But a qualified bowler from Evansville was unable to participate due to illness. So when Higginbotham’s name was called to fill his spot, he hit the lanes rolling.
Higginbotham parlayed his unlikely participation into a second-place semistate individual finish. That effort sends him to the IHSB state finals in Anderson this Saturday.
Higginbotham qualified fourth with a 671 three-game series. He proceeded to win a pair of matches in the stepladder finals, 225-205 and 268-214, before falling 268-225 in the championship match.
Meanwhile, Terre Haute South’s boys bowling team missed advancing to next weekend’s state finals by one spot despite a strong semistate performance.
South, after placing third in the regional with a score of 2,791, shot a much-better 3,009 to finish fifth in a 12-team field. However, the top four teams advanced to the state finals.
Meanwhile, Terre Haute North’s girls team finished 11th in their 12-team field with a score of 2,393 at the semistate. The Patriots placed fourth in last weekend’s Jasper regional with a score of 2,437.
Back to the individual semistate competition, both North’s Kristen Zellars (21st place) and South’s Jordan Stone (29th place) failed to advance to the state finals.
Stone and Zellars finished fifth in their respective divisions at the Jasper regional. Stone shot a three-game series of 657, while Zellars had 552.
I I I
In other bowling news:
n Super Bowl V — Team Drake split the $1,300 first-prize, edging Team Taylor by just 21 pins, 5,343-5,322 in Imperial Lanes’ Super Bowl V A-B-C-D-E tournament on, you guessed it, Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 4).
Team Drake consisted of Chris Drake, Rick Rogers, Dave Fields, Paul Stone and Chuck Montgomery. The runner-up squad of Team Taylor featured Brian Taylor, Jared Norris, Don Alumbaugh, Mike Gambill and Tom Jones.
Team Taylor won $900 for second place, while the balance of the payout went to Team Barton (third with 5,239/$600), Team Davis (fourth with 5,204, $500), Team Paulin (fifth with 5,168, $400) and Team Nichols (sixth with 5,162, $300).
Team Dressler finished just one pin out of the final prize fund.
The top individual male bowlers were Fields (242 average), Taylor (236), Dave Paulin (232), Bryan Barton (230). In all, 43 male bowlers averaged over 200.
Pacing the tournament’s six female bowlers were Mandy Wilkins (214), Mysti Fisher (209) and Vicki Rich (208).
High individual games included Hoopingarner (300), Bill Alumbaugh III (279), Paulin (279), Fields (279) and Scott Johansen (278).
n Vigo Bowl Shootout — The four-man team led by Jeff Harvey emerged victorious despite qualifying in fourth place at the recent Vigo Bowl men’s A-B-C-D Shootout.
The winning Team Harvey also consisted of Kenny Carmichael, Ryan Nelson and Keith Mowbray. The second-place team — Team Davis — featured Darrell Davis, Trey Minnett, Mike Gambill and Tony Jackewicz.
Those two teams eliminated Team Nichols and Team Johnson in the first round of roll-offs. Team Nichols included Ryan Nichols, Ryan Mitchell, Bob Lovvron and Paul Caton, while Team Johnson was made up of Guy Johnson, Tom Barr, Randy Cooprider and Timmy Hoopingarner.
Overall high averages posted were Nichols (244), Bryan Barton (232), Paco Hoopingarner (232) and Johnson (227). High averages by division were Davis (A, 246), Jon Sweatt (B, 222), Lovvron (C, 214) and Carmichael (D, 215).
High individual games were turned in by Johnson (300), Matt Wilkins (290), Davis (280), Barton (279) and Danny Travelstead (278).
n When you’re hot, you’re hot — Scott Johnson and Bryan Barton both tossed 300 games this week.
Johnson shot his gem in the Guarantee Roofing League at the Terre Haute Bowling Center, going on to fire a staggering 858 three-game series. Barton fired his perfect game in Vigo Bowl’s Affordable Awards Mixed League, rolling a 784 series.
Ironically, both standout bowlers have the two highest averages in the Guarantee Roofing League. Johnson leads with 234, with Barton a close second at 233.
Barton also averages 234 in the Affordable Awards Mixed League.
n Chinn-up — Henry Chinn, bowling in the Bush Restaurant Senior League at Vigo Bowl, earned a 180 game (140 average or less) emblem on Feb. 2.
Chinn rolled a 191 game while carrying a 123 average through 57 games.
n Sundays were meant for bowling — The 2007 PBA Skills Challenge will air as back-to-back 30-minute shows on ESPN immediately following the conclusion of the today’s Go RVing Classic in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Today’s PBA finals will air at 12:30 p.m., with the two Skills Challenge shows running from 2-2:30 p.m. and 2:30-3 p.m. Both shows will air again on ESPN on April 8 from 1-2 p.m. EST.
This season’s competition featured eight teams of two bowlers with the winning team taking home $15,000. Highlights from the first round matches, which feature a “Young Guns vs. Legends” theme, will air in the first half-hour show while the second half-hour show features highlights from the two semifinal matches and the title match.
Pro bowlers competing include Bill O’Neill, Sean Rash, Norm Duke, Brian Voss, Chris Johnson, Wes Malott, Del Ballard Jr., Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Kelly Kulick, Parker Bohn III, Jason Couch, Mike Machuga, Tony Reyes, Doug Kent and Danny Wiseman.
n Kalfas makes TV debut — Oh, by the way, Patrick Allen is the No. 1 seed in today’s ESPN telecast of the PBA Tour’s Go RVing Classic.
But the bigger news is Riga Kalfas of Florence, Ky., being the No. 3 seed and making his first career TV appearance.
Kalfas, whose highest previous career finish is eighth in the 2006 Lake County Indiana Classic, secured his exemption for this season’s PBA Tour by finishing first in the 2005-06 PBA Central Region Point Rankings.
Kalfas finished second in the PBA Central Region Tournament at Imperial Lanes a couple of summers ago.
Today’s first televised match will feature No. 4 Parker Bohn III vs. No. 5 Mike Edwards. Awaiting that winner will be No. 3 seed Riga Kalfas, followed by No. 2 seed Jason Couch, then No. 1 Allen.p
Couch is arguably the Tour’s hottest bowler in the second half with four TV appearances and back-to-back titles in January.
Dennis Clark can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.
Vigo County bowling leagues
Affordable Awards — High games: Christina Smith 216, Just Us 914. High series: Kathy Couch 580, Just Us 2,603.
Bush Restaurant Senior — High games: Bob Lovvron 257, Ida Taylor 222, The Bush Restaurant 782. High series: Dave Paulin 682, Alusta Kneeves 570, The Bush Restaurant 2,289.
Wolfe’s Auto Auction — High games: Karen Goffinet 216, Affordable Awards 883. High series: Tracy Booth 554, Affordable Awards 2,467.
Vigo Bowl Bantam — High games: Devon Thomson 81, Kelsey Dwyer 78, Dark Dragons 341. High series: Thomson 137, Dwyer 148, Dark Dragons 597.
Vigo Bowl Preps — High games: Braden Stephens 159, Kianna Sweatt 150, Team 2 548. High series: Stephens 370, Sweatt 348, Team 2 1,492.
Vigo Bowl Juniors — High games: Darrell Orman 221, Cecilia Gray 223, KWVBA 815. High series: Joseph Gray 583, C.Gray 530, KWVA 2,251.
Vigo Bowl Seniors — High games: Kerry Boyd 244, Kelsea Bedwell 173, Team 5 1,060. High series: Chris Salyer 711, Bedwell 450, Team 5 2,952.
Church — High games: Ken Smith 233, Central Christian 2 749. High series: Smith 626, Central Christian 2 1,975.
School Staff — High games: Ed Beasley 221, Linda Ballman 210, Union Hospital 727. High series: Matt Lugar 595, Union Hospital 2,002.
Mic’s Pics — High games: Tammy Ellis 190, 3 Gals 505. Highs series: Wee Patrick 519, 3 Gals 1,423.
Springhill Wholesale — High games: Clarene Fisher 200, Bell’s Bowlers 678. High series: Mary Lou Fugate 554, Bell’s Bowlers 2,002.
Eagles Mixed — High games: Kevin Gardner 297, Dawn Rayhel 244, Me and the Cap’n 897. High series: Jason Hiddle 720, Crystal Sullivan 703, Me and the Cap’n 2,445.
Terre Haute Bowling Center
THBC Seniors — High games: Dayton Huebner 278, Mackenzie Pepper 193. High series: Huebner 658, Danielle Overholser 498.
THBC Juniors — High games: Ian Bartlett 226, Madison Peabody 177. High series: Rodney Lockman 607, Phoenix Harmon 447.
THBC Preps — High games: Tyler Tuberosa 195, Macy Furry 180. High series: Caleb Ingle 475, Kelly Combs 490.
THBC Bantams — High games: Ben Dillion 159, Alexis Hux 90. High series: Dillion 387, Emma Bly 239.
Gartland Foundry — High games: Matt Lugar 235, Elnora Murrell 211, The Next Level 868. High series: Gregory Taylor 655, Murrell 563, The Next Level 2,313.
Toyota of Terre Haute — High games: Chris Jones 279, The Pro Shop Too 1,107. High series: Guy Johnson 706, Pro Shop 3,165.
THBC Majors — High games: Sean Pepper 223, Brittany Gambill 517. High series: Pepper 587, Gambill 517.
THBC Minors — High games: Kevin Williams 134, Kadi Troxel 90. High series: Michael Throckmorton 345, Troxel 226.
Guarantee Roofing — High games: Scott Johnson 300, Affordable Awards 1,222. High series: Johnson 858, Affordable Awards 3,557.
Affordable Awards Mixed — High games: Bryan Barton 300, Melissa Dressler 248, Affordable Awards 879. High series: Barton 784, Affordable Awards 2,461.
Chandler Construction — High games: Donald Rutledge 237, Melinda Helmick and Pat Stewart 186, Lucky Strikes 749. High series: Bill High 646, Nancy Sons 531, Lucky Strikes 2,147.
THBC Prime Timers — High games: Rob Klemaszewski 267, Jo Miller 204. High series: Kelmaszewski 706, Miller 553.
Ang Mixed — High games: George Meiners 268, Jodi Moan 248, Mattox Body Shop 781. High series: Estel Nightingale 733, Shear Madness II 2,222.
Terre Haute Restaurant — High games: Doug Smith 234, Jennifer McCullough 153, Olive Garden 646. High series: Joe Wilson 630, Heather VanArsdale 429, Olive Garden 1,794.
Sunday Mixed — High games: Bob Symon 243, Connie Symon 204, Hershey 792. High series: Brad Moreland 681, C.Symon 557, Hershey 2,225.
Austin’s Bar Thursday Mixed — High games: Robbie Wilson 257, Carrie Price 223, Wright Masonry 998. High series: Wilson 703, Lissa Dressler 598, Wright Masonry 2,781.
WIMS Lounge Monday Mixed — High games: Jerry Arney 232, LaDonna Singleton 207, Team EXXXtreme 828. High series: Mike Holmes 644, Kris Tubersoa 534, Team EXXXtreme 2,195.
Saturday Youth — High games: Scott Higginbotham 232, Tabitha Dixon 236, OGs 707. High series: Higginbotham 632, Dixon 561, OGs 1,932.
John Curry Lanes (Elks)
Thursday Men — High games: Jim Zebrowski 258, Fox Canteen 1,026. High series: Les Tincher 645, McGuire Excavating 2,727.