TERRE HAUTE —
When Darrell Davis rolled an outstanding 779 series for his Akers Farm bowling team in the Logan’s Rib Eye League at Imperial Lanes on Oct. 2, he probably received few congratulations.
Considering his 779 was only the second-best score on his own team that night, he wasn’t the one basking in the spotlight.
That honor belonged to Brazil bowler Scott Hill, who started his night by firing not one, but two, 300 games. He “settled” for a 289 in Game 3 to finish with an 889 total, which broke the Terre Haute record of 876 set by Ryan Nichols.
Hill’s 889 also is believed to be the third-highest official series in Indiana history.
A member of the Terre Haute Bowling Hall of Fame since 2008, the 41-year-old Hill started competing in youth leagues when he was 7. He worked at Brazilian Lanes in his younger days, graduated from Northview High School in 1991 and bowled for Indiana State University’s club team for a while.
Hill’s two 300 games Oct. 2 were the 31st and 32nd of his career, so he was already an accomplished bowler. He’s even entered a few pro regionals in the past, but he said he prefers bowling locally because “I’d rather hang out with my friends.”
Back to the 889, that definitely caught him by surprise, especially with his previous best series being 826.
“I did have a new ball [a Storm Virtual Gravity] that I threw that night,” Hill told the Tribune-Star. “I think I’ll keep it.”
Hill acknowledged that he was in what athletes often call “the zone” by the second game.
“After the first 300, I just kept waiting for the ride to stop,” he said. “But it just kept going. It was an unbelievable feeling.”
So the obvious question about this accomplishment is, how did he screw up in the third game? (Insert “wink” symbol here.)
Well, Hill said he left the 4-pin on his first and last throws, thus resulting in a 289.
Chad Klopfenstein, who was bartending at Imperial Lanes that night, said the atmosphere inside the 16-lane facility reached electric levels as more and more members and fans of other teams heard about Hill’s hot streak.
“Word travels around,” Klopfenstein noted. “People kept looking and they kept looking.
“Everybody was screaming and yelling with every strike. It was unbelievable. … The best thing about it is you cannot find a nicer person. Even when he bowls bad, he never blames anyone else. He’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”
“I knew there were people watching me,” Hill admitted. “But I had them tuned out.”
On the two Wednesdays since his Oct. 2 brush with greatness, Hill has bowled well, but nowhere near 889. His totals were 671 and 649.
“It was just a good night,” he reflected about posting an 889. “I was living in the moment.”
Klopfenstein insisted that night won’t soon be forgotten by anyone who watched Hill work his magic inside Imperial Lanes.
“Having been around the bowling community for 15 years, I’d say it was almost better than shooting a 59 in golf,” Klopfenstein said.
“I’ve had people contact me [after that night] who I hadn’t heard from in 15, 20 years,” Hill mentioned. “That’s what I’ve enjoyed most about this.”