Web News Archives: August 1, 2016 through July 31, 2017...

posted on July 7, 2017

The Decatur quartet of Corey Kistner, Tom Adcock, Larry Larsen Jr. and Darrell Bean outscored a field of 32 teams to win the annual Firecracker Team Shootout on Friday-Saturday, June 30-July 1, at Strike & Spare West Lanes in Springfield.

The local luminaries, using the name Team Boom which has dominated local and state lane play for the past three seasons, defeated the Springfield-based team of Chris Jacobs, J.D. Hamrick, John Hamrick and Steve Beal 838 to 802 to take the winner's trophy back to Decatur.

Another neighborhood foursome made the top-eight bracket match-play. Chad VanDolah, Greg Cook, Britt Sturgeon and Rob Baser qualified in the 5th position. However, they lost their first match and were credited with a tie for 5th.

After the tournament, team captain Corey Kistner announced that the Team Boom name would be retired, effective immediately. Kistner's Pla-Mor Men's team will roll under a different, yet-to-be-determined moniker for the 2017-18 season.

posted on July 7, 2017

Vince Pollard Jr. emerged from the loser's bracket and won back-to-back matches against Decatur's hottest southpaw to win the annual Decatur Double-Elimination Challenge on June 25 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Pollard, a top Peoria-area player, defeated Chris O'Neil 202-194 in the "if-game" to take home the top prize. The 64-bowler bracket was nearly full, making it one of the largest summertime turnouts in Decatur tournament play.

Two upper-echelon bowlers rolled perfect games during the course of the tournament, Bloomington's Andy Stone and Springfield's Keith Hillen. Hillen was the top bowler after five games, averaging 260, while Stone rolled concurrently at a 242 pace. However, neither bowler cracked the top-8.

The only other Decatur bowler in the final eight was Jason Queen, who finished T7. From third, the other finishers were Chris Matthews, Bob Ogle, Paul Bober, David Bartlett and Kenny Schockency.

posted on June 12, 2017

First-year volunteers Cody Finley and Chris O'Neil were elected to the Decatur USBC BA Board of Directors, while Chris' wife Haley fended off all challengers in a three-game tournament, all part of the final BA Council of Delegates meeting, held on May 13 at Spare Time Lanes.

James Calvert and Corey Kistner were re-elected as Directors, joining Cody Finley and Chris O'Neil on the ballot for the final year of the erstwhile Men's Association, which will merge with the Decatur WBA on August 1, 2018, creating the Decatur Area USBC BA, as mandated by the United States Bowling Congress.

Art Fakes was re-elected as Vice-President, joining President Scott Bird and Association Manager Bennie Holman as Line Officers for the 2017-2018 season. Over 40 certified Decatur bowlers attended the meeting, which included complimentary food and beverages.

Topping the 16-player field in the Beat-A-Board-Member Invitational, Haley O'Neil fired games of 187, 279 and 237. Her score-with-handicap of 757 edged out Gabe Howell by 22 pins. Howell closed the 2016-17 DUSBCBA Fall Season in style, rolling a perfect 300 in his final game. Howell also had a 12-bagger on his final night (April 28) in the Strikers-Cavalier League.

Two men announced their retirement from, and were saluted for their contributions to, the DUSBCBA Board. Director Darrell Bean worked as City Tournament Manager for the past two seasons, while Jerry Butler was recognized for his decade of service as a BA Director.

posted on May 11, 2017

For the second straight year, a husband-and-wife team from outside of Decatur took home the top prize in the 2017 Frank Vincent Mixed Doubles Championship. Ashley and Matt Gargano of Bloomington defeated top-seeds Rhonda Culbertson and Chris Shipman 461-459 on April 2 at Pla-Mor Lanes, earning $1060 and the title hardware furnished by Custom Trophies.

Matt Gargano bolted off the starting line in his first three games with scores of 231, 299 and 279, earning him a USBC Score Award with 809 in games 1-2-3.

The Garganos barely made it to the four-team stepladder, finishing 21 pins ahead of Decatur bowlers Kendra Griffin and James Heckwine. Once in the playoff, Ashley and Matt won three straight matches, topping Sandra Hector and Doc Lewis ($425) in the first match, 478-418, and then outlasting Val Alford and Michael Wilcox ($525) 436-407.

Decatur teams occupied positions 6, 7 and 8; Amy Barry-Phil Barry, Kimber Wilderman-Tony Mahon, and Jenet Meeks-Jason Meeks. Mansfield's Richard Covington rolled the only 300 of the weekend in his third game of qualifying.

The Culbertson-Shipman team took home $660 for their second-place finish. Over $2000 was raised through donations, drawings and silent auctions for SIU-Simmons Cancer Research, in the memory of Frank Vincent, the father of Decatur, Springfield and Illinois Bowling Hall-of-Famer Gene Vincent.

posted on May 11, 2017

Tim Frey won his second consecutive Decatur Association tournament as he paired with Keith Hillen to capture the top prize of $1050 in the 2017 Frank Vincent Memorial Doubles Tournament on April 1 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Frey, the 2014-15 Bowler of the Year and a member of the 9/11 Memorial champion team, joined forces with Hillen, who has over 40 perfect games in his career. They averaged 229.4 in the five qualifying games to earn the second seed for the stepladder finals. The field was led by newcomers Nick Wykoff and Nate Sparks, who held a 127 pin lead as top qualifiers for the day.

In the first match, Frey and Hillen faced the third-ranked brother team of Chad and Pat Hilligoss. Frey and Hillen prevailed 417-398 with handicap differntial. In the finals, the fireballing Frey and the board-covering Hillen had to overcome a 129-pin handicap differential. In a tight match, Tim and Keith prevailed over Nick and Nate, 417-398.

The Wykoff-Sparks duo collected $650 for second place, while the Hilligosses took home $525 for third. In fourth were Bloomington-based but local favorites Ashley Ward and Jessica Underhill, who just missed the stepladder by 22 sticks. Other top Decatur finishers were Larry Larseon Jr.-Jason Queen (5th), Michael Wilcox-Larry Porter (6th), Travis Dudley-Adam Moore (7th), Phil-Britt Sturgeon (8th) and Mike Swartz-Mike Drake (9th).

A total of 51 teams competed in the event, which was part of a weekend-long fundraiser for SIU-Simmons Cancer Research.

posted on March 10, 2017

Kyle Holliday used a 708 qualifying series and a 256 game in the final match to propel Team Frey to a victory in the inaugural 9/11 Memorial Fundraiser Tournament on March 5 at Spare Time Lanes.

The competition was divided between competitive adults, non-competitive adults and youths. There was only one team in each of the Youth and non-competitive divisions. The youths bowled as a team to seed themselves for a stepladder final.

In the process, Nic Riley, Nathaniel Davis, Ian Tanzyus and Colton Centers shot 2640 scratch; a 220 average per bowler, with Riley's 741 the best of the four. Twenty-four-sixty plus handicap would have made them the top seed among the adults. Unfortunately, USBC rules do not allow youth teams to bowl for money against adult teams.

In the semifinal match, Nathaniel Davis defeated Ian Tanzyus 246-193, then Davis won the division with a 229-213 victory over Nic Riley. Davis averaged nearly 235 on the day.

The non-Competitive division was won by former bowler Mickey Sturgeon with 2nd place going to Tracy Alexander.

There were 11 teams in the competitive division. In addition to Holliday, the winning team was comprised of Tim Frey, Mike Swartz and Trisha Swartz. The three teammates also represented in the final game; Frey with a 235, Mike Swartz with 233, and his wife Trisha with a 191. Team Frey won $300.

The runners-up were from Spare Time Lanes; Gary Haines, Bob Logan, David Haines, and Cody Reimer, and that team took home $140.

Nearly $2000 was raised for the 9/11 Memorial Fund, whose goal is to raise a quarter-million dollars to build a memorial on the banks of Lake Decatur.

posted on February 7, 2017

Corey Kistner gave the field one weekend to themselves at the 2017 Decatur City Bowling Tournament, but after that, he put on a display that left the scratch side in the dust.

Kistner, 41, captured the Scratch Singles (769) and All-Events (2253) in the recently-completed 78th Annual Decatur USBC Open Championship at Pla-Mor Lanes, and he elicited the help of four other players to grab the other two natural-score titles.

Teaming with Darrell Bean, who contributed a steady 726 series, Kistner fired a steadier 802 (267-267-268) to win Scratch Doubles. The score was also good enough to capture Handicap Doubles.

Bean and Kistner partnered with Gary Bean, Larry Larsen Jr. and Jason Queen to shoot 3411 to garner the Scratch Team Title, which made it back-to-back city team victories for Darrell, Corey and Jason.

The Handicap Team title was won by the No Tap team of Ken Bean, Kevin Smith, and the Hollises-Cory, Spencer, and father Jim. Handicap Singles (809) and All-Events (2395) were the exclusive properties of Kevin Ruffner.

Chris O'Neil earned the other award score of the three-weekend competition when he shot 300 and 793 in the Team event on January 22.

Several ladies participated, and three had notable game scores. Cassidy Walters, the 2015 Women's Challenge champion, shot 279 in Teams.

Chelsie Finch, the newly-crowned Springfield ATT champion and (in a clean sweep like Corey Kistner) the November 2016 winner of all WBA Scratch Tournament titles, had the front-9 in Doubles en route to a 277, then she added a front-10 286 in Singles.

Finch's doubles partner, Cynthia Howell, bounced back from a first-frame Big-4 to get the last 11 strikes and a 278 in Singles. The pair finished 7th in Scratch Doubles, and Finch placed 6th in Scratch Singles.

posted on December 9, 2016

Girard southpaw Jennifer Stone led the field from start to finish and took home the winner's reward in the second annual Decatur Women's Challenge, held on December 4 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Stone, a Springfield Association member who entered the touranment with a 185 average, defeated Bloomington's Kellie Eckman in the stepladder finals, 236 to 186 (including handicap differntial). Stone received $500 for the victory, as 46 ladies braved difficult traveling conditions to participate in the event.

Decatur's Cassidy Walters made a representative defense of her 2015 title, earning the 5th and final spot on the ladder. Bement's Erika Dragoo, who led the field with one game to go, hit a difficult patch and dropped to sixth after game six.

Eckmann appeared to be on a similar path to victory as Walters rode the previous year. A second-year league bowler (like Cassidy in 2015), Kellie entered the tournament with a 147 average, and she consistently topped that mark by 30 pins or more.

The Bloomington right-hander defeated Walters (earning $160 for 5th), fellow resident and Pla-Mor master Tammy Walsh ($200, 4th), and Decatur's Hannah Moore ($250, 3rd) in the stepladder to reach the championship game. Eckmann received $350 as the runner-up.

posted on December 2, 2016

Tom Adcock continued his torrid first-half pace of 2016-17 by teaming with Jason Queen to win the annual Day-After-Thanksgiving Doubles Classic on Nov. 25 in Washington, IL.

The tournament, which has been held for over a quarter-century in the Peoria area, and usually contested at Landmark Lanes, has been a feast for the decorated Adcock-Queen team, generally regarded as the best Doubles pairing in Decatur bowling history.

Neither bowler knows the exact quantity, but both Tom and Jason estimate that they have captured the title of that event on a half-dozen occasions, regardless of venue.

It was Adcock's second tournament victory in as many weekends. On Nov. 20, he teamed with part-time Decatur bowler Keith Hillen and Springfield's Bobbi Jo Van Huss to win the 700 Club Special Trio event at Strike & Spare West Lanes in Springfield.

The tournament's special format was to pair two players who had career 700 series with a third who had not reached that mark.

Both Hillen and Adcock rode the coattails of their victories to garner great league scores. Hillen rolled his 42nd and 43rd career 300 games on back-to-back nights (Nov. 27-28), while Adcock fired his third 800 of the season (805) in the Nov. 29 edition of the ADM League at Spare Time.

posted on December 2, 2016

Decatur's Seth O'Neil withstood the charge of this city's best youth bowlers to win the inaugural Decatur Youth Masters on Nov. 6 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

The 16-year-old O'Neil defeated top-qualifier (and second-year prep bowler) Kegan Mahon in the title match. A refreshing aspect of the tournament was the use of handicap. O'Neil finished 2015-16 with a 111 average, while Mahon ended last season with an average of 76.

For his victory, O'Neil received $400 in scholarship money and an eagle trophy, similar in design to the prize given at the USBC Masters. The rest of the top-8, in order, were Selena Burns, Angela Bean, Nathan Bush, Brandon Likins, 7-year-old Glen King III, and Halee Fyke.

A total of 50 kids competed. Thanks to generous donations and work behind-the-scenes, all bowlers took home scholarship money, which at its lowest value, paid the bowler's entry fee for the event.

posted on December 2, 2016

Tammy Walsh of suburban Champaign captured her second Decatur tournament victory in a two-week span by topping the 36-player field in the inaugural Roto-Grip Eliminator, held on Oct. 23 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

Walsh, who averaged 248 in her four qualifying games, was seeded fourth in the eliminator bracket, as the top-8 advanced to individual-game matches, where the lowest score would be done for the day. Walsh fired games of 247, 233 and 245 to outlast top-qualifier Steve Burger, Matt Gargano and Marcellus Clay to emerge from the first pair of lanes.

The second pair of eliminator lanes featured Decatur bowlers Gary Bean, Shawn Reed and Larry Larsen, who qualified 2nd, 3rd and 6th respectively, plus Brad Moore. But it was Moore who survived to face Walsh in the final match, and Walsh won with a 224 game.

The victory came on the heels of another Walsh championship on Oct. 9, as Tammy teamed with Brett Fogerson to grab the title in the Decatur Baker Doubles at Pla-Mor. The pair defeated Decatur's Michael Wilcox and Larry Porter in the championship match.

Brothers Gary and Darrell Bean tied for 5th, while the Jason Meeks-Burlie Caston and Phil Barry-Kevin Besser teams tied for 7th.

The alternate-frame Baker format attracted 35 doubles teams and paid $682 to the Walsh-Fogerson winners' account.

posted on December 2, 2016

Cody Clayton played a big role with a perfect game and an 810 series as he paired with Michael Mayo to win the inaugural Over-Under-50 Doubles Challenge on Aug. 27 at Pla-Mor Lanes.

The Clayton-Mayo team, from suburban St. Louis, had their high scores in the beginning of qualifying and cruised to the title. A second 300 game was bowled in the event, and it was by Peoria's Bob Baker.

Among area teams, the best finish was a 6th place result from Gabe Howell-Steve Miller. The team of Shawn Reed-James Box was 8th, and the duo of Jason Meeks and Burlie Caston finished 9th.