At the ripe old age of 27, Ryan Ciminelli was beginning to wonder if he was going to turn out to be a pro bowling flash-in-the pan. That was before he captured his second PBA Tour title, the Chameleon Championship last month in Las Vegas.
The Chameleon final was bowled Nov. 2 and taped for showing on ESPN last Sunday. It was Ciminelli’s first title since he won the Earl Anthony Memorial in 2011, although he was the runner-up in the 2012 Tournament of Champions.
His triumph came about an hour after a bitterly disappointing loss to Chris Barnes in the Viper Championship. In that match, the Cheektowaga left-hander, the top qualifier, led all the way until he threw a 7-10 split on his first ball in the 10th frame.
Instead of moaning about it, Ciminelli went to work and destroyed three opponents decisively to win the Chameleon.
“It was tough to put the Viper behind me, but I decided to use it as inspiration instead of letting it get to me,” Ciminelli told PBA.com. “I felt really good. I broke the lane down the way I wanted to and created some room for myself.
“I knew the right side really wasn’t that good. I knew if I stayed within myself, 220, 230 would probably win.”
The second title feels better than the first, he said.
“It’s been too long. You know you can win after the first one, but you wait three years and you begin to ask yourself if you’re a one-hit wonder. So now that’s off my shoulders.”
Sometimes you bowl high scores and still lose in tournament bowling. This time, Ciminelli averaged 249 for his three finals victories while his opponents struggled with the conditions – and perhaps the blue oil used to allow viewers to see the oil pattern – and averaged only 193.
To collect his $20,000 top prize, Ciminelli defeated Tom Smallwood of Saginaw, Mich., 255-197, then Brian Kretzer of Dayton, Ohio, 235-179, before toppling No. 1 qualifier Dom Barrett of England, 258-203.
Against Barrett, Ciminelli started with three strikes and never trailed. When Barrett drew to within two pins halfway through the game, Ciminelli answered with five strikes in a row to complete an impressive $30,000 pay day, counting the $10,000 as the runner-up in the Viper.
Sunday, the last of the oil pattern championships of the World Series of Bowling series will be shown on ESPN (1 p.m.) The top qualifier is collegiate star Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., an All-American at Robert Morris University-Illinois, not to be confused with Robert Morris outside Pittsburgh.
Kent, an amateur, was invited to the World Series on a PBA Commissioner’s Exemption. The other finalists are Smallwood, Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz., and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C.
The telecast also will include a PBA League “TO” Challenge in which NFL all-pro wide receiver and PBA League Dallas Strikers owner Terrell Owens will make a shot and a randomly selected player will try to exactly match TO’s pinfall.
All in the family
Nathan and Kyle Tackentien won the Greater Buffalo USBC Association’s 46th annual Family Tournament held over two weekends last month at Orchard Park Lanes. The Tackentiens had a 1,391 total.
Erie Community College star Liz Szpara and her father, David, won the Father & Daughter division with 1,374. Tyler and Robert M. Brotz won the Father & Son Division with 1,361. Jordan and Rita Brown won the Mother & Daughter title with 1,363 while the Mother & Son Division was won by Ruth and Jarrett Brock with 1,361. Each winner received a $150 scholarship award.
Ray Hall, the former Canisius College basketball star and now an avid kegler, and his son, Cameron, finished in a tie for fourth in their division with a 1,278 total.
Karen Januszak shot 873 to take home the $150 top prize in the GBUSBCA League Officers Tournament two weeks ago at The Edge Bowling Center. There were some impressive scores bowled, including a 753 series by Tony Dolan and a 289 game by Andy Bigaj. Januszak bowled a 256-660 scratch.
The GBUSBCA has entry blanks available on its website as well as local bowling establishments for the Stan Kowalski Seniors Tournament April 26-27 at Broadway Sports Center, and the 2014 City Tournament April 28 to May 10 at AMF Lancaster Lanes. Entries are scheduled to close April 8 for the City Tournament, which includes the Open Championship and Women’s Championship, and April 18 for the Seniors Championship.
Also, entry blanks are available online for the 51st annual George A. Obenauer Masters Championship, which will open May 13 at AMF Airport Lanes. Entries will close May 5.