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Tony Dolan may not be the most educated bowler in Western New York, but he’s got to be close. Not only does he have a doctorate in chemistry from the University at Buffalo, he also did post-doctorate work in pharmacy.

Working off and on with an uncle who owned a construction company eventually led him to his present line of work, running his own precast concrete company in West Seneca for the last six years.

Since construction work is mostly for warm weather, Dolan has free time in the winter, and spends a lot of it bowling. In 2012-13, he averaged 223 bowling 543 games in 13 different leagues.

A week ago last Thursday, Dolan bowled a career-best 867 subbing in the Workingmen’s League at Broadway Sports Center.

“I had the 300 in the first game. In the second I got the first 10 strikes then rang a 7-pin and made the spare for 279,” Dolan said. “In the third, my was a little slow on my first ball and got the 6-8 split, then I made the last 11.”

That’s 13 strikes in 16 balls and the 18th 800 series of his career. He also had 43 300 games to his credit.

Dolan has no magical explanation for his big series, which ranks in the top seven in the Greater Buffalo USBC Association annals. “Everything fell right into place,” he said. “It was one of those surreal moments. You’ve got to get lucky and get carry. Everyone can hit the pocket, but to get all the pins to fall is the hard part.”

According to the USBC database, Dolan had eight 300s in the calendar year 2013 and four the year before. His first was in 1995 at Airport.

“My mom and dad were both bowlers,” Dolan said. “They got us – me, my sister and my brother – into bowling at Southgate Lanes because they didn’t want us sitting around the house on Saturday mornings in front of the TV watching cartoons. As time went on I enjoyed it more and more. I didn’t start bowling great until I was a junior or sophomore at West Seneca East.”

Despite all his activity, Dolan bowls regularly in only three leagues – Monday Night Out at Broadway, Broad Spectrum Three-Man at Spare Time on Wednesdays and the BPA Travel B League on Saturdays. He enjoys it so much, though, he usually is receptive to subbing when bowling friends call.

His top achievements were two top 10 finishes in the Obenauer Masters and a title last spring in a tournament at Kenmore Lanes.

Two WNYers still alive

Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga won all three of his matches and John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda won his first two before a loss on Friday in the USBC Masters Championship in North Brunswick, N.J.

Ciminelli moved on to today’s match against Chris Allen. Szczerbinski defeated Chris Barnes, 721-714, to stay alive in the loser’s bracket and will bowl Bryan Goebel.

The Masters is a six-day grind so the seasoned pros don’t get discouraged when they are below the cut line on the first day of the tournament.

Twenty-six-year-old Szczerbinski had a fabulous start, shooting 1,244 in his first five-game qualifying round on Tuesday. By Wednesday, though, the familiar names were in the picture. Walter Ray Williams Jr. seized the lead after 10 games but when qualifying was over defending champion Jason Belmonte, the two-hander from Australia, was on top. His closing block of 1,181 included a 300 game. He shot 1,149 and 1,152 in the earlier rounds and finished with 3,482 (223.12 average)

Sczerbinski qualified 28th with 3,224 (214.93). His low game was 237 on Tuesday but he shot 156 and 153 on Wednesday and a 148 on Thursday. Ciminelli made the 64-bowler match play field in the 38th spot after a 1,026 on Thursday for a 3,206 total (213.73).

None of the other Western New York entrants made it to match play. Here are their finishes:

140, Jack Jurek (Lackawanna) 3,046; 145, Liz Johnson (Cheektowaga) 3,042; Brad Angelo (Lockport) 3,033; Tom Baker (King, N.C.) 3,005 and 267, Chad Mee (Hamburg) 2,888.

They were in good company. Others who missed the cut were: Mika Koivuniemi, Osku Palerma, Kelly Kulick, Bill O’Neill, Parker Bohn III, Amleto Monacelli, Mike Scoggins, Mike Wolfe and Sean Rash.

Pin chasers

• Rob Coppola returned to bowling after being away from the sport for 25 years and bowled his first 300 in a 748 series in the Tuesday Night Men’s League at Kenmore Lanes.

• Holly Filarecki and Richard Parrish combined for a 1,560 and the $400 top prize by winning Division A (351 combined average or better) in the GBUSBC Me & Mine Handicap Tournament, which wrapped up last weekend at AMF Thruway Lanes.

The Division B title went to Tiffany Cormack and Justin Foxworth, who bowled 1,570 and took the $360 top prize.

Between the two divisions there were 217 entrants and the GBUSBC contributed $2,000 to the prize funds.

email: mnorthrop@buffnews.com