John Szczerbinski traveled halfway around the world for a nice payday Friday. The North Tonawanda pro picked up $12,000 for his second-place finish in the 12th Kingdom of Bahrain Bowling Championship at Ozone Entertainment Center in Sitra, Bahrain.
Szczerbinski qualified as the No. 3 seed in the three-bowler stepladder finals with a six-game 1,300 (216 average).
In the first stepladder match, the former Wichita State All-American defeated No. 2 qualifier Chris Loschetter, 197-166. Topping No. 1 qualifier Shaker Al-Hassan of the United Arab Emirates was a different matter, however.
With home-lanes advantage, so to speak, Al-Hassan triumphed, 231-229, in the championship match for the $25,000 first prize.
Among the PBA Tour pros Szczerbinski defeated in the fifth round, a 12-bowler final elimination, to determine the stepladder were Mika Koivuniemi, Chris Barnes, Mike Fagan and Tommy Jones.
Brad Angelo of Lockport was eliminated in the fourth round as was two-time USBC Masters champion Jason Belmonte.
Szczerbinski was among six bowlers who earned byes to the fifth round in qualifying.
The World Bowling Tour will move on to Kuwait next week, then to Munich, Germany.
Vincennes, ECC champs again
Vincennes University, a two-year school in Indiana, and Erie Community College continued to dominate the National Junior College Athletic Association championships held last weekend at AMF Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga.
Boasting a deep lineup, Vincennes won the men’s team championship for the 19th time. Vincennes played four individuals in all-events top ten.
Since 1981, the men’s title has been won by Vincennes or ECC all but once. ECC has won 14 times. The exception was last year when Schenectady CC broke the stranglehold of the two junior college powers.
The ECC women won their second team title in a row and 28th in the tournament’s 38 years of existence. Also, the Kats’ Gabrielle Damin (Clarence) won all-events with a 2,310 total (192.5 average) and teamed up with Liz Szpara (Orchard Park) to win doubles with 1,113.
The all-events title was the first for an ECC bowler since Jessica Mamon won it in 2009. The doubles title was the first for the Kats since 2008.
Frontier boys roll
Frontier’s boys bowling team put on an impressive performance in the State Public High Schools championship last weekend on Long Island.
The Falcons won by an overwhelming 336 pins over runner-up Mohonasen of Section II (Albany). Frontier bowled the top team game, 1,040, and two of only four games over 1,000.
Frontier started in third place after the first game despite a 1,017 game. Beekmantown (Section VII) and Sachem East (Section XI) opened with big games. The Falcons, though, followed that with their 1,040 and the others could not keep pace.
Chad Mee led Frontier with a 1,346, the top individual total in the schools competition that was matched the next day by Christopher Reilly (Section VIII) in the all-section team competition.
Mee had lots of help, especially from junior Bryan Carson, who had games of 227, 234 and 201 for a 662 morning series, then came back with 597 in the afternoon for a 1,259 total (209.83).
The other Frontier individual totals: Matt Kinn 1,165; Nick Diflavio 960 (five games); Justin Thomas 954 (five games); and Nick Brooks 303 (two games).
Last year Frontier finished fifth in the state tournament. This year’s lane conditions proved more difficult. The Falcons totaled 6,102 in 2013, 115 pins better than their winning total this year.
The Section VI girls team came through with its top performance in the final game, a 1,007, to take second place in the all-section championships.
Cassidy Powers (North Tonawanda) led that with a 234 game along with Kim Klinger (Frontier) who shot 215 and Claire Pohlman (Clarence) who had a 202.
Strike Out Cancer
The Sixth Annual Tonawandas USBC Strike Out Breast Cancer Tournament will be held Sunday at Classic Lanes. The $30 entry fee is due today. Walk-ins will be accepted on a lane-availability basis. Five dollars of each entry fee will be allocated to the Bowl for the Cure Event.
USBC members not sanctioned in the Tonawandas Association may participate by paying the local association fee in addition to the tournament entry fee.