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Kegler's Corner: Flintstones win County League

Congratulations to the Flintstones trio for winning the championship of the Thursday County league at Hood River’s Orchard Lanes. The championship was decided in a roll-off between the Flintstones and the first-half winners, the Pinbusters.

The Flintstones won the contest handily, three games to one, and they had a comfortable 106-stick margin in total pins for the match.

Bowling for the champs were Joyce Wilson, Brent Gleason and Ellen Davis. This concludes the County league for this season. To bowlers in that league, we hope you all had a great time and many thanks for bowling with us; we miss you already and can’t wait to see you next season.

The Tuesday Nite Mixed league had its last regular season outing last week. This league has a format where the top two teams from both halves meet in a roll-off to determine its champion. The first-half teams that made the grade were the Gutt-Er-Dun and Screaming Eagles squads. The second half saw the Radcomp and Double A Orchards teams rise to the occasion.

The roll-off for the title will be held in two weeks because two brave teams from Orchard Lanes are going to bowl the USBC National tournament next week in Reno at the incredible National Bowling Stadium. If you haven’t bowled in this tournament, especially at this site, the National Bowling Stadium, you have missed an amazing experience. The Los Angeles Times called the National Bowling Stadium, the Taj Mahal of tenpins. It really is an imposing sight, 78 lanes in a huge stadium with seating for thousands of spectators. It’s kind of like average folks like you and me getting to play in Yankee Stadium, which only a handful of pro baseball players ever get the chance.

The USBC National tournament is open to all certified league bowlers in the world, hence, every league bowler in Hood River who joined the USBC is eligible. And to top everything, this is the biggest bowling tournament in the world and has a $7 million prize fund.

Last week’s local action on the lanes saw some impressive individual performances. Breezy Springs shot a big 232 game in the Monday night Industrial league and he ended up 142 pins over his average for the session.

In the same outing, Stuart Kawachi continued his amazing comeback by notching 225 and 203 games that propelled him to a nice 607 series. Stuart has been a longtime kegling star in Hood River, always one of our best, and this marks his first 600 series since his illness last year.

Stu has made an incredible recovery and was 121 pins over his average for the night. He’s bowling Nationals in Reno next week, and it looks like he’s ready.

Also in the Industrial, Milo Prideaux rolled a solid 226 game and was 112 pins over his average and Larry Scroggins continued his assault on the pins by topping his average by 101 sticks for the evening.

The men didn’t get all the limelight. Starring for the ladies last week in the Tuesday Nite Mixed was Amanda Orand, who was 120 pins over her average, and Dakota Browning, who topped her average by 117 pins for the session.

In the Thursday afternoon Lads & Lassies league, Kim McCartney has posted some very impressive numbers this season. Her latest efforts included a sweet 231 game and 578 series, which was 119 pins over her average.

But, the Bowler of the Week has to be a toss-up between all-star pro lefty Greg McDaniel and silky-smooth Ken Espersen. Greg is one of the top bowlers in the state; his prodigious resume is loaded with awards, including numerous perfect 300 games, 800 series and major tournament wins. He added to that collection last week in the Fraternal with a huge 805 three-game series, another USBC award winning performance that was 151 pins over his average.

But, what about Ken Espersen? In the Industrial, Ken stroked a beautiful 738 series that was capped by a fine 269 game. This is the first time Ken has made the Team of the Week this season which is unusual. Yes, he’s been in a mini-slump, but his latest work was definitely in breakout mode. It will put him back knocking on the door of that special 200 average, which is where he should be.

He is a legitimate 200 average bowler. He’s got loads of talent but you hardly know he’s there because of his easy style. Unlike most of the stars in the modern game today, Ken doesn’t muscle the ball to hyper-speed; he doesn’t contort with every fiber of his being to impart a zillion revs on the ball. No, he just lets the ball fall off his hand.

Ken could probably bowl all day and night without getting tired and he wouldn’t have any blisters on his fingers. He is Mr. Smooth on the lanes. Ken was a whopping 156 pins over his average last week, the most by anybody at the lanes. Yes, an 800 series is a rarity, but as we have often said, scoring in bowling is all relative — relative to the lane conditions and relative to the ability of the bowler.

Let’s make these two guys co-bowlers of the week, they deserve it. Great bowling everybody!

Team of the Week:

Greg McDaniel (10), 805

Ken Espersen (1), 738

Bryan Mason (11), 692

Gordon Sim (12), 685

Jeff Miller (8), 665

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