Gilliland shoots 300; Four hit 700
Larry Mason

Sept. 14, 2004 - Two weeks ago, no one could find a 700 series, so the five-year string on uninterrupted 700 series enjoyed by Classic Lanes, was interrupted. During that week, 14 individuals came close to the mark, with two sharing the honors for the week's highest series, Koy Cline and Wes Campbell. Both men shot 687s. This last week, Mike Gilliland started a new string of 700s, shooting a 718, while recording the center's first perfect game of the season.

On Tuesday night, during mixed league action, Gilliland shot games of 237, 300 and 181 to finish the evening with his 718 series. It was the first of the week's collection of four 700s and the first honor score of the new season. To revive the Classic Lanes string of 700s, Mike fired 24 strikes, eight spares and left two open frames. For Gilliland, this is the fifth perfect game of his career. Gilliland is currently averaging 213, which ranks 13th on the high average list, is in the first position on the high game list, and ranks fourth on the high series list with his 718.

Of the four 700s rolled this week, the highest was tossed by David Vansickle on Thursday night when he rolled a 779 series, 21 pins shy of the recording the center's ninth 800 series. Vansickle shot games of 278, 224 and 277. A lone spare in frame seven of game one is all that stood between David and his second perfect score. A lone spare in the second frame of game three interfered with Vansickle's attempt at perfection in game three.

The single most impressive thing about David's performance is the fact that he has an injured tendon in his bowling hand, which only allows him to fit his ring finger and pinky into his ball, rather than the traditional index and ring fingers. It may be that Vansickle has found a new way to deliver a ball, one that hasn't been used before now. At any rate, David shot 30 strikes, four spares and left one open frame, a split in the eighth frame of game two.

Mark Smith came in a close second to Vansickle on Thursday, shooting a 745 series consisting of games of 245, 224 and 276. As was the case with David, Mark missed being perfect in game three due to a single spare, thrown in the fifth frame. In collecting his 700, Mark threw 24 strikes, seven spares and left one frame unfilled. Mark is carrying the center top average, a 237, has tossed the second-highest series, a 745, and the fifth-highest game, a 276. Mark and Darreyl Dixon are the only bowlers who have thrown multiple 700s so far this season. Mark registered a 661 on Thursday, two weeks back.

Vincent Smith, who shot a 709 with games of 225, 259 and 225, registered the week's final 700 series. Like Vansickle, Vincent has a physical problem with his ball delivery hand that causes him to throw the ball in a somewhat unorthodox manner. It doesn't appear to bother him all that much, however, given the fact that he is carrying a 219 average, which is the fifth-highest average of the season. Smith's 709 ranks sixth on the high series list, and his 259 high game ranks 10th in that category.

Vincent and his teammates put a whipping on their opponents on Thursday night, shooting a 3,323 scratch team series. Duane Anspon shot a 608, Steve Edwards a 635, Tarry Davidson a 693, Harold McClure a 678 to go along with Smith's 709. The team averaged 664 per man. Twelve of the 15 games Smith's team shot were 200 or higher. They were rolling against Vansickle's 779, and still won by four points. David's team could only muster a scratch team series of 2,999. Vince's squad shot the highest team series of the night, and it was the highest team series of the season.

In the week when the 700 series string came to an end, Cline and Campbell both recorded 687s, Wes on Sunday and Koy on Thursday. Campbell's effort consisted of games of 236, 193 and 258.

On Sunday evening, Campbell rolled a 677, followed by a 684 on Tuesday and a 691 on Thursday. All in all, it was a very productive week for Mr. Campbell. Wes currently ranks second on the high average list with a 226, eighth on the high series list with his 691 and is second on the high game list with a 279.

Larry Siegert was another of the individuals who tried to save the string. He shot a 684 on Sunday of that week, missing the mark by a mere 16 pins. Last Sunday he rolled a 661, followed by a 645 on Tuesday. Larry is currently carrying a 219 average, which ranks sixth on the high average list. His 684 ranks 10th on the high series list. His highest game of the season thus far is a 239.

In the last two weeks some 19 individuals have flirted with 700s. Turk Morgan hit a 683. Larry Stovall and Neldon Smith rolled 679s. Alan Roberts bowled a 678, as did Harold McClure, who also shot a 693 with the Watkins team. Vansickle shot a 671 on Thursday two weeks ago, to go along with his 779 of this week. Nick Palmer logged a 674 this week, while Mike Fletcher shot a 668 two weeks ago and a 670 this week.

Rounding out our list of top men over the last two weeks are: Nathan Crist (669), Joe Kirkpatrick (667 and 656), David Strain (667, 637 and 626), Michael Carter (665) Jesse Haggerty (663), Bruce Michaelson (658), David Soeder (657), Jason Keller (652), James Parmer (650 and 626), Danny Burns and Cliff Whitney (649), Keith Ethridge (647), Ace Wiginton (644 and 643), David Gholson (642), and Ray Howser (640).

Tammy Haley was the top lady bowler two weeks ago, rolling a 642 on Tuesday night, shooting games of 201, 209 and 232. This week, the ladies' honors went to Debbie Carter and her 624. Debbie shot games of 221, 227 and 176. Debbie is the center's top averaging lady with a 187. Tammy's 186 average is number two among the ladies.

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Larry Mason writes a weekly column on the bowling leagues at Classic Lanes. His column runs on Tuesday.

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