Crankers carry Tuesday Championship
Larry Mason

Aug. 12, 2005 - The Crankers came through in the clutch to capture Tuesday’s summer mixed league championship. Three teams were vying for the season’s top honors as play began Tuesday evening with the Cliff Hangers holding a one game lead over the Crankers and Misfits Forever. The Crankers and Misfits were tied in wins and losses, but the Crankers held a 500-pin advantage over the Misfits in total pins.

Unlike the Sunday mixed league championship, where the winners were known before Sunday’s play even began, there was nothing “sewn up” about Tuesday’s championship. The Cliff Hangers started Tuesday’s play leading both the Crankers and the Misfits Forever by a single game. The Crankers were ahead of the Misfits by a mere 532 pins (27,643 to 27,111) in the battle for second place. In this the championship round, the first and second place teams competed against one another, and the third and fourth place teams did the same.

To take the championship outright, the Crankers had to win three of Tuesday’s four games. They took Game 1 by 148 pins, and at this point, they were tied with the Cliff Hangers. They captured Game 2 by 69 pins, and now held a one-game lead over the Cliff Hangers.

Meanwhile, on lanes three and four, the Misfits and Charlie’s Gang were in a tussle for Game 1 of their match. Ultimately, the Misfits took the contest by 17 pins, which kept them tied with the Crankers going into Game 2. But, while the Crankers were winning Game 2 of their contest, Charlie's Gang was thumping the Misfits by the tune of 60 pins, dropping the latter to one game behind the Crankers. With two points still up for grabs, the Misfits still had a shot at the championship, but they had to hope the Crankers would founder in Game 3.

The Misfits went on to win Game 3 of their match, but so did the Crankers. At this point, the Crankers had overtaken the Cliff Hangers, and had held off the challenge of the Misfits to clinch the Tuesday championship by a single game over the Misfits Forever squad and three games over the Cliff Hangers.

Leading the way for the Crankers was Wes Campbell, who put together yet another 700 series, a 700 even, shooting games of 234, 214 and 252. Wes was 26 pins over his series average. Jason Keller contributed a 684 series to the Crankers' cause with games of 237, 199 and 248, 21 pins over his series average.

However, as good as these guys were, Kari Kramer was perhaps the biggest contributor to the Crankers victory, shooting 122 pins over her series average. Kari started Tuesday’s contest with a 139 average, equating to a 417 series for three games. All this little lady did on Tuesday was shoot a 163, 168 and 198, games all above her average, to end the evening with a 529 series. Her average for the night was a 176. She rolled both her highest game and her highest series of the summer at a time when the team needed the most help. Kari finished the season as the runner-up for the league’s Most Improved Bowler award for women.

Jason Keller walked away with most of Tuesday’s awards. He claimed the high game, a 300, the high series, a 782, and the high average, a 221. About the only thing Keller did not get to lay claim to was the men’s version of the league’s Most Improved Bowler award. That honor went to John Stewart, who improved his average by three pins.

On the ladies side of the ledger, Debbie Carter took most of the honors. She captured the high game, a 246, the high series, a 660, and was runner-up in the high average with a 176.

Barbara Siegert was runner-up to Debbie in the high game category (242), and on the high series list (657). Barbara claimed the league’s top average for a lady with a 184, and the league’s Most Improved Bowler award with an eight-pin increase.

A large number of these folks will return to the lanes when the fall schedule commences Aug. 30.

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

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