WE-3 captures Thursday night men's trio championship
Larry Mason

Aug. 17, 2005 - Going into Thursday’s final round of the men’s trio league, three teams had a valid shot at claiming the summer’s championship, WE-3, the Gutter Rats and the Terror. WE-3 and the Gutter Rats had identical records of 34 wins and 21 losses, while the Terror came into the night with 33.5 wins and 21.5 losses. Any of the three could claim the top spot.

The two top teams, WE-3 and the Gutter Rats, moved onto lanes 1 and 2, while the Terror and M.A.G. prepared to do battle on lane 3 and 4. After the first game, WE-3 held a 17-pin lead over the Gutter Rats, and the Terror had moved to a 28-pin lead over M.A.G. WE-3 now had 35 wins, the Gutter Rats still were at 34 and the Terror had climbed to 34.5, overtaking the Gutter Rats by a half-game. M.A.G. stayed at 31 wins.

When Game 2 concluded, WE-3 had jumped on the Gutter Rats by an additional 89 pins, and had moved to 36 wins. The Gutter Rats were still at 34. Meanwhile, the Terror took Game 2 from M.A.G. by 54 pins, moving to 35.5, and M.A.G. remained at 31.

When Game 3 was over, WE-3 had topped the Gutter Rats by an additional 60 pins, and had increased their won loss record to 37 wins and 21 losses. The Terror, stumbled in Game 3, losing by 23 pins, which left them with 35.5 wins, one and one half games behind WE-3. For the Terror to remain in contention, they had to win Game 4 and total pins. For WE-3 to win, they had to win Game 4, or total pins. They had a 166-pin lead over the Gutter Rats at this point, but there was still a mathematical possibility that the Terror could slip in and steal the show if WE-3 faltered.

In Game 4, WE-3’s lead off bowler, Ace Wiginton shot a 217, his Rats counterpart, Eric Barba, tossed a 189. The WE-3's second bowler, Joe Kirkpatrick, tossed a 233, his opposition, Andrew Howser, rolled a 217. The 3's anchor bowler, Cliff Whitney, tossed a 258, while Ray Howser collected a 225 for the Rats. WE-3 won the game by 25 pins, and took total pins by 191 sticks. WE-3 won the league championship with 39 wins and 21 losses.

The Terror, the team of Matt Arnold, Buddy McClendon and Doug Brann, lost game four to M.A.G., the team of Duane Anspon, Dave Gholson and Harold McClure, but still claimed total pins to wind up with 36.5 wins and second place in the summer league. The King Pins and the Gutter Rats ended the season in a tie with 34 wins apiece, but the King Pins claimed third place by virtue of total pins for the season, 30,790 to 27,554.

This league had four ring-winning games, three 300s and a 299. Mike Gilliland rolled two perfect games, Wayne Womack one, and Dave Gholson hit the 299. Joe Kirkpatrick had the top four-game series, a 1,026, while Wes Campbell claimed high average with a 227. Andrew Howser, who improved his average by 10 pins, won the league Most Improved Bowler award.

The men’s fall league schedule begins on Sept. 1.

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

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