King Pins capture Men's Commercial League title

Larry Mason

June 2, 2007 - Four teams vied for the Men's Commercial League title on Thursday, May 17, the King Pins, Watkins, the Marble Shop and Classic Lanes. When all the bowling was done, the King Pins, Mike Fletcher, David Strain, Keith Ethridge, Mark Smith and Jason Keller, had themselves a championship.

When play commenced, the odds-on favorite to take the Men's Commercial League title had to be the King Pins, but not by much. The King Pins boasted four bowlers who were carrying averages in the 200s, Jason Keller, 222, Mike Fletcher, 207, Mark Smith, 205, and Keith Ethridge, 201. David Strain, the King Pins fifth bowler, was averaging 195.

The King Pins' closest competition, on paper, was anticipated to come from the Watkins squad, which had three bowlers toting 200 or better averages, Tarry Davison, 223, Harold McClure, 208, and Vincent Smith, 205. Watkins' two remaining bowlers, Steve Edwards and Duane Anspon, carried averages of 196 and 187, respectively. Overall, only 11 pins separated these two teams, with the King Pins' game average sitting at 1,030 and Watkins' at 1,019.

Classic Lanes' game average, when play began, was a 989. Only one bowler was carrying a 200 average, D.J. Kast, at 203. The four remaining members averaged in the 190s. Wes Campbell, 198, Scott Roach and Joe Kirkpatrick, 197, and Turk Morgan, 194.

The Marble Shop, the night's fourth competitor, had a single game average of 928. This squad had one bowler averaging in the 200s, Darreyl Dixon, who carried a 213. Two bowlers were averaging in the 190s, Greg Pullen, 198, and Charles Harred, 191. Colby Pullen, the center's youngest league bowler, stated play with a 171 average, and Shawn Ashby a 155.

And, when it was all over, the teams finished the night's action in the same order as their single game averages, the King Pins first, Watkins second, Classic Lanes third and the Marble Store, fourth. But there was some good bowling done through the night, so let's talk about that.

In Game 1 of the championship round, Watkins served notice that they had come to compete. They shot a 1,121 scratch, and when their 24 pins of handicap were factored in, they had a total pin count of 1,145, and held a 15-pin lead over the King Pins. The Watkins team averaged 224 in Game 1, with Duane Anspon leading the way with a 242. Harold McClure followed Anspon with a 236, while Tarry Davison chipped in with a 226, Vincent Smith a 214, and Steve Edwards, a 203. Things were looking good for the Watkins team.

The King Pins, in Game 1, shot pretty well, themselves. The squad tossed a 1,114 scratch, and when their 16 pins of handicap were added, they had a total pins count of 1,130. The squad averaged 222. David Strain led the King Pins with 248 in Game 1, followed by Keith Ethridge's 242, Mark Smith's 227, Mike Fletcher's 219 and Jason Keller's 178.

Classic Lanes struggled in the first game, shooting 38 pins below their single game average. Turk Morgan and Wes Campbell made an effort to stay in the running, shooting 220 and 210, respectively, but Roach was 26 pins below his average, Kirkpatrick 34 pins below his, and Kast 16 pins below his. Their first game total was a 999, with handicap, leaving them way back in the pack.

The Marble Shop folks shot a 1,021 with their handicap added, with Charles Harred leading the way with a 233. Darreyl Dixon finished Game 1 with a 203, while Greg Pullen hit a 183, Shawn Ashby a 158 and Colby Pullen a 147.

At the end of Game 1, Watkins held a 15-pin lead over the King Pins, a 124-pin lead over the Marble Shop and a 146-pin lead over Classic Lanes. The table appeared to be set for a head-to-head struggle between Watkins and the King Pins.

In Game 2 of the night's contest, the King Pins continued to roll in the 1,100s, shooting a 1,106 scratch, 1,122 handicap, compared to Watkins' 1,010 scratch, 1,034 with handicap. The King Pins jumped into first place in the competition, besting Watkins by 73 pins, the Marble Shop by 93 pins, and Classic Lanes by 279.

The highpoint of Game 2 belonged to Charles Harred, who just happened to shoot his first sanctioned perfect game. Before the night was over, Charlie would also shoot one of three 700 series shot in the night's competition.

In Game 3, Watkins got a second wind, shooting a 1,090 scratch, which grew to a 1,114 with handicap, compared to the King Pins' 1,038 scratch, 1,054 handicap. Watkins was led by Vincent Smith's 257 and Harold McClure's 256, but, in spite of Vincent and Harold's efforts, Watkins fell short of the title by 13 pins, 3,306-to-3.293.

Classic Lanes, which was languishing in last place when Game 3 began, managed to put together some pretty good scores in the final game, led by “old-timer” Turk Morgan and his 268. Joe Kirkpatrick pitched in with a 249, followed by D.J. Kast's 213, and Scott Roach's 204. As a result of their Game 3 play, Classic Lanes jumped past the Marble Shop to claim third place honors, 3,218-to-3,194.

In addition to Charlie Harred's 300 honor game and 717 series, and his 144 pins over his series average for the night, there were several other bowlers who made their presence known in the league's championship round. David Stain was one.

Strain was very instrumental in the King Pins winning the championship, shooting a 726 series with games of 248, 276 and 202. David finished the night 141 pins over his series norm. Had David not bowled so well, things would have been a whole lot different.

Turk Morgan's third game 268 was largely responsible for Classic Lanes being able to by-pass the Marble Shop for third place. Mr. Morgan recorded a 682 series, the highest shot by any Classic Lanes' bowler. Mr. Morgan finished the night 100 pins over his series average.

For the evening, these bowlers registered three 700s, nine 600s. That's a pretty good night's work.

Summer leagues are presently taking reservations for individual and team slots. Play will begin in the first week in June, in most cases. Call or come by the center to claim one.

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

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