Wilcox, and Miller place first in the USBC Women's State Tournament

Larry Mason

Sept. 30, 2007 - On June 3, two local Sulphur Springs bowlers, Rhonda K. Wilcox and Debra K. Miller, competed in the Ladies State Bowling Tournament over in the Fort Worth area. The ladies kept telling us that they had placed in the competition, but, not having any hard copy finals information, we kind of let this one slip by. Now that the needed information has become available, we thought it was time to tell you about it.

Wilcox and Miller went to battle with some of the best lady bowlers in the state of Texas. The competition was separated into divisions, by average. Rhonda and Debbie bowled in division three's competition, starting at 7:30 in the morning. One has to get up pretty darn early to be ready to bowl at 7:30, but our ladies did it - and did well in the process. Bear in mind that this was a two-day event, with both morning and afternoon sessions, which meant there were hundreds of bowlers competing, representing women's bowling associations from across the state.

Back in June, Rhonda entered play with a 150 average, Debbie a 160. By way of comparison, were this tournament being held today, Rhonda would enter competition with a 160 average and Debbie, a 179. By virtue of their combined averages in June's tournament, they were granted 356 pins of handicap.

The stage was now set. Rhonda and Debbie walked to lanes 31 and 32, and prepared to compete. If I'm correct, the competitors were allowed just one practice ball per lane, then competition began in earnest. In Game 1, Debbie bowled a 221, 56 pins over her single game average, while Ms. Wilcox contributed a 213, 53 pins above her average. The twosome went into Game 2 toting a 434 combined scratch total.

In Game 2, Debbie slipped a bit, shooting a 148, 17 pins under her average, while teammate Rhonda collected 199 pins, 39 pins over her average. The team finished their second game with a combined total of 347 pins, which, when combined with those 434 pins from Game 1, gave them 781 total pins for their first two games of the tournament.

The team excelled in their third game, with Wilcox posting the team's best game of the tournament, a 224, while Miller rebounded from her second game slip-up by shooting a 205, to give the team a 429 combined total for Game 3. Adding everything together, the squad finished the event with 1,210 total pins, which grew to 1,566 pins when those 356 pins of handicap were added. That total was good enough to stand up for the remainder of the tournament, giving the division championship to Wilcox and Miller.

Rhonda and Debbie competed in the tournament's singles event as well as doubles. Rhonda shot a 148 in her first game, a 153 in her second and a 181 in her third, to finish the singles event with a 482 scratch, two pins over average. When her handicap was added, Rhonda had finished the tournament with a 673.

Debbie rolled a 179 in Game 1, a 159 in Game 2, and a 168 in Game 3, giving her a 506 series, 26 pins over her average. When Debbie's handicap was factored into her total, it grew to a 671.

Rhonda Wilcox is no newcomer to winning competitions such as this one. She won the Sulphur Springs' Ladies City Tournament a couple of years ago. Currently, she carries that 160 average, has a high series of 545 and a high game of 203. Look for her to improve in all three areas.

Ms. Miller has been steadily improving her game, raising her average to the 179 already mentioned, and it's only going to get better. She ranks sixth on the ladies' high average board. Debbie's best series in the 2007/'08 fall season, just six weeks old, is a 605, fifth on the ladies' high series chart, while her best game is a 246, second on the ladies' high game list. Expect Debbie's totals to increase, also.

In closing, congratulations to Rhonda and Debbie, and thank you both for representing Sulphur Springs so very well.� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � �

Larry Mason writes about the bowlers and bowling action at Classic Lanes.

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