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Huntington USBC Championships rolling at Colonial

Jan. 26, 2013 @ 11:30 PM

Way to go Huntington USBC members. A challenged was issued to step up and enter the fifth Huntington USBC Championships and you responded. The economy is tough right now, you've got future events such as the Elks National, West Virginia USBC Championships and USBC Championships in Reno to finance, yet you forked out $63 to cover this tournament.

Huntington USBC board members coaxed 40 teams and 78 bowlers for singles and doubles. The tournament began Saturday with singles and doubles at Colonial Lanes. The first team event shift is at 1 p.m. Sunday at Strike Zone. There'll be 18 four-person teams competing. The same rotation is next Saturday and Sunday. Strike Zone has 24 lanes and 22 will be used for the final squad in team event.

One bonus is a new ball gets raffled off during each shift. Thanks to Steve Todd of Storm/Roto Grip, Champion Pro Shop in Ironton, Ron Addison of Brunswick and the two centers for securing those prizes. Next year, there's a chance one or two sponsors will emerge and that means more money in the prize fund before the first ball is rolled.

This is encouraging. The plea now is for more bowlers to step up next year and force the Huntington USBC to add second shifts. Gary Lafon, a board member and tournament participant, said he wouldn't mind the additional workload.

PBA HISTORY: The PBA departs from its traditional Tour schedule for a live two-hour telecast of the first round of the historic PBA League from Detroit at noon Sunday on ESPN. The eight-team PBA League features celebrity owners and an all-star roster of PBA Tour players.

Sean Rash, 2012 PBA Player of the Year, and his Brooklyn Styles are top seed in the stepladder finals. Rash, Ryan Ciminelli, Ryan Shafer, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Jason Sterner finished No. 1 after four rounds of team qualifying. Team owner is Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams.

The New York City WTT KingPins, owned by tennis great Billie Jean King, qualified No. 2. Team members are Pete Weber, Tommy Jones, Scott Norton, Jack Jurek and John Szczerbinski.

Hometown favorite Motown Muscle, owned by former Pittsburgh Steelers standout Jerome Bettis, came in third. Mike Fagan, Tom Smallwood, Mike Scroggins, Ronnie Russell and Jesse Buss make up that team.

Taking fourth was the Silver Lake (Calif.) Atom Splitter. Comedian Chris Hardwick is team owner. Team members are Chris Barnes, Dom Barrett, Josh Blanchard, Stuart Williams and Nathan Bohr.

The Dallas Strikers, owned by NFL All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens, secured the fifth spot by 10 pins over NBA all-star guard Chris Paul's L.A. X. Norm Duke, Rhino Page, Amleto Monacelli, Bryon Smith and Mike Machuga make up the Dallas team.

Based upon total points earned over five PBA League telecasts, the top four teams will compete for the Elias Cup in Indianapolis on April 7. The Elias Cup telecast will air on Sunday, April 7.

JAPAN CUP: Mika Koivuniemi won the Round 1 Japan Cup Bowling title last Sunday in Tokyo. In the final match, Koivuniemi beat Yoshihiro Kaji, 268-214. In the quarterfinals, he beat Yoshihiro Sakuraba, 228-171, and needed extra frames to oust Sean Rash in the semfiinals. They tied at 223 and Koivuniemi won the roll-off, 39-38.

In other quarterfinal matches, Osku Palermaa beat Takeshi Suda, 268-257; Kaji topped Wes Malott, 226-213; and Rash beat Parker Bohn, 223-202. In the other semifinal match, Kaji beat Palermaa, 235-225.

SUPER BOWL SHOOTOUT: The Super Bowl Shootout is scheduled at 11 a.m. Sunday at Shawnee Lanes in Chillicothe, Ohio. The "Autobahn", one of Kegel's navigation patterns in the Sports Series will be used. Entry fee $60. Four-game qualifier followed by match play.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.

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