In the Pocket: Wagoner does best work when rolling in tournaments

Photo providedSteve Wagoner of Broadalbin leads the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League with a 243 average.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Photo provided

Steve Wagoner of Broadalbin leads the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League with a 243 average.

Steve Wagoner’s work ethic and relatively simple-looking game are throwbacks to a different era. One of the Capital Region’s finest tournament bowlers doesn’t usually shine as brightly in league play, but he’s currently leading the high-powered Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League with an impressive 243 average.

The Broadalbin native will turn 43 years old in February, and he already has a Hall of Fame resume. Yet almost all of Wagoner’s accomplishments and accolades come in tournament competition.

“I don’t stand out in leagues, and I never have,” Wagoner said. “I’m not a standout league bowler. An average title, to me, doesn’t prove anything. I’m about winning. That’s all I care about. When I show up on Monday nights, I’ll give my team 110%, whether I shoot a 560 or an 820. I just don’t give up. But I just don’t put a lot of emphasis on bowling in league.

“Being a tournament bowler and a league bowler, I know the lanes are much easier in league. The more leagues a tournament bowler competes in, the more bad habits you create, in my opinion. League shots are more forgiving, and I think a tournament bowler can get lazy sometimes when he bowls in leagues.”

Unlike some of his peers, Wagoner still practices more than he actually competes.

“I practice three days a week,” he noted. “I work hard at it. I didn’t get where I am without a lot of hard work. I bowl in league Monday nights, but I practice on Wednesdays and Fridays at Towne Bowling Academy. When I practice, it’s not just repeating shots. I like to practice uncomfortable situations, like playing deep inside or using a ball that isn’t supposed to hook a lot. Things like that make you better.”

Wagoner sometimes gets overlooked when comparing the area’s best keglers, because he doesn’t try to hook the ball from gutter to gutter.

“I was never taught to hook the ball much. I just do my thing, and it’s been working for me for a long time,” he said. “My game is pretty simple, and it’s not too complicated. I try to keep it as simple as I can because the more things you try to do with a bowling ball, the more it creates trouble. I’ll make adjustments, and I’ll make moves on the lanes that I’ve learned over the years. In order to be competitive, you’ve got to be able to do everything. I hook it when I have to, but I throw it straight when I can.

“I think I’m pretty well-rounded. I’ve developed a few things that seem to work for me over the years.”

One recent change in his equipment has helped Wagoner become even more of a threat.

“At the end of last season, right before the pandemic hit, I changed a few things. I’ve become good friends with [PBA Tour standout] Ryan Shafer, and he suggested some new pitch changes for my fingers. The ball sits on my hand better, and it feels more comfortable for me.”

Despite his relative lack of league competition to boost his stats, Wagoner has piled up 59 perfect games and 27 800 triples. His best triple was an 848 at the old Super 30 lanes, and his top four-game performance was a 1,096.

His tournament credentials are even more impressive. Wagoner won 15 times in the now-defunct Huck Finn tournament series, and he also owns 20 victories on the old Northern Bowlers Association scratch tour. He’s cashed numerous times in PBA regionals, and also owns two victories in the extremely competitive New England Bowling Association tour.

“They are harder than a regional to win because they have so many bowlers competing,” he said.

The former Huck Finn Jack Scaccia Memorial champion is also a former winner of the annual New Year’s Day Tournament, now held at Kingpin Alley’s Family Fun Center in South Glens Falls. He’s also a former Joe & Tom Donato Scratch Singles Tournament titlist (2003).

He still believes his most notable career achievement was qualifying for match play when the PBA Tour visited the Capital Region at Spare Time Clifton Park in 2005. He earned $2,500 in that PBA Empire State Open, when he lost to Mike Scroggins in the best-of-seven Round of 32.

“I’ve won a lot, but making the PBA Tour match play as an amateur in a national stop is still my favorite achievement,” he said. “That showed I could bowl with the best guys in the world. That’s still my favorite memory in bowling.”

Wagoner considers himself to be a versatile bowler who can compete on any oil condition.

“I’ll bowl on anything. I don’t care,” he said. “It’s good to know the lanes and what each ball is supposed to do. For league, I might bring five bowling balls with me, but for tournaments, I bring the whole kitchen sink. When the conditions are tough and tight, I’ve learned how to slow the ball down, and with my new pitches in my finger holes, I’m getting the ball to roll through the pins. I’ve worked hard on my game, and it shows. My carry is a lot better now.”

Wagoner also credits Marty Capullo Jr. and his wife Debbie with helping him to become the elite bowler he is today.

“Marty and Debbie sponsor me, and I can’t thank them enough,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I bowl league at their place. They are more like family than friends to me. It’s an awesome relationship. They let me practice at their place all the time.”

Like all bowlers, Wagoner said the pandemic has affected him, especially since he prefers tournament play.

“I want to bowl as much as I can and win something. There’s not much to bowl in right now,” he said. “Whatever these new rules and regulations allow me to do, I’ll be there. The pandemic has put a damper on how many tournaments I can compete in. My parents are older, and I’ve got to be careful. I pick and choose where I go and compete, especially on the road.”

STRIKES & SPARES

Don Amyot and his uncle Tom Amyot picked up an impressive victory in Sunday’s Amateur League Bowling Association of New York handicap doubles event at Spare Time Latham. They combined for a 1,410 handicap total, with Don Amyot shooting a strong 686 scratch and 77-year-old Tom adding a 473. They split $740. The other top teams included Steve Peacock with Jesse Fonda (1,379, $400), Pete Acompara with Eric Osterhoudt (1,357, $300), Rich Mull with Brian Collis (1,354, $280), Bob Newbegin with Joe Pekrol (1,354, $240) and Don Stalpinski with Rit Fazzone (1,341, $160). The next tournament will be a singles event Jan. 17 at Uncle Sam Lanes.

Town & Country Lanes held its third and final sweeper series event on Sunday, and Jacob Rivers won with a 300 game and a huge 1,094 scratch four-game series. Joe DeVellis (1,041), Art Van Buren (1,010) and Bill Treadwell (1,005) rounded out the top four with handicap. Van Buren also rolled a perfect game and won a $350 bonus for taking the bowler of the series award.

The Sportsman’s Bowl Eliminator Sweeper, scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled due to tournament director Chris Fawcett being in quarantine.

The 11th annual Handicap Team Tournament continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Top prize is $4,000. Entry fee is $160 per team (plus an optional singles of $15), and handicap is 90% of 225, with a maximum of 50 pins per game. Call Towne Bowling Academy at 518-355-3939 for reservations.

Towne Bowling Academy is also offering two other major tournaments this month. The Empire State Youth 2020 Holiday Open is for juniors on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, with bowlers able to walk in any time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will be boys and girls under-18, under-15 and under-12 age divisions. Entry fee is $30. Also set at Towne will be a New Year’s Eve Tournament Dec. 31 at 5 p.m. Entry fee is $40 per person. Bowlers will roll four games, moving pairs after two games. Handicap will be 75% of 220. One in five will cash.

Uncle Sam Lanes is hosting the 10th annual Digger’s Doubles Tournament Saturday and Sunday. Entry fee is $130 per team. One bowler must be older than 50 and the other must be younger than 50. First place will be $4,000. Call Uncle Sam Lanes (518-271-7800) for reservations.

Also set for Uncle Sam Lanes is its Three-Person Team Handicap Christmas Tournament is set for Dec. 23 (2 p.m.), Dec. 27 (7 p.m.), Dec. 30 (2 p.m.), Dec. 31 (2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.) and Jan. 7 (noon and 3 p.m.). Entry fee is $30 per bowler. Handicap is 90% of 220. Top prize is $1,200 guaranteed, based on 100 teams.

Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center in South Glens Falls is hosting its New Year’s Day Tournament at 11 a.m. First place will be $2,000, and second place will be $1,200. Entry fee is $125. The format will be a six-game mini marathon. Also included, using the same scores but with separate entry fees, will be a three-game sweeper and a 12-game doubles event. Call 518-793-9606 for more information.

The 17th annual Schenectady-Scotia Women’s 500 Club Snowball Bowl Scotch Doubles tournament will be held Jan. 17 at 1 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. The tournament is open to all members of the 500 Club. Anyone who has bowled a 500 triple can enter by joining the club. Entry fee is $17 per person plus a $5 entry fee for new members. Applications are available at all three Schenectady USBC bowling centers: Boulevard Bowl, Sportsman’s Bowl and Towne Bowling Academy. For more information contact Ursula Pasquerella (518-357-0914).

MAJOR BOWLING

Mike Guidarelli bounced back from an illness hiatus to roll a pair of 279s en route to a 793 triple, and Chris Smith shot a 743 to pace the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

League average leader Steve Wagoner drilled a 783 triple, Mark Kuhlkin hammered a 759, Liz Kuhlkin rolled a 290-718 and Rick Speckhardt recorded a perfect game in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Ryan Karabin fired a 256-935 four-game series for the featured performance in the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl.

Don Herrington shot a 268-979 four-game series, Joe VanDerLinden ripped a 951 Chuckie Schissler tossed a 276-947, Tom Rogers rolled a perfect game and Liz Kuhlkin hammered a 268-934 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Tim Grant produced a 1,035 four-game series, including games of 279 and 288, to lead the Amsterdam Men’s City League Monday night at Kelly’s Imperial Lanes.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings

J&F Lawn Care 29-10, DeCrescente Distributing 28-11, Towne Bowling Academy 26-13, Downs Roofing 25-14, Syron’s Meat Market 25-14, 20 North 23-16, Vito Sindoni & Son 22-17, TSS Printing & Awards 22-17, Team 4 19-20, D&D Lawncare 12-27, KKV Recovery 12-27, Action Bowling Supply 12-27, Rollarama 9-30, Home Tech Electric 9-30.

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Match summaries

D&D Lawncare (0)

Karrie Blake 207-197-201 — 605, Tom Rogers 218-268-185 — 671, Bill Judge 193-192-212 — 597, Chad Propper 234-203-176 — 613. Totals: 852-860-774 — 2,486.

DeCrescente Distributing (3)

Jessica Aiezza 245-203-249 — 697, Mark Kuhlkin 276-237-246 — 759, Lee Aiezza 173-279-225 — 677, Liz Kuhlkin 290-227-201 — 718. Totals: 984-946-921 — 2,851.

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20 North (1)

Tommy Donato 192-188-205 — 585, Kenny Livengood 245-247-186 — 678, Marc LeClair 215-170-153 — 538, Chris Radliff 237-181-280 — 698. Totals: 889-786-824 — 2,499.

Towne Bowling Academy (2)

Tom Earl 268-236-235 — 739, Tom DiBell 147-244-279 — 670 Marty Capullo Jr. 249-232-224 — 705, Debbie Capullo 181-20-221 — 682. Totals: 845-992-959 — 2,796.

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Syron’s Meat Market (1)

Ken Wilkins 227-141-164 — 532, Brandon Wolf 246-205-171 — 622, Don Herrington 232-257-238 — 727, Ken LaBelle Jr. 186-244-183 — 613. Totals: 891-847-756 — 2,494.

Rollarama (2)

Jacob Rotter 221-188 — 409, Ryan Gahan 205 single, Keith Lawyer 215-197-183 — 595, Dan Rotter 194-224-191 — 609, Tony Palumbo 219-236-199 — 654. Totals: 833-878-761 — 2,472.

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Home Tech Electric (1)

Jenn Schissler 226-251-192 — 669, Chuck Schissler 173-205-212 — 590, Ronnie Zadrozny 240-224-211 — 675, Gabe Criscuolo 179-275-149 — 603. Totals: 818-955-764 — 2,537.

Team 4 (2)

Cassius Boyd 204-181-183 — 568, John Mauceri 258-254-199 — 711, Marc Fowler 241-214-224 — 679, Charlie Provost 244-243-228 — 715. Totals: 947-892-834 — 2,673.

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Action Bowling Supply (0)

Rit Fazzone 179-213-185 — 577, Bob Messick 224-222-214 — 660, Natasha Bidwell 191-179-203 — 573, Matt Fazzone 24-216-207 — 672. Totals: 843-830-809 — 2,482.

TSS Printing & Awards (3)

Dwayne Coonradt 192-213-220 — 625, Paul Dumas 235-244-194 — 673, Rick Speckhardt 300-220-204 — 724, Steve Wagoner 258-256-269 — 783. Totals: 985-933-887 — 2,805.

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Downs Roofing (2)

Chris Trinkle 215-236-224 — 675, Nick Barnes 203-239-188 — 630, Ryan Karabin 213-245-204 — 662, Billy Wigand 279-246-217 — 742. Totals: 910-966-833 — 2,709.

Vito Sindoni & Son (1)

Scott Chastenay 235-212-233 — 680, Mike DiCerbo 188-188-205 — 581, Rich Strath 203-230-241 — 674, Joe VanDerLinden 258-265-234 — 757. Totals: 884-895-913 — 2,692.

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KKV Recovery (1)

Nick DiCerbo 229-246-259 — 734, Vinny Struffolino 238-223-148 — 609, Jackie Malone 177-253-194 — 624, Bob Evans 238-214-196 — 648. Totals: 882-936-797 — 2,615.

J&F Lawn Care (2)

Jason Brown 209-204-201 — 614, R.J. Martinez 258-234-203 — 695, Nick Stricos 248-245-219 — 712, Steve Hallenbeck 193-227-257 — 677. Totals: 908-910-880 — 2,698.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings

Next Level Detailing 36-12, Metroland Photo 34-14, Universal Auto Parts 33-15, Muny Grille 32-16, Mike’s Hot Dogs 32-16, Rollin’ Smoke BBQ 27-21, Bob’s Pro Shop 27-21, The Appliance Specialist 21-27, Café One-Eleven 18-30, IDID 14-34, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 12-36, Girgenti’s Café & More 5-43.

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Match summaries

Universal Auto Parts (4)

Andy Smith 299-195-200 — 694, Bill Heaphy III 225-257-217 — 699, Chris Smith 235-265-243 — 743, Chris Fedden 267-174-244 — 685. Totals: 1,026-891-904 — 2,821.

Café One-Eleven (0)

Joe DiBiase 248-184-187 — 619, Joe O’Toole 209-218-191 — 618, Cory Buckley 215-169-247 — 631, Tyler Mochrie 200-214-232 — 646. Totals: 872-785-857 — 2,514.

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Next Level Detailing (3)

Mike Guidarelli 279-279-235 — 793, Ernie Porter 161-235-205 — 601, Tom Siatkowski 216-277-223 — 716, Jim Parker 198-278-257 — 733. Totals: 854-1,069-920 — 2,843.

Muny Grille (1)

Jay Diamond 246-238-192 — 676, Dave Bingham 269-233-176 — 678, John Musto Jr. 258-280-201 — 739, Jamie Diamond 216-205-218 — 639. Totals: 989-956-787 — 2,732.

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Metroland Photo (4)

Bob Tuttle 213-202-217 — 632, Steve Renzi 267-200-196 — 663, Mike Gallitelli 207-246-207 — 660, B.J. Smith Jr. 245-205-265 — 715. Totals: 932-853-885 — 2,670.

Rollin’ Smoke BBQ (0)

John Leone 188-209-219 — 616, Bill Carl 248-211-194 — 653, Kalynn Carl 256-180-209 — 645, Justin Carl 2095-224-182 — 611. Totals: 897-824-804 — 2,525.

———

The Appliance Specialist (0)

Sean O’Flarity 199-182-172 — 553, Mike Liberatore 234-183-162 — 579, Zach Gravell 181-194-235 — 610, Scott Lawson 242-172-199 — 613. Totals: 856-731-768 — 2,355.

Bob’s Pro Shop (4)

B.J. Rucinski 248-223-214 — 685, Earl Lawrence Jr. 207-226-165 — 598, Bob Tedesco Sr. 222-210-194 — 626, Mike Smith 212-172-221 — 605. Totals: 889-831-794 — 2,514.

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IDID (3)

Tony Fernandez 289-225-226 — 740, Joe Gordon 201-171-209 — 581, Jim Valentino (absent) 194-194-194 — 582, A.J. Perone (absent) 209-209-209 — 627. Totals: 893-799-838 — 2,530.

Klonowski’s Pro Shop (1)

Ted Klonowski III (absent) 212-212-212 — 636, Ted Klonowski Jr. 145-177-153 — 475, Jim Petronis 210-268-223 — 701, Bob Mock 246-236-210 — 692. Totals: 813-893-798 — 2,504.

———

Girgenti’s Café & More (0)

Ernest Laduke Jr. 176-169-194 — 539, Rich Ellis 257-211-255 — 723, Jason Deitz 125-192-201 — 518, John Mihaly 180-213-166 — 559. Totals: 738-785-816 — 2,339.

Mike’s Hot Dogs (4)

Doug Semerad 223-259-161 — 643, Tammy Sader 245-279-212 — 736, Rich Rogaski 187-279-225 — 691, Kevin Palmer 257-196-231 — 684. Totals: 912-1,013 -829 — 2,754.

FRANK DePALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings

Derenzo’s Tax Service 16-4, Downs Roofing 12-8, Kalpro 11-9, Masons Automotive 10.5-9.5, D.A. Parisi & Co. 5.5-14.5, Boulevard Bowl 5-15.

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Match summaries

Boulevard Bowl (2)

Mike Scaccia 226-237-178-195 — 836, Brian Hart 236-180-180-215 — 811, Cory Bennett 198-165-226-161 — 750. Totals: 660-582-584-571 — 2,397.

Kalpro (3)

Keith Lawyer 225-203-204-192 — 824, Kyle Wilkins 190-204-199-188 — 781, Joe Carusone 211-224-177-220 — 832. Totals: 626-631-580-600 — 2,437.

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Derenzo’s Tax Service (4)

P.J. Derenzo 184-268-214-232 — 898, Spark Derenzo 179-225-195-194 — 793, Zach Strachan 183-265-167-186 — 801. Totals: 546-758-576-612 — 2,492.

D.A. Parisi & Co. (1)

John Mecca 227-205-179-239 — 850, Jeff Williams 155-127-145-176 — 603, Ken Wilkins 185-224-195-185 — 789. Totals: 567-556-519-600 — 2,242.

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Masons Automotive (2)

Mark Hansen 235-246-192-236 — 909 Robin Fredenburgh 205-163-184-212 — 764, B.J. Smith Jr. 259-193-189-233 — 874. Totals: 699-602-565-681 — 2,547.

Downs Roofing (3)

Ryan Karabin 217-256-246-216 — 935, Tony Bianchi 222-230-194-211 — 857, Phil Kilmartin 215-203-219-207 — 844. Totals: 654-689-659-634 — 2,636.

AMSTERDAM MEN’S CITY LEAGUE

Standings

JLD 88-38, Skyview Lounge 75-51, Excellent Autos 74-52, RJ Sheetmetal 74-52, Imperial Lanes 74-52, Team Bryk 62-64, Team Schultz 55-71, Team Mason 54-72, Team Majewski 40-86, Liberatore Electric 34-92.

Leaderboard

Tim Grant 288-1,035, Mark Majewski 247-941, Chad Chiara 237-903, Chris Kelly 249-888, Billy McGaffin 239-881, Ron Paradiso 269-868, Justin Lansing 248-865, Chuck Rossi 236-862, Jon Schultz 269-861, Cody Burda 258-850.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings

Sindoni Sausage 180-100, Revolutions Pro Shop 166.5-113.5, Rogers MotorSports 160.5-119.5, Towne Bowling Academy 154-126, Loyal Nutrition 151.1-128.5, Never Enough Performance 149-131, Boulevard Bowl 147.5-132.5, CDMVS 145.5-134.5, Team 11 145-135, Team 9 142.5-137.5, Next Level Detailing 141-139, EARRRRL’S 137.5-142.5, Team 12 137.5-142.5, Team 8 135-145, Pete’s Auto 134-146, 15 Church 131-149, TSS Printing & Awards 125-155, J&U 124-156, Sportsman’s Bowl 112-168, A-Plus Heating & Cooling 77-203.

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Match summaries

Loyal Nutrition (14)

Amber Dominic 209-218-190-200 — 817, Vinny Struffolino 220-203-235-226 — 884. Totals: 471-463-467-468 — 1,869.

Rogers MotorSports (6)

Kelly Chrzanowski 193-186-233-180 — 792, Tom Rogers 231-300-199-190 — 920. Totals: 458-520-466-404 — 1,848.

———

Sportsman’s Bowl (4)

Erika Poje 199-180-180-202 — 761, Joe Wolf (absent) 197-197-197-197 — 788. Totals: 445-426-426-448 — 1,745.

Team 9 (16)

Kaitlyn Barnes 126-226-257-246 — 855, Nick Barnes 243-233-248-201 — 925. Totals: 358-488-534-476 — 1,896.

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Boulevard Bowl (17)

Lisa Rathbun-Read 171-216-175-206 — 768, Tony Palumbo 215-236-245-238 — 934. Totals: 419-485-453-477 — 1,834.

TSS Printing & Awards (3)

Jackie Malone 205-181-178-186 — 750, Paul Dumas 160-196-179-242 — 777. Totals: 400-412-392-463 — 1,667.

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Team 12 (16)

Janelle Irwin 215-264-234-188 — 901, Dan Rotter 225-222-201-247 — 895. Totals: 475-521-470-470 — 1,936.

Towne Bowling Academy (4)

Debbie Capullo 267-215-191-215 — 888, Marty Capullo Jr. 205-212-202-204 — 823. Totals: 483-438-404-430 — 1,755.

———

Team 11 (6)

Jessica Aiezza 250-195-203-248 — 896, Scott Rogers 225-214-156-236 — 831. Totals: 480-414-364-489 — 1,747.

Revolutions Pro Shop (14)

Lindsey McPhail (absent) 218-218-218-218 — 872, Don Herrington 216-247-248-268 — 979. Totals: 445-476-477-497 — 1,895.

———

J&U (3)

Ursula Pasquerella 222-173-182-194 — 771, Joe Venduro 221-232-189-193 — 835. Totals: 486-448-414-430 — 1,778.

Team 8 (17)

Elizabeth Criscuolo 186-174-180-141 — 681, Gabe Criscuolo 223-215-236-214 — 888. Totals: 490-470-497-436 — 1,893.

———

Sindoni Sausage (12)

Liz Kuhlkin 1181-258-227-268 — 934, Joe VanDerLinden 213-236-244-258 — 951. Totals: 397-497-474-529 — 1,897.

Never Enough Performance (8)

Kate Clark 211-224-224-184 — 843, Jamie Duncan 257-211-225-153 — 846. Totals: 503-470-484-372 — 1,829.

———

Next Level Detailing (8)

Robin Fredenburgh 192-245-224-204 — 865, Bill Nolan 182-215-173-170 — 740. Totals: 427-513-450-427 — 1,817.

CDMVS (12)

Chris Allen-Valenzuela 215-233-215-203 — 866, John Askew 216-259-245-194 — 914. Totals: 451-512-480-417 — 1,860.

———

15 Church (20)

Aliyah Liberatore 255-203-226-203 — 887, Ben Empie 196-187-256-208 — 847. Totals: 519-458-550-479 — 2,006.

A-Plus Heating (0)

Michelle Largeteau 137-113-125-126 — 501, Tony Pasquerella 166-158-199-189 — 712. Totals: 415=-383-436-427 — 1,661.

———

EARRRRL’S (1)

Natasha Bidwell 236-155-190-180 — 761, Tom Earl 237-213-256-204 — 910. Totals: 487-382-460-398 — 1,727.

Pete’s Auto (19)

Jenn Schissler 191-224-236-178 — 829, Chuckie Schissler 276-201-246-224 — 947. Totals: 518-476-533-453 — 1,980.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected].

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, Sports

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