The Zoo recently completed the most dominating performance in Vitalo Classic history.
Led by Jay Diamond and Mark Ray, who battled each other for the average title right down to the final game of the season at Sportsman’s Bowl, and supported by veteran teammate John Mango, The Zoo finished with an outrageous record of 103-25 for 131 points. The team broke both the wins record and the points mark set by the 1962 V.I. Phillips squad (98 wins and 125 points).
The Zoo also broke the 2004 Ace’s Coffee Shop record of 18 consecutive winning matches by capturing 32 straight matches, and its margin of victory (38 points) was also a new league high. It was The Zoo’s third championship in the last four years.
Diamond needed a 258 in his final game to surpass Ray for the league average title, 240.77 to 240.34. It’s the first time since 1997 (Skip Vigars Jr. and Bob Faragon) that teammates finished 1-2 in the average chase. It was Diamond’s second league scoring title. He averaged 243 in 2012.
Diamond rolled 111 200 games, collected 20 first-three 700 triples, posted a pair of 800 triples, and compiled 26 900 series, including 12 in a row. He also shot seven 1,000 series, with a high of 1,092.
Ray registered 109 200 games, including 35 in a row, and recorded 18 first-three 700 triples. He rolled a total of four 800 triples and had 26 900s, including 17 in a row. He posted five 1,000 series, with a high of 1,067.
The dependable Mango chipped in with a solid 225 average, and for the ninth time in his 11 years as a league member, he rolled all 128 games. He finished with 103 200 games, 10 700 triples, 15 900 series and one 1,000 series (1,018).
“I have bowled in the Vitalo for 42 seasons, and I have seen many all-time records,” said longtime league secretary Dave Mennillo. “The wins and points record established by V.I. Phillips 52 years ago was one that I thought would never be approachable, let alone broken.”
Mennillo said The Zoo was virtually unbeatable all season long.
“I have never seen a team bowl as well as The Zoo for the entire 32-week season,” he said. “It seems impossible that a team would lose only 25 games throughout the year. They are three of the classiest bowlers in Vitalo history, which makes their accomplishment respected by all league members. They handled the season with grace, humility and total class.”
Congratulations to The Zoo for a truly brilliant performance this season. It’s not easy to stay focused throughout the long bowling season, and it’s even more challenging to remain dominant the entire way.
STRIKES & SPARES
Qualifying leader RJ Martinez (1,095 five-game series) of Ballston Spa, former PBA touring pro Brian LeClair of Delmar (1,089), Craig Taylor of Rotterdam (1,068) and Mark Kepner of South Bethlehem (1,042) advanced to the TV finals of the Huck Finn Kenny Hall Tournament of Champions last Sunday. They will compete for the title Sunday at 4 p.m. at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy. Taylor takes on Kepner in the first game. LeClair meets the winner in the second game, and Martinez takes on the winner of the second game for the title. Warren Guernsey (1,033, $100), Eric Stangle (1,028, $100) and Mark James (1,026) are the other cashers.
LeClair, who had a busy and successful week, finished 19th and earned $425 as the only local casher in the PBA East Region Rockaway (N.J.) Lanes Open.
Qualifying for the Huck Finn Jack Scaccia Sr. Memorial begins Saturday at 3 p.m. at Alpha Lanes. Qualifiers continue April 26 at 3 p.m. at Town ’N Country Lanes and April 27 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Boulevard Bowl, with the finals following at 1:30 p.m. The TV finals will be taped April 27 at 5 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl, and it will be shown May 4 at 10:30 a.m. on MY 4.
The 81st annual USBC Bowling Association “City Tournament” continues Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee is $20 per event. Top prize for the four-person team event will be $1,200, based on 120 entries. Call Chet Ciembroniewicz (577-8562) or Keith Lawyer (300-0209) for reservations.
The 19th annual Blizzard Bowl winds up Saturday night at 9:45 at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee is $80 per four-person team. First place in the team event is $2,000. Call Boulevard Bowl at 374-4171 for reservations.
BJ Rucinski’s 299-812 in the Sportsman’s Tuesdays Nite Classic was his seventh 800 triple of the season.
Dave Browning, Mary Kavanaugh, Barbara Hutchings and Bill Coons of the Pin Setters won the KAPL Mixed league championship.
The “Annie” team of Marianne Hogle, Linda Bojarski and Hutchings captured the Monday’s Funnies league title.
Second-half champions Juggernaut (Norm Lumpkin, Steve Cheslow and Joe Lebrecht) defeated first-half winners Pin Kings (Carol Hillabrandt, Larry Scranton and Gary Hillabrandt) for the overall crown in the Daily Gazette league at Sportsman’s Bowl.
Patrick DeVoe of Delmar defeated Jonathan Bowman of Peru, 224-192, to win the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour event held at East Greenbush Bowling Center last Saturday. DeVoe and Bowman earned scholarships worth $275 and $150, respectively. Other scholarship winners included Casey Schoonmaker of Albany ($100), Morgan Ruggeri of Johnstown ($75), Jacob Rivers Jr. of Albany ($50), Chad Sutliff of Valatie ($40) and Andrew Bennett of Albany ($30). The next tournament will be an invitational event April 26 at Hi-Way Recreation in Wynantskill, followed by the CDYST Masters May 10 at Town ’N Country Lanes. Call 982-0035 for reservations.
Rolling Greens is the site for the “Bowl for our Soldiers” charity event that will benefit the “Operation Adopt a Soldier” campaign on May 3. Registration deadline is April 26. Entry fee is $12 and the format will be three games bowling on a four-person or five-person team. Call 260-9922 or 381-4848 for more information.
The Rolling Greens “Summer League” begins May 6 at 6:30 p.m. Call RG at 381-4848 for more information.
The 76th annual Schenectady/Scotia USBC Bowling Association’s Women’s Championship Tournament will be contested April 28 through May 10 at Boulevard Bowl. Entry fee will be $16 per event. Average caps for the doubles will be Class A (371-480), Class B (311-370) and Class C (310 or lower). Average caps for singles will be Class A (186-240), Class B (156-185) and Class C (155 or lower). Handicap for each event will be 100 percent. Entries close April 15. Squads will be April 28-May 2 at 6:30 p.m. for teams; May 5-9 at 6:30 p.m. for singles and doubles; May 3 at 11 a.m. for singles and doubles and May 10 at 11 a.m. for singles and doubles. Make all checks payable to the Schenectady and Scotia USBC Women’s Bowling Association.
The Average Joe’s Bakers Doubles tournament will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at both 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Town ’N Country Lanes. The tournament wraps up April 27. Entry fee is $50 per team. Call 456-1113 for reservations.
Amos Gordon of Colorado Springs, Colo. became the 24th bowler in history to record a perfect 900 triple. The 29-year-old right-hander competes at Thunder Alley Bowling Center in Fort Carson, Colo.