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Bowl really well, or find someone else who is and join them

March 13, 2012
By STEVE BROWNLEE - Journal Sports Staff ( , The Mining Journal

To the victor goes the spoils, they say in war. And apparently in bowling, too.

But it works just as well to be that jockey with good timing and know when to ride a fast horse first across the finish line, too.

Maybe that's a weird analogy, so let me illustrate it with the recent Marquette County U.S. Bowling Congress Association tournament.

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One of the area's best bowlers, Justin Stephens, was able to win two divisions in the Feb. 11-19 event - singles and all-events - by shooting a three-game series of 813 one weekend and a perfect 300 game the next. He added a second, fourth and fifth place in the other two events, too.

A good bet any day on this "horse."

Then there were cousins Allen and David Lancour, who were part of winning the tourney's other two divisions - team and doubles - and David's brother-in-law, Andy Buckmaster, who was also on that winning team and came in second in doubles.

That family added a pair of fifth places and two more 10ths, too.

But Allen, David and Andy didn't bowl any 300s or 800s, though David has done it before and his relatives are good enough that they just might some day, too.

What they did was ride several hot "horses." Their You Mad Bro? team also included John "Vinny" LaCombe, who shot 300 in a 767, while Andy got a 704 scratch series from wife Amber Buckmaster during their doubles.

Of course, Allen and David bowled well together, as I heard that the 160s-average, two-handed-throwing Allen rolled his first 700 with his cousin in doubles.

Stephens, who totaled 826 with just 13 pins handicap, cashed $214 for his singles title and $144 for all events (2,365 score), while the Lancours and friends earned $415 for the team championship (3,027) and $306 for winning doubles (1,590). Plus, the Buckmasters earned $166 as runners-up in doubles (1,549).

The association kicked in more than $1,600 from dues specifically earmarked for this event and was able to pay four teams, eight doubles duos, 10 all-events entrants and 14 singles bowlers well over $3,000 total.

Andy Goldsworthy's first 300 game in singles propelled him to 762, but five pins short of Stephens with 821 and $116 for being runner-up.

Tom Seeke shot a near-perfect 299 in a 765 set during team to help his Pin Busters quartet that included Andy Pool, Chuck Pool and Kathy Parent come in third for $160.

Stephens' 300 in doubles only got him and partner Scott Salminen fifth place and $76, since their handicap is nearly non-existent, while Andy Pool's 803 in doubles got him sixth with Seeke for $63.

And then there's poor Keith Dickson.

Poor by prize money standards, anyway. All he did was shoot his second-ever 300 (and second this season) in a 707 series in doubles, but he and partner Dave Stevenson finished 11th, one spot and 10 pins out of the last payout in that division.

I'll have to postpone this week's Mining Journal Bowler of the Week honors, since all my basketball game visits last week left me short of gathering a lot of leagues.

I promise, though, I'll give you a double dose next week.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246.



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