SO CAL INVITATIONAL
champs Wesley Low & Shauna Schultz
Wesley Low and Shauna Schultz earned $1,000 scholarships each as champions of the JBT Southern California Conference Invitational tournament, hosted by Montclair's newly remodeled Bowlium Lanes.
Proving once again that age is not the determining factor of success in our events, 14 year-old Low becomes our youngest scratch major tournament champion, beating a field of talented bowlers as old as 22 on the way to the title. After 5 games on a very demanding lane condition where a 178 average was enough to qualify for the 16-bowler triple-elimination matchplay, 17 year-old Adam Dubia was the leader, and he breezed through the early rounds of matchplay with only one loss through seven rounds. Wesley was undefeated through five rounds before Adam handed him his first loss in round six.
Eventually only Low, Dubia, and Derek Acuff remained standing, all with two losses each. In what thus became the semifinal match, Low eliminated Acuff 213-195, setting up the fitting title match between the two best players of the day. Though a brilliant 4-10 conversion appeared to give Dubia some momentum mid-game, Low countered that with a 5-bagger, and confidently rode that to a 233-208 win, and the fifth title of his JBT career for the little guy with a huge future ahead of him. Adam earned $500 for second, Acuff won $300 for third, Steven Manier finished fourth for $275, and Ben Canfield rounded out the top five for $150.
Schultz qualified #11 for the 16-bowler handicap finals, and then caught fire in the triple-elimination matchplay, going undefeated through the first six rounds before losing to #1 seed Tyler Wolff, who was outstanding all day, but needed to beat Shauna to stay alive in that round. In other matches that round, #9 KJ Martinez eliminated #14 Luke Holley, and #3 Alex Bissett eliminated #10 seed and handicap points champion Kayla Goad. In round eight, Schultz eliminated Martinez and Bissett eliminated Wolff, setting up a title match situation where Bissett would have to beat Shauna twice to win the title.
It looked like Alex was going to win the first game to force a decider, but after a shaky mid-game, Shauna rebounded with marks in her final four frames to swipe the game back 211-201 and win the title, the first of her career, and the $1,000 scholarship windfall. Bissett settled for $500 for second, Wollf earned $300 for third, Martinez (making yet another major event top-5) pocketed $200 for fourth, and Goad, also having a fantastic year, earned $150 for fifth.
Thanks again to Herbert and the Bowlium staff for another terrific job hosting our Tour. Over $6,800 in scholarships were earned by our Invitational qualifiers- think about that as you plan for the 2011-12 season, which kicks off in September. Check out our website, www.bowljbt.com, for all the details, tell a friend or twenty, and get in on the best under-22 action around!
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