PEORIA — The American Legion league championship will be decided in the title match of the men’s division in the Journal Star Tournament of Champions at Landmark Lanes.
Two of the strongest teams in this year’s T of C, WingStop and Royz Boyz, cruised into Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. finals with high-scoring wins on Wednesday night.
In the mixed division, Pin Busters and MOSS both made big comebacks to advance to the title match.
Mama Power and WRC posted convincing victories to reach the finals in the women’s division.
Royz Boyz and WingStop met twice during the regular league season, and they split, with each team going a combined 4-4.
Royz Boyz put up the bigger number in the semis, beating Maxxx Revs II, 3,675-3,354. Tommy Barnwell led the way with an 818 series on games of 276, 243 and 299. Benny Barnwell added 722, Travis Anderson 716, Josh Barnwell 712 and Sammy Taylor Jr. 707.
Brian Davis was high man for WingStop in a 3,552-3,256 decision over Deadly Allliance. Davis had games of 286, 240 and 244 for a 770. Bill Maher added 740, Steve Taylor 714 with a closing 279, Brandon Buchner 685 and Mike Davis 643.
"We’re not going down like chumps," Brian Davis said. "We’re going to get a few pins, and we’re going to give it everything we've got.
"But there are a lot of good friendships among the 10 of us. We’re just going to bring it, and the best team will win. Let’s just bowl and have fun."
Pin Busters trailed Too Much Sauce by 182 pins after Game 1 in the mixed division. Kevin Tockes (669 set) opened with nine straight strikes and rolled a 279 to help Too Much Sauce take the lead.
But in Game 2, Tom Berchtold (690 series) improved from an opening 178 to a 278, and closed with a 234 to help Pin Busters win the match, 2,294-2,260.
"I was throwing the Heat last week, and they were a little bit drier," Berchtold said. "I tried to make it work tonight and didn’t make a ball change until the seven frame of the first game. I switched to the Slash and threw 15 strikes in a row."
MOSS needed a mark by anchor bowler Tim Blanch in the final frame of the match to edge Fandel-Regguinti, 2,298-2,286.
Blanch doubled to close out a 241 game and a 630 series. Lisa Feger added a 607, including a 231 middle game for MOSS.
"I knew I needed a strike or a spare," Blanch said. "I had left a smash 10-pin in the ninth and missed it, so I had to redeem myself."
WRC anchor John Fandel left splits in his last three frames of the match to open the door for MOSS.
Mama Power jumped out to an early 137-pin lead behind games of 264 by Leigh Scott (664 set) and 258 from Nicole Orr (642) and went on to beat Bubba Dump, 2,906-2,717 in the women’s division.
Lauren Sellers will be going for her seventh T of C title, Leigh Scott for her sixth and Patti Mauerman for her fourth.
In the other women’s match, Erin Curley rolled a 643 with an opening 248 game to spark WRC past Roy’s ?itches, 2,821-2,660.
Johnny Campos can be reached at 686-3214 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.