Smith just misses berth at nationals

It didn’t take long for Fort High student John Smith to nearly pull off a major upset in a high-level bowling competition.
In only his second such tournament, Smith, 19, finished second at the TSN provincial roll-offs at Superior Lanes in Thunder Bay last weekend with a total pinfall of 2,493 in the 10-game showdown.
He missed a berth to the televised national final by just 65 pins to Atikokan’s Darren Skrenski, who will compete in Vancouver later this month.
Actually, Smith held a 72-pin lead after nine games but rolled a 223 in the final one to Skrenski’s 360. Smith admitted he felt some pressure heading into those deciding frames.
“Maybe I was a little nervous,” he said. “I saw [Skrenski] was doing good and I threw two head pins in a row. You can’t spare those at all.
“I just hit a lot of bad breaks in that last game,” he added.
Plaza Lanes manager Dino Morelli finished seventh out of the 13 bowlers in the men’s division with a 2,364 pinfall.
Maureen Desserre of Dryden won the ladies’ division with a 2,471 total.
The last two weekends have been especially busy for Smith. He competed at the CBC provincial roll-offs here last weekend, finishing seventh overall.
It was an experience he credited for a stronger start at the TSN showdown in Thunder Bay.
“[The previous] weekend helped me quite a bit. I realized I could compete with them,” Smith said. “On the whole, I’m pretty happy with things.”
Smith is set to graduate from the high school ranks of the local YBC league at its annual awards ceremony Friday at the Ukrainian Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m., with dinner and awards starting at 6:30.
In related news, Plaza Lanes is putting the finishing touches on its season as the various leagues crowned their playoff champions:
•Ladies Monday/Tuesday afternoon aggregate champions—“Pin-ups” (Grace Carmody, Joan McTavish, Jean Hoffman, Cathy Robinson, and Sheila Carmody);
•Wednesday night mixed—“Slim Chances” (David Yerxa, Carrie Basaraba, Tammy Basaraba, Tracy Isaac, Allan Yerxa, and John McDonald);
•Thursday Golden Agers 55-plus coffee league—“Blue Birds” (Doreen Mounck, Kay Buffington, Laura McConnell, Dave Bell, Mabel Petsnick, Walter Christian-son, Elsie Dupuis, and Emma McLean);
•Thursday night match play—“The Investors” (Rick Stamarski, Carla Hanzuk, Sam Piccinato, Andrew Stamarski, and Carolyn Stamarski).