Bowler, team win provincial medals


Bowlers representing Sunset Country earned medals at the 2017 Open provincial championships held April 12-15 in Dryden.
Jeff Watts of Fort Frances earned the fifth and final berth in the men’s singles competition after averaging 268.3 over the 10-game preliminary roll-offs held Wednesday afternoon.
Watts then won his first two matches in the “stepladder” playoffs Saturday afternoon–knocking off JJ Willard of Gateway 249-214 before edging Tom (“Stomper”) Williams of Gateway 218-211.
But Watts then fell 191-162 to Mike McNamara of Gold Belt to finish with the bronze medal.
Darryl Gauthier of Gold Belt, who had a bye to the final as the top finisher in Wednesday’s qualifier, beat McNamara 274-262 to nab the gold medal.
He now will represent Northern Ontario at the national championships next month in Sudbury.
Sunset Country bowlers Darryl Rollins and Tim Gadd, both of Dryden, finished 10th and 11th in the men’s singles preliminary round out of the 18 bowlers with averages of 246.5 and 244.8, respectively.
Watts also earned a medal for making the men’s all-star team–finishing in fourth place overall with a combined 257.75 average between singles and team play.
Rounding out the men’s all-star team were Thunder Bay bowlers Taylor Michel (290), Dan Taylor (264.18), and Greg DeGrazia (260.51), along with Williams (257.48).
Meanwhile, it was a silver showing for the Sunset Country mixed team made up of Dryden bowlers Chris Gadd, Jeff Hazlewood, and Kevin Savoury, Alexis Hamilton of Balmertown, Jessica Scott of Kenora, and Kathy Bois of Fort Frances.
Lisa Sanders of Dryden was the coach.
Earning a first-round bye due to their second-place finish in the 15-game round-robin, Sunset Country eliminated Gateway 924-858 in Saturday’s stepladder before falling 1,128-1,086 to Thunder Bay in the final.
Thunder Bay won the gold and goes on to represent Northern Ontario at next month’s nationals.
Hazlewood led the team with a 243.3 average during the round-robin, followed by Savoury (236.7), Gadd (230.1), Hamilton (204.8), Scott (181.3), and Bois (167).
Thunder Bay topped the round-robin portion with 67 points, with Sunset Country finishing just a half-point behind (66.5).
Gateway was next with 43.5 points, followed by Gateway (41) and Nickel District (22).
Cambrian North did not field a team in the mixed division.
In men’s team play, Sunset Country qualified for Saturday’s stepladder after finishing third in the round-robin.
But the squad–comprised of Watts, Rollins, Tim Gadd, Justin Gallaway and Don Compardo of Dryden, and Mike Behan of Fort Frances–were beaten 1,246-1,175 by Gold Belt in the first stepladder match Saturday morning.
Gateway then downed Gold Belt 1,194-1,132 in the semi-final before losing to Thunder Bay 1,240-1,159 in the final.
Thunder Bay, who will represent Northern Ontario at the nationals next month, topped the round-robin portion with 90 points.
Gateway took second place with 74, followed by Sunset Country (67), Gold Belt (55), Nickel District (39), and Cambrian North (35).
Watts led the team with a 249.7 average, with Compardo (238.9) and Gadd (238.4) next, followed by Gallaway (227.8), Rollins (225.7), and Behan (213.1).
Bill Luchka of Dryden was the coach.
And in the ladies’ division, Sunset Country failed to qualify for Saturday’s stepladder after finishing in fifth place during the round-robin.
The team–featuring Dryden bowlers Michelle Riley and Jackie Miner, Terri Hamilton of Balmertown, Cheryl Zilinski of Kenora, Caitlyn Townson of Fort Frances, and Terry Delaronde of Dryden–wound up with 43 points.
Norm Sanders of Dryden was the coach.
Thunder Bay took first place with 98.5 points, followed by Nickel District (75.5), Cambrian North (65), and Gold Belt (51.5).
Gateway rounded out the standings with 26.5 points.
Miner led the team with a 215.4 average in the round-robin, with Zilinski (211.8) and Hamilton (204.1) next, followed by Delaronde (195.3) Riley (194.8), and Townson (167.4).
Gold Belt beat Cambrian North 1,202-1,162 in the first stepladder match on Saturday, then downed Nickel District 1,148-1,048 in the next one.
But Thunder Bay proved to be too much in the final–winning it 1,231-1,010 to capture the gold medal and also advance to nationals.
Sam Sitar earned Thunder Bay’s fourth gold medal out of five by taking top spot in the ladies’ singles competition.
Sitar finished first following the 10-game preliminary round Wednesday with a 267 average to earn a bye to the stepladder final, where she had to be beaten twice in order to lose out on the gold medal.
Thunder Bay teammate Katie Bonnie nearly pulled off the feat–downing Sitar 343-261 before losing 269-267 in the second-and-deciding match.
Sitar now will represent Northern Ontario at the nationals in Sudbury next month.
The first ladies’ singles stepladder match saw Jess Nugent of Gold Belt defeat Jennifer MacLaughlin of Cambrian North 221-174.
Bonnie then beat Nugent 294-216 before ousting Renee Laframboise of Nickel District in the semi-final–setting up her showdown with Sitar.
Hamilton was the top Sunset Country bowler in the ladies’ singles preliminary round, finishing the 10-game roll-offs in 10th place out of the 18 bowlers with a 229 average.
Miner was 11th (228.4) while Riley was 12th (227.6)
The ladies’ all-star team featured Devan Hook of Thunder Bay (245.95), Laframboise (245.56), Sitar (241.67), Alyssa Bonnie (238.16), and Katie Bonnie (237.21).
Thunder Bay also cruised to top spot in the aggregate standings with 57 total points, with Gold Belt finishing second (43) and Gateway third (30).
Sunset Country, with Kayla Gadd serving as contingent manager this year, wound up with 23 points.
Nickel District (23) and Cambrian North (12) rounded out the standings.