Well, there was little drama in most of the first round games this week. I’ll write up the close ones, and do a digest format of the rest. Expect a lot more excitement next week, with two rounds of action. It will be a test of endurance for those teams that reach the quarters.
Huevos Rancheros 9 Lesbowlians 6
Well, I’m going to write about the stirring effort by the Lesbowlians, but it seemed appropriate to mention here DRMA’s serious confusion. I suggest to any guys playing against him, give him a hug. His head might explode. Anyway, when Tilt-A-Whirl, the top rolling Lesbowlian struggled in the play-in game, her teammates stepped up to get them through to the playoffs. Once given that reprieve, Tilt-A-Whirl thanked her teammates with a 163 in game one against the heavily favored, 6th seeded Huevos. That in and of itself wouldn’t have been too much of a surprise, but when Stayfree matched that 163, and Knocker Rocker posted a 142, a buzz started going through the crowd. The Lesbowlians were ahead 4-1, and had posted a season best 586. In game 2, a suddenly nervous Huevos came out swinging, and normally their 592 would have been good. On this nihgt, however, the magic appeared to be with the Lesbowlians, and Knocker Rocker’s 160 (where did those two scores come from?) and Downtown’s 152 accompanied Tilt-A-Whirl to grab 2 points, and going intot the final round it was 6-4 underdogs. Then Trixy made a fateful decision. She stuck with fairness over rolling her top players, and Tilt-A-Whirl and Knocker Rocker watched from the bench as Huevos rallied for a 5-0 third game to advance. There are rumors it’s because several of her layers, lacking confidence, had already booked vacations for next week. Whatever the reason, the Lesbowlians made a strong showing, and gained leaguewide respect. Meanwhile, the Huevos got a scare but managed to come through in the clutch. That experience should come in handy for the next round, a classic showdown against former Huevo (when they were DMB) Herbie. Should be a good one.
B.E.E.R. 9 Wrecking Balls 6
This was the other near upset that had the crowd at Yankee lanes on the edge of their collective seat. B.E.E.R. captain Karl Hungus had warned his team and himself against complacency in facing his lower seeded but elder brother The Dude’s team. He opened with his top 4 rollers to “smack ’em in the face”, and the 661 they put up should have been enough. But on this night, The Balls were here to Wreck s%$#. Lulu, who knew she was in for a long night with no subs, put up a personal best 164. When Karl left the tenth frame open to finish with a 198, Swing pounced, and posted a 200 to steal top point. The Dude managed to pick up another point with a subpar 115, and after taking BEER’s best shot, the Balls trailed only 3-2 and felt pretty good about things. Both teams fell off the pace in game 2, but BEER fell a little further. Cheddar and Karl each dropped 60 pins from game one, and only a point for last place salvaged any hope. A rattled BEER team trailed 6-4 going into game three. Desperate to turn things around, and with a long offseason of what-ifs staring him in the face, Karl turned to an old standby – shots. They were meant to calm the nerves, and they may have helped. Karl is no Trixy, so instead of even playing time, he loaded up with his top 4 again (sorry BOB – you start next week). With most game wrapped up, people started gathering around to watch the thrilling conclusion. Unfortunately for the Balls, they started to wear down. Cheddar’s last frame 18 to loud cheers gave him the top point over The Dude, and BEER survived a gutcheck, 9-6. The Wrecking Balls showed why they are always a dangerous playoff team, and BEER got a wakeup call. It was great to feel the playoff atmosphere, to hear the oohs and ahhs of the crowd. Look for even more of that as the playoffs progress, and please stick around to watch these games, it’s fun for all involved.
In other games, a determined Dr. Thunder led (by led, I mean he was there, his teammates did the heavy lifting) TDYOB to a big win over Happy Hands, 15-0, setting up the match that almost had to happen: Dr. Thunder vs D.R.M.A. Watch for smack talk devolution. The Gutterballs overcame a collapse by Rusty Nail to beat Roll Another, 12-3, and avoid the one predicted upset. Dirty Half Dozen dispatched Three Fingered Willies 14-1, after the Willies had won their play-in game over the Who? Nice to see Harlyn P back around. Fabio posted a very impressive 235 in leading ICBING to an 11-4 win over the Pinups. Peanut also played well on his birthday to cement the victory. CB O’Nutz cracked Bowlderdash 15-0, with a very evenly distributed performance. Walter held off Xander Rolle, and SauPo beat Splits Happen 11-4 for their first ever playoff win. Walt will need a little more help than he got this week if they are to get by the next round, but they have to feel good to shake the monkey off their back. Law enforcement night, as Roscoe P and Boss Hogg both had big games in leading the Strikes of Hazzard to 14-1 moonshining of Three Livers, who played without top roller Wilma. Sweet Rolls beat Pud’s Taxi 14-1, though it was a lot closer than that. The first game could have been 5-0 puds with a total of 12 more pins, instead they lost 4-1. They still danced. Young and the Bowled snuffed No Pins Intended 9.5 – 0.5, getting a big 204 from Pistol Pete to put the nail in the coffin. Finally, playoff experts The Incredibowls took their time in wiping up UREA!, 12-3. UREA! had won their play-in game over The Madbotts.
Now, it’s on to the Sweet 16. I’ll write about those matches soon. To all of you who are done, great season. I hope to see you at the lanes next week to watch the games, and definitely at the Bowling Ball Awards Gala on the 10th. Then, coming in late May, I hope to see you at Bayside Bowl, a collaboration of Karl Hungus and Senator ITZ that will be the coolest new place in town.