From the very start of the Halloween Handicap Trios tournament at Plaza Lanes last Sunday, the team of Jimmy Sellers, Johnathon Hermacinski and Andre Campos just seemed to click.
They were the qualifying leaders by 100 pins over a full field of 20 tough teams, and held off the team of Kenny Shockency, Jorden Stanley and Adam Johnson in the title match to claim the top prize of $1,038.
Their scratch total of 2,792 (232.67 average per bowler) was 132 pins ahead of a field that included about half of the bowlers from the Bill Mastronardi/Bud Light Masters league.
In qualifying, Hermacinski (980 for four games) got off to a fast start with 257 and 259. Sellers (964) then closed qualifying with 258 and 255.
In Game 4, the winners took the lead with a scratch 749 game, which was high for the tournament. Sellers opened with his 255, Hermacinski added 228 and Campos (848) 266.
Shockency, Stanley and Johnson beat Zack Shiro, Jason Jones and Doug Corbin, who led after three qualifying games, 405-374 in the two-game Baker-style semifinal match.
In the title match, Sellers, Hermacinski and Campos kept their lineup the same as in qualifying and won the first game 226-191. Their lead would have been bigger, but Campos, the anchor bowler, left a solid 8-pin on his second ball in the 10th.
Shockency, Stanley and Johnson made up some of their deficit by winning Game 2, 268-246, but Campos came through with a clutch strike in the 10th to seal the 472-459 decision.
My wife, Jeanine, and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Sunday than watching our son win a tournament with a couple of his buddies.
Brian Trammell, Fred Sims and Chad Davis finished fourth, and Brad More, Josh Barnwell and Ryan Bannon fifth.
DRIVEN TO SUCCEED: The father-son duo of Benny and Tommy Barnwell had some extra incentive to bowl well in the Over 50/Under 50 Kingpin Doubles tournament in Bridgeton, Mo., near St. Louis. They averaged a combined 253 for 13 games and beat a strong field to win the $1,800 top prize.
But Benny Barnwell won a lot more than that. He didn't have to drive home after the tournament.
"We had a bet going," he said. "Lowest score had to drive home, and after being up late and getting up early, I didn't want to drive after bowling all day."
Benny ended up with a pinfall total of 2,294 (254.9 average) for 13 games, while his son finished with 2,260 (251.1). But it came down to the last game.
The Barnwells were top-seeded for the stepladder finals, and beat Roy Adams and Tim Behrendt 497-425 in the title match.
Benny Barnwell, who had a 15-pin lead over Tommy after qualifying, rolled a 258 and his son a 239 in the finale.
"I didn't mind losing," Tommy Barnwell said. "But I had to get up early for work on Monday, and we didn't get home until late. So I was trying harder that title game to beat him so he'd have to drive."
Rob Johnson and Eddie Flanigan finished 10th in a field that included Pete Weber and the doubles team of Tom Adcock and Jason Queen.
MASTERS 300S: The lanes at Safari Bowl in Morton were to the liking of most of the players of the Bill Mastronardi/Bud Light Masters league on Monday.
Tony Wysinger led the way with a 799 series that helped the Mt. Hawley team to a 35-15 win over Plaza Lanes. The set included the 46th career 300 for the ICC men's basketball coach. It was his first in a couple of seasons.
Brad Moore also rolled a 300 in a 725 set for league-leading Safari Bowl. Safari beat T&D Windshield in a position-round match 30-20 to increase its advantage to 12 points.
MORE HIGH SCORES: Corey Gray continued his hot streak on the lanes on Thursday with an 836 set at Safari Bowl on games of 298, 300 and 238. In the same league, Kevin Cluney had an 810 set with a 300, while Pete Burdette and Lance Whitbracht also had perfect games.
At Landmark Lanes, Bryan Opperman posted an 803 set with a 300 in the TNBA league.
On Friday at Landmark, Leon Reynolds (772 set) and Kenny Combs (799) rolled treys, while Harry Sies Jr. had one at Mt. Hawley a week earlier.
JOHNNY CAMPOS is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com or 686-3214. Read his Spare Change blog at blogs.pjstar.com/sparechange, or follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.