The PJBT teamed up with the Junior Bowlers Tour (JBT) for our 13th Annual BEST (Bowlers of Eastern Scholarship Tours) event.
The BEST tournament was started years ago as a combined event to promote a national level type event on a regional level. Bowlers from all over the Northeastern Part of our Country compete for a top prize of $5000 in scholarship!! In addition, our handicap division competes for a top prize of $1000!
This event is conducted on unnamed oil patterns that challenge bowlers’ ability to adjust and make spares. During qualifying, bowlers bowl on an “easy” pattern and a “hard” pattern. The qualifying consists of 12 games — two 6 game blocks. After 12 games, the top 40% of ALL bowlers combined advance to Day 2 of competition. Our handicap bowlers compete in both divisions….scratch and handicap. After 12 games, our handicap results are final and champions are crowned! As for scratch, they continue to compete Day 2. Bowlers on Day 2 compete on a “medium” difficulty pattern. Day 2 is 5 games match play with another cut. Those bowlers bowl 5 additional match play games. Scores carry over the entire time. After a total of 22 games, the top 10 bowlers in each division advance to our shootout/stepladder finals format.
This year’s event was conducted at Laurel Lanes in Maple Shade, NJ. The event saw 135 athletes take to the lanes.
Tom Hankey, a Massachusetts native, captured the BEST tournament crown! Hankey, the former U15 Junior Gold National Champion, captured an additional $5000 top prize. Hankey was seeded 10th after 12 games. Tom went +133 for 12 games. The first cut was 56th place at -98. In the first 5 game match play, Hankey went 4-1 shooting games of 218, 185, 165, 220, and 246. After 17 games, Hankey stood at +287 and was seeded 5th entering the 2nd match play round. The top 22 advanced after 1st round of match play….22nd place was a tie at +91. Pierce Field and Kenny Ryan had a rolloff for the final spot and Ryan advanced. In the final match play round, Hankey went 3-2 shooting games of 190, 204, 221, 180, and 224. After 22 games, Hankey sat at +396 and was the 6th seed entering the 10 person final.
The top 10 entering the finals was tournament leader Kevin Bienko, 2nd Nicholas Campanelli, 3rd Matt Russo, 4th Michael Martell, 5th Andrew Hall, 6th Hankey, 7th Jonathan Bowman, 8th Packy Hanrahan, 9th Michael Kissel, 10th Kenny Ryan. Finals format was 3 shootout matches (top bowler only advancing) and 3 stepladder matches.
Shootout 1 saw Kenny Ryan defeating Packy Hanrahan & Michael Kissel 236-230-224. Hankey entered the finals in Shootout 2. In BEST history, no one has ever won from this deep in the field for the finals. Hankey changed that. Hankey won Shootout #2 over Bowman & Ryan 244-232-192. He also won Shootout 3 over Hall & Martell 254-229-179. Hankey then took on Matt Russo in the first of 3 stepladder matches. Hankey defeated Russo 230-212. In the semi-final, Hankey took down Campanelli 234-202. The title match was Hankey vs Bienko. This match went back and forth….but in the end…..Hankey prevailed 204-183 to take home the title and $5000! Hankey, to our best recollection, became the youngest winner of the BEST event at Age 16.
In Handicap, Jack Konrad captured the $1000 BEST Handicap Title. Konrad, who entered the event with a 150 entering average shot scratch games of 175, 167, 149, 267, 148 and 173 during block 1. In Block 2, he shot 123, 93, 126, 137, 160, and 137. After 12 games, Konrad took the title at +57 for 12 games. He won the title over 2nd place Alex Berg by 52 pins. Berg finished 2nd winning $500, 3rd was Derek Lewandowski earning $250, 4th was Anthony Mastroianni earning $150 and 5th Riley Celmer who won $100.
Thanks to Chuck Pezzano the JBT Staff for teaming up with us again for a great 2016 BEST event.