Celmer Wins Highest Scoring Finish in History – Cortinas Wins His 1st at Town & Country

Published on: March 2, 2017 | Categories: Headliners, Winners Gallery

The PJBT continued its 18th season with a trip to Town & Country Lanes in Bethlehem, PA.  This year’s event was a regular season singles event on a house shot condition.  Format for the event was our regular 5 game qualifier, 3 games of match play, and top 5 stepladder.  On this day, 49 bowlers, including 31 in Scratch, competed.

The scratch division set all-time record on this day.  Riley Celmer won his 1st ever PJBT title in the Scratch Division.  Celmer, one of our up and coming bowlers….who transferred this year into the Scratch Division from bowling handicap in the past….got his 1st Scratch title and 2nd overall PJBT title.  He won his 1st title in the 2014 Doubles Event at Parkway Lanes in Handicap.  Riley started off qualifying with some good games, 1 bad game, and 1 very good game.  He shot 238, 227, 189, 278, and 225.  He stood at 1157 (+157) after 5 games.  He was in 4th place of 31 athletes.  The first cut was 12th place at +105.  In Match Play, Celmer went 2-1 with games of 223, 219, and 279.  The 279 game boosted Celmer into 2nd place entering the stepladder final.  Celmer only trailed tournament leader Sam Bortnick.

The finals began for Celmer in the semi-final match vs #3 seed Aaron Heckman.  Heckman was also impressive on the day….shooting a 299 game and 805 series during the first 3 games of qualifying.  Celmer outlasted Heckman in the semi-final 237-214.  He advanced to the record-setting title match.  It was Celmer vs Bortnick.  In an awesome amazing match, BOTH BOWLERS STARTED OUT WITH THE FRONT 9 IN STRIKES.  Both bowlers entered the 10th frame with a chance to shoot perfection and win the tournament!  Bortnick was up first.  His first shot in the 10th went high leaving a 6 pin.  He converted the spare and got 9 pins on the fill ball for 278.  Sadly though, he knew that probably 278 would not be enough.  It was not!  Celmer struck on his first shot to lock up the win….then for perfection.  He got the 11th strike but threw a wide shot on his 12th ball….missed the head pin and got a 7 count for 297!  Celmer defeated Bortnick 297-278 in the HIGHEST SCORING FINAL MATCH IN PJBT HISTORY!  We have had some high final score matches before but this one combined was the highest ever!  Celmer won the $200 top scholarship prize and the plaque for being the champion.

In Handicap, first-timer David Cortinas from Bayonne, NJ, got his 1st ever PJBT title.  Cortinas entered the event with a 170 entering average and 27 pins handicap per game.  During qualifying, he shot scratch games of 191, 157, 222, 185, and 209.  Cortinas stood at +99 and was seeded 2nd in a field of 18 after qualifying.  10th place cut was -6.  In Match Play, Cortinas turned it on!  He won all 3 of his matches with games of 259, 231, and 216.  His great match play round boosted him to the tournament lead entering the finals.  In the title match, Cortinas took on 2nd seed Jack Konrad.  This was also an interesting title match.  Konrad started off fast and had a decent lead early but Cortinas came back with 5 strikes in a row from frames 5-9 to even the match.  Then, Cortinas overtook Konrad late and squeaked out a 207-202 win.  Cortinas was the top prize of $200 scholarship and plaque for winning.

Honor Scores on the day went to Aaron Heckman for his 299/805  and Riley Celmer for his 297.  However, no perfect game (despite flirting with it all day) did not get claimed.  Money will carry over to next week.

Next Week:  PJBT rolls into Clearview Lanes in Mount Joy, PA, for our Annual 3-Person Team Tournament.  Event is Sunday, March 5 at 10:30am.  As of Wednesday 3/1, we had 32 teams already registered with a max field of 42 teams.  If interested in bowling, please go online and sign up now!