champs Cerell Cardines & Bella Flowers with runners-up Wesley Low & Sebastian Polhill
Talent, not age, was again the deciding factor as two bowlers totaling 25 years old earned titles at the JBT Mojave Invitational, contested at South Point's beautiful new Bowling Plaza.
Veteran Las Vegan Eric Hatchett grabbed the top seed after five qualifying games on a very demanding pattern, and hung on after two early losses in the triple-elimination matchplay format, bowing out in round seven to #10 Cortez Schenck. In the same round, #14 Cerell Cardines, the last non-exempt bowler to make matchplay, eliminated #8 Ben Canfield, and #9 Wesley Low gave #2 Harley Sweigart his second loss. In the next round, Low eliminated Schenck and Cardines eliminated Sweigart, leaving Cerell having to beat Wesley twice to win the title.
Fifteen year-old Cardines showed no fear in a first game win over Wesley, who struggled getting the 7-pin to cooperate. Moving pairs for the title game produced the same result for Low, so he made a brave ball change that temporarily got him back in the match, but Cardines would not be denied. A late game big string by Cerell iced a 254-223 win, earning his third career title and $1,000 scholarship payday. He also joins his older brother Jeremy as Invitational champs (though Jeremy would remind you he went undefeated in matchplay).
Top seeds in handicap struggled in matchplay, as #1 Sergio Torres was ousted in three games, and #2 Rachael Berg had to withdraw to due to injury. That high-seed carnage resulted in #9 Sebastian Polhill and #6 Bella Flowers as the last undefeated bowlers, and it was Bella winning that resulting match. They'd meet again in round eight, and this time Sebastian handed Bella her second loss. In the same round, Matt Baker eliminated Paul Colyer (but Paul earned enough to lock up Bowler of the Year), and 8 year-old Daryus Alo ousted Dante Rohe. In the next round, Matt Baker stayed alive with a win over Polhill, while Flowers ousted Alo. This left three players, and Bella got a bye while Polhill beat Baker, setting up a third meeting between Sebastian and Flowers, this time for the title.
The title game between the two ten year-olds was all Flowers, as she marked in eight of the first nine frames to lock up the win, second career JBT title, and a cool grand in scholarship prizes.
Berg's excellent bowling in the qualifying round also earned her the top seed for the day's Girls Invitational, and her withdrawl from the main Invite was partially to focus on the Girls title match. Though she fought bravely through her unfortunate leg injury, the veteran Lieber won the game for the Girls title and $200 scholarship bonus.
Huge thanks to the team at South Point for a fantastic job hosting one of our premier events. Want to get in on all this? Just check out our schedule and come on down!
|Mojave Invitational- final results and scholarship winners|
|1||Low 279||Baker 272|
|2||Schenck 276||Baker 266|
|3||Grondin 265||Hedges 263|
|4||Cardines 259||Schultz 259|
|5||Hendrickson 258||Colyer 257|
|Total Awarded This Event: $5,486|