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Aberdeen’s Harford Lanes celebrates pair of 300 games, a week apart

Harford Lanes in Aberdeen celebrated perfection recently; not once, but twice in its Wednesday evening APG Men’s League when Dustin Jones and Matt Wassin rolled 300 games a week apart.

For Jones, the memorable moment came on November 25 and it was his first ever 300 game. Wassin, meanwhile, completed perfection on December 2 for his second career 300 game.

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Oddly enough, Jones, a 26-year old Havre de Grace resident, pulled off the feat as a substitute. Yes, a substitute.

“I actually was subbing on my brother’s team,” Jones said. Jones has been a regular in the league before, but stepped back into a subbing role for this year, but not very often.

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Making the story even more interesting is that Jones bowled the 300 against Wassin’s team. “Which actually, the week that I shot 300 was against him [Wassin],” Jones said.

“I bowled in the league last year with my brother [Mike Jones], but then I took the year off from bowling, altogether,” Jones said.

Jones had come close before, but the perfect 300 game had eluded him. “I shot 289, so the front 10,” Jones, who throws a 15-pound ball, said. When asked how long he’s bowled, Jones says, “a long time.”

So, the night that history was made for Jones. “I got nervous, I started sitting down, not talking to anybody and then once I got the front nine, I texted my nephew [Kenneth Jones], who I bowl with all of the time,” Jones said. “I asked him, ‘what happens when I start getting nervous...do I throw the ball faster or slower?’ And he told me that I get fast, so I adjusted to try and make sure that didn’t happen again.”

The advice and adjustment clearly made a difference. “Then, still ended up getting a little fast on the last one and going Brooklyn,” Jones said. The first 11 strikes were where a right-hand bowler wants the ball, hitting the head pin and three pin. The Brooklyn hits the head and two pins and sometimes it creates a strike.

“I just kind of fist bumped, I was relieved that I finally got one,” Jones recalls of his reaction. “That is pretty much what I was thinking.” Jones’ 300 came on his third and final game.

Despite the big night, Jones says he plans to stay the course. “I’ll probably just sub for this year and most likely join back in the league with my brother next year,” said Jones, who has not bowled since.

Jones advice to those who are still chasing that dream. “Just keep trying and eventually it will happen,” Jones said.

For Wassin, a 24-year old Aberdeen resident, perfection came for a second time, some three years after his first.

Like Jones, Wassin says he’s been bowling for awhile, starting at age 10.

“Luckily, my teammates kind of kept my mind off it, I didn’t really realize until maybe the eight or ninth frame,” Wassin recalls. “Then, I got up in the 10th and I was good for the first two and the 12th one, my knees started to shake a little bit, but I ended up getting my composure and throwing a pretty good shot.”

Wassin’s reaction was relief. “Relief, yes, that’s, the perfect word is relief,” Wassin said. There was no backflip. “No, I’m not that type, I’m pretty sure some people up there would, but, nah, I just turned around and just walked off the lane.”

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Wassin says that after someone shoots a 300 or a really good score, lots of fellow bowlers come and of congratulations. “It’s a pretty good feeling,” Wassin said.

As for the fact that Jones bowled his 300 against Wassin and then Wassin bowls his a week later, Wassin said, “That’s a weird one. I was happy to see him throw his first one. I’ve been bowling with him since youth leagues, so for him to bowl it against me, I couldn’t have been happier to watch.”

Wassin has had other close calls, but even without the 300, it offered up another milestone for bowlers, a 800 series. “I actually bowled a 298 and with those three games, I threw my first 800, which was an 804,” Wassin said. Wassin says that took place probably two years ago.

“So, now I have a 298, a 299 and two 300′s and the biggest one of all is the 800,” Wassin said. “That’s the one, a real bowler wants the 800.”

Wassin explains there’s a difference as to which game you bowl the 300. “If you bowl it either the first or second game, you dread the next game, you’re just all pumped up,” he said. Wassin’s 300 came on his second game.

Bowling it in the third or final game just sends the bowler home with a well deserved great feeling.

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