Women's Bowling Association rolls on in tournament


The Harford County Women's Bowling Association's 30th annual championship tournament drew 52 teams, 98 doubles and 186 singles entries that competed for a prize fund of $5,400 at Harford Lanes in Aberdeen.

"The bowlers enjoyed themselves," said Judy Wheeler, tournament director. "And that's what tenpin bowling is all about."

The Spare Makers -- Betty Bucchi, Jewel Gasdia, Anita Wilson, Patricia Lind and Glee Dubree -- placed first in the Handicap Division with a score of 3,157 on their home lanes. Dubree led the team with a 680 scratch set.

In the Scratch Division, the Strike Zone team toppled 2,855 pins to take first place. Ellen Ripken, Connie Marshall, Kay Conners and Barbara Blevins bowl at Harford Lanes and Chele Rutherford bowls at Bel Air Bowl.

In the Doubles Handicap event, Karen Billingsley and Chris Ball of Bel Air Bowl posted a score of 1,297 for first place. In the Scratch Doubles, Blevins and Chele Rutherford dropped 1,198 pins for their victory.

.5l Buttons Baker of Bel Air Bowl won the Singles Handicap event with a 689 series, and the Scratch Singles division was won by Rutherford with a 653 series.

The All-Event Handicap crown went to Valerie Marshall with a total of 1,976, and Rutherford fired a total of 1,902 pins to win the Scratch All-Event.

Earlier this year Rutherford won the 1992-93 Margaret Rusell Memorial Award for the season's highest composite average in the Harford County WBA leagues with a 205.71.

During that time she posted the association's highest scratch individual game (296) and highest three-game series (729).

Last March she rolled the highest nine-game series of any non-professional in Women's International Bowling Congress history. Competing in the Baltimore Women's Bowling Association Tournament she pounded out three 700-plus sets for a total of 2,236 that smashed the old record by 208 pins.

Blevins of Aberdeen, the 1992 Margaret Russell Memorial Award winner, earlier this year became the second Harford County women bowler to post a 299 game. The first was Peggy Barton, who tossed her 299 game in 1971 at Bel Air Bowl in the Hodge Podge League.

"The only thing that sticks in my mind, besides the great time everyone had at the tournament is that I bowled 21 games in one day," said Wheeler.

"And I still managed to average 192 for the tournament. Oh, yes, and I cashed!"

A big day in Annapolis

Kelly Ruckman and Roshelle Brown traveled to Annapolis Bowl in Anne Arundel County to compete in the first Parents Coach Association Singles Tournament that drew 197 entries.

Ruckman captured the Prep Division Handicap title, and Brown set tournament records for the girls division with a 232 game and a 597 set.

Kelly, 11, lives in Joppa with her parents, Randy and Debbie Ruckman, and is a sixth-grader at Magnolia Middle School.

"I started bowling last summer," Kelly said. "My dad drilled my ball for me." Randy Ruckman operates the Bowler's Alley Pro Shop at Fair Lanes Dundalk in Baltimore County.

Kelly used the 8-pound ball to qualify as top seed.

"Then I had to wait to bowl in the [stepladder] finals," she said, "And that's when I got pretty nervous."

But she handled it as all champions do. She accepted the wait, overcame the butterflies and then rolled on to victory.

Brown, 17, a senior at Aberdeen High, lives with her mother, Febbe, in Aberdeen and bowls in YABA league Saturday mornings at Harford Lanes and the Baltimore Travel League from Fair Lanes Edgewood.

She maintains a 165 average with a high game of 238 and a high series of 601.

In the PCA event she fired a 232 game and added games of 184 and 181 for a 597 series; the 232 game and the 597 set were the records for the girls division.

Tournament in Forest Hill

The HCWBA/CHMBA will play host to the second annual Mixed Team Tournament at Forest Hill Lanes on Jan. 30-31.

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