Hinton beats Clifton by a pin to win NABI tenpin tournament


February 28, 1993|By DON VITEK

The National Amateur Bowlers, Inc. tournament at Fair Lanes Ritchie during the Valentine Day's weekend drew 200 entires and had a pay-out of $4,600.

Larry Hinton defeated Mike Clifton, 180-179, to win the $1,000 top prize. Clifton won $500 for his second-place finish.

Dave Page took third, Cynda Whiteleather was fourth and Janet McIntyre finished fifth.

Hinton lives in Savage with his wife, Brenda. Both of them bowl duckpins and tenpins -- tenpins at Fair Lanes Laurel and ducks at College Park Lanes.

Bowling tenpins for only a season, Larry carries a 176 average with high game of 279 and a high set of 697. He has a duckpin average of 135 with a high single game of 234 and a high set of 513.

"I think I was more nervous than Larry," Brenda said. "And then to have the game so close was scary."

Larry bowls in the NABI tournaments every couple of weeks.

"I really enjoy the game," he said. "I wouldn't want to change anything. It's a lot of fun."

Page, a Laurel resident, was manager of the Bethesda Naval Hospital 20-lane bowling center for four years until he left last summer to pursue a new business venture.

Page has a 192 average with a high set of 700 and a high game of 278.

Never afraid to change equipment, he got to the NABI finals throwing a White Dot and Turbo ball on alternating lanes. Then he used just the White Dot in the stepladder finals that won him $250 for third.

A sweet tournament win

Jenn Wilbanks won the Bowl America Odenton Valentine Sweetheart tournament and the dinner for two at the Wooden Nickel that went with the trophy.

Wilbanks is career army, an E-7 stationed at Fort Meade. Bowling in two leagues -- the Sunday Two Pairs Classic at Bowl America Odenton and the Tuesday Mixed Pair at Fort Meade lanes -- she has a 163 average with a high game of 279.

He aims to please

"The most important thing in running a bowling center is pleasing the customer," says Craig Luntz, center manager at Bowl America Odenton.

"I want bowling to be fun, and I want to provide the best possible service to the bowlers."

Luntz, originally from Randallstown, lives in Millersville and has been associated with the Bowl America chain for more than 12 years, the past eight as a manager. He took over at Odenton in August 1993 at the beginning of the fall/winter season.

A 190-plus-average bowler when he was active on the lanes, Luntz hasn't picked up his Hammer bowling ball for almost two years.

"I just kind of burned out," he said. "When you spend so much time in a bowling center it can get to you. Now after being away from it for a while I'm starting to think strongly about starting up again."

As so many native of this area, Luntz started bowling duckpins as a youngster, then switched to tenpins. He's thrown a 300 game and has a career high series of 736.

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