Northwest Indiana Junior Tournament
Players Association        
Team Trials
AWARDS Summary
Michigan City Open Girls Champion
Nicole Walton
Portage HS
Team Trials Boys Champion
Dustin Zehner
Penn HS
ZEHNER GOES BACK TO BACK -  Defeats Kammer in Team Trials
Finals for 2nd Title in a Row, 3rd of the Season
Penn High School's senior sensation continued his brilliant bowling this past
weekend at Camelot Bowl in Portage, defeating a field of 29 boys to earn his 2nd
consecutive NWIJTPA title and 3rd of the season.  The recently named Indiana
High School Bowler of the Year qualified in the fourth position with 63 ranking
points (the tournament used the US Team Trials scoring format where players
where ranked each game based on pinfall for that game, the fewer the ranking
points the better) trailing NWIJTPA bowler of the year candidates Adam Batliner
and Bobby Kammer, as well as Portage standout Jordan Trent.  Batliner paced
the boys field with 34 ranking points while only he and Kammer averaged more
than 200 on the grueling 43 foot WTBA Mens 2008 Masters pattern.

The four entered the eliminator style finals all level.  Game 1 saw both Zehner and
Batliner pull away late, leaving Kammer and Trent to battle for the final advancing
spot.  Kammer marked in the 10th to edge Trent 179-171 to advance.  In the
semi-finals Batliner struggled as was eliminated with a 168.  The finals started out
as if it was going to go down to the wire, however, a couple errant Kammer shots
compounded with a Zehner 4-bagger resulted in a runaway 233-165 win for
Zehner.   Zehner earned $200 while Kammer collected $150 in scholarships.  In
addition to the top four players, Mike Blue and Mark Childress also earned
scholarship dollars with their 5th and 6th place finishes.
Walton Earns First NWIJTPA Title
Portage Standout defeats Wichita State Bound and top seed
Sydney Brummett in title match, 170-157
Nicole Walton became the 12th girl to earn an NWIJTPA title with her exciting 170-157
victory over Fort Wayne prodigy Sydney Brummett.  Walton qualified as the fourth seed with
45 ranking points after leading the event through 4 of 6 qualifying games.   In the eliminator
round, she would be joined by top seed Brummett (27 ranking points and the only lady to
average in excess of 200), Portage teammate and Indiana High School Bowler of the Year
Jackie Rhoda, and Kouts freshman Erin Drang.   Rhoda was the first eliminated as she
struggled to a 138 but it was not until Walton marked in the tenth did she become officially
knocked out as Walton limped in with a 149.  In the semi-finals, both Walton and Brummett
started slow while Drang came out strong, but the seasoned seniors both strung strikes in
the back half to easily secure spots in the finals.  The title match went back and forth as
spares suddenly became difficult to convert but in the end Walton stepped up in the 10th
and filled with 20 to earn her first victory and $200 in scholarship earnings.  Brummett
collected $150.  Heidi Tucker who finished 5th also earned some scholarship funds.

In all 23 girls competed, averaging 167.8 as a group on the demanding conditions.
Girls Dominate Boys in Battle of the Sexes
Girls win best of 3 baker, 2-0.
In a new feature for the NWIJTPA events, the top boys
and top girls in the standings join forces to battle the
opposite gender in a best 2 of 3 baker match.  After
battling and being focused throughout the day on the
always tough conditions the NWIJTPA challenges the
bowlers with, this event, presents a chance for the players
to relax and team up, rather than compete against each
other.  It's fun and beneficial giving the players experience
in high level team competition.

The inaugural match took place following the Team Trials
championships and with celebrity coaches guiding the
teams (Girls - Derek Carter, Boys - Carly Larson), there
was no doubt the fans and players were in for some
excitement.  The girls earned the victory with two
convincing wins - 185-162 and 204-152.  The boys acted
as if they were just being gentleman and simply let the
girls win but that couldn't be farther from the truth.  The
girls simply stole the show with their accurate spare
shooting and timely / clutch doubles.

The series stands at 1-0 girls with match 2 taking place
on March 16 (if the boys decide to accept the challenge).
Battle of the Sexes Winners

Jackie Rhoda, Sydney Brummett, Nicole Walton, Sarah Voiers, Erin Drang