Northwest Indiana Junior Tournament
North Hammond Classic
Zehner Storms Back to Win 5th Title
Purdue bound righty, strings back 6 to roll by Sisk 236-219 in title
South Bend native Dustin Zehner dominated the 2013-14 NWIJTPA tour, capturing 4 titles, and
he's served notice that his encore may even be more dominating. In the 2013-14 season
opening event, the North Hammond Classic, Zehner muddled through qualifying with a strong
1,691 8-game total, then stepped on the gas during matchplay, with an electrifying 236-219
victory over top-seeded Jakob Sisk. Zehner advanced to the finals with a 186-156 victory over
Grand Rapids Michigan's Chase Benitez.
The field of 20 boys was cut to 11 after six games of qualifying on a very scorable WTBA Seoul
pattern. After 2 additional games, the field was trimmed to 3 bowlers. Other cashers were
Antonio Salas and Anthony Butler, both newcomers to the tour.
Jackie Rhoda grabbed the early lead with a 233 opening game, then relinquished that lead
after game 2 to SFA sophomore Paige Kraushaar, but then regained it following a 243 third
game and then she never looked back. The Portage standout led 13 girls into the semi-finals
with a 1,279 score, 71 pins better than 2nd place Sydney Brummett (Fort Wayne via
Homestead). Two additional games saw Rhoda continue to hold the lead but the excitement
was taking place with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th seeds, all battling for the two final spots alongside
Rhoda in the stepladder finals. After a 257 game 3, Kraushaar climbed into the third spot 22
pins short of Brummett and 30 pins ahead of Chesterton sophomore sensation Sarah Voiers.
Game 8 proved pivotal as Voiers strung the front 7 and finished with a 267 to jump both
Kraushaar and Brummett. The final position was determined in the 10th frame. Kraushaar
struck out in the 10th forcing Brummett to strike on her first ball in the 10th. The two-time
Indiana High School Bowler of the Year and Wichita State recruit, proved why she is one of
the best in the history of Indiana youth bowling, not only striking in the 10th but also the 11th
In the first step-ladder it was the youngster Voiers edging the established star Brummett
176-171 allowing Voiers to advance to her first NWIJTPA title match. The match swung back
and forth but in the end Rhoda was too strong, striking in 4 of the final 5 frames to earn a
hard fought 221-188 victory. Rhoda fresh off her 2013-14 season ending Tour
Championships has established herself as the tour's player to beat this season.
Other cashers included Kraushaar, Annalee Sisk, and Greenwood's Alexandra Ross.
In all 25 girls competed in the event hosted and sponsored by Olympia Lanes.
Sisk dominated qualifying with a 6-game set of 1,371 which the Rossville bowler had the high game of the field in 5 of the 6 games. He continued
the torrid pace into the semi-finals where he secured the #1 seed by 80 pins over Zehner and 104 pins over Benites.
Junior Gold spots were awarded to Sisk and Salas.
Rhoda Notches 4th Career Title
Portage rising-senior dispenses of talented girls field with strong
Guys no match for Girls in Battle of the Sexes
Star Studded girls squad rolls by guys 218-159 and 258-157 to take 3-1 series lead
A girls team that more closely resembled a well-established collegiate
squad showed no mercy and literally rolled past the shocked boys squad
right out of the gate. The team of Paige Kraushaar, Annalee Sisk, Sarah
Voiers, Jackie Rhoda, and Sydney Brummett did not miss in either game,
posting scores of 218 and 258 to hand the guys their worst defeat in the
young series. The girls were coached by Mike Blue who was one of the
inventors of this challenge series (guessed he picked the right time to
The guys will be looking to right the ship at the Porter County Open at
Hebron Lanes but with a few more "big" name girls coming to compete, it
could get even more lopsided.