Northwest Indiana Junior Tournament
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Adam Batliner, Laura Levander Climb the Ladder to Earn NWIJTPA Titles
Batliner's 2nd Career Title comes at expense of top-seeded Bobby Kammer
Levander downs event's top player Kelly Belzeski to earn first title
Laura Levander used a huge 220 game 6 to jump from 7th to 3rd to advance to the semi-final round, then
continued that strong performance in games 7 & 8 to hold onto the third and final stepladder position. Once in
the final three, she stepped on the gas and rolled by #2 seed Jackie Rhoda 214-191 and then stormed out to an
early and seemingly commanding lead, through seven frames, in the title tilt against top-seeded Kelly Belzeski.
However, Belzeski, who was the event's most dominating player, averaging 218 during the 8 game qualifying
segment, nearly 250 pins better than her nearest opponent, said "not so fast", and finished with the back five
(including a tripped 4-9 in the 9th that had the crowd on their feet) to force Levander to mark in the 10th. The
Lake Central junior calmly stepped up and threw strikes in the 10th and 11th to secure her first title with a
225-214 victory over her LC teammate. Levander earned $160 in scholarships while Belzeski banked $125.
Rhoda claimed $75 for her third place finish while Caroline Dienes was fourth, good for $50. Greenwood
Christian Academy's Alexandra Ross was fifth.
Highland's Adam Batliner closed with games of 235, 212, and 256 to jump from 6th to 2nd, then rolled by Jake
Sturgill 200-191 before dismantling tournament leader Bobby Kammer 234-136 in the finals. This was Batliner's
second career title. For his efforts, Batliner banked $160 while Kammer took away $125. Sturgill was awarded
$75 for his third place finish. Munster's Tyler Hansen was fourth.
only $930 in entry fees were collected, the prize ratio to entry fees of 140%
is not possible unless many things come together. These include having a
Tucker - Hobart Lanes) as well as a dedicated volunteer staff (Nancy,
Larry, Paul, Mike, Karen). Throw in the champions awards and the ratio
approaches 150%!! Hopefully the remaining events can be half as
The next event is November 9th at Inmans Recreation Center in
Valparaiso, Indiana. This event will start at 5 PM and follow the NCAA
Womens Crusader Classic tournament. Expectations are that many of the
top collegiate programs will be in attendance to watch the girls field
compete. Limited space is available so sign up soon. Cost is only $35 for
both members and nonmembers for this event only.
The board is in the process of attempting to secure a sponsor for this
event to supplement the prize fund.