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      2017 FINALS - ROUND 2 RECAP

The finale of the 54th Times-News Open move to Eastway Lanes on a snowy Sunday afternoon with the schedule showing the final 7 head-to-head matches and a position round match for game 8.

The lane conditions proved to be a challenge for the areas top bowlers as, by day's end, just 5 of the 16 finalists were able to average 200 for the day with three of them finishing in the top three positions.

2-time defending champion Lee Eighmy, Jr. was able to hold the lead every game on Saturday, advancing that streak to 13 games overall but that streak ended quickly this Sunday as Eighmy suffered a match loss to Robbie Troutman, 211-201 while T.J. Mitchell was disposing of Jake Martz 206-199 moving Mitchell 7 pins in front. However the next game Mitchell was trounced by the high game of the day, a 279 by Nick Kightlinger to his 176. A 234-194 victory over Chris Jannazzo allowed Eighmy to climb back on top.

Interestingly enough, Mike Machuga had the same to opponents in games 9 and 10 and was able to defeat both, Jannzzo 234-206 and Troutman 259-228. That was enough to jump Mitchell into second place setting up one of the mega matches of the day, Eighmy vs. Machuga, 1 vs. 2. Eighmy had his struggles while Machuga continued his hot start taking the match 237-206 and moving himself into the lead, 16 pins in front of Eighmy.

For the second time, Eighmy  and Machuga would face common opponents with Eighmy taking down Bob Stile 237-134 and Corey Rapela 228-192. Machuga was not so fortunate besting Rapela 213-192 but then dropping his match with Stile 249-220. Eighmy's lead was now 46.

6-time Champion Mike Shady was keeping within striking range following a loss in game 9 with 4 consecutive victories leaving himself still 160 back with Mitchell another 62 further back in 4th.

However, the stage was now set as for the third time Eighmy and Machuga would face common opponents and one of those opponents was Shady.

Shady was able to take down Machuga 258-235 while Eighmy was struggling with Chris Moffett. Eighmy was able to eek out a 166-156 victory and now Eighmy's lead was just 7 over Machuga and Shady was just 68 back.

Shady would now take on Eighmy in game 15, badly needing a win to tighten the race. He bowled a good game but Eighmy was better, 246-233. With Machuga topping Moffett 213-188, Eighmy's lead grew to 40 pins heading to the position round match with Machuga. Shady still had a shot but was now 111 back as he would be facing Mitchell in the 3 v. 4 match.

Eighmy started fast with a triple, Machuga couldn't manage a double. A solid 10 pin in the 4th slowed Eighmy down and when he missed it, Machuga had the opening he needed, however, he could capitalize on it. A split in the 6th for Machuga put the match and the tournament firmly in Eighmy's grasp. When Eighmy followed up a spare in the 5th with strikes in the 6th, 7th, and 8th spelled sure victory for Eighmy and he closed the game with strikes for 257, one of the high games of the entire day. Machuga finished with 187 and his second consecutive runner up finish to Eighmy. Mitchell defeated Shady 180-160 but it was not enough to overtake him, Shady finishing 3rd and Mitchell 4th.

Nick Kightlinger had the two highest games of the day, a 279 in game 10 in a victory over Mitchell's 170 and then a 268 in game 14 to Nick Godfrey's 228. In the finale against Corey Rapela, Kightlinger was not able to manage much, 164 but it was good enough against Rapela's 161 allowing Kightlinger to hold onto 5th, leaving Rapela 6th.

Godfrey had the only other 200+ game in game 16 and that was good enough to propel him from 9th to 7th, dropping Josh  Dodson 8th. Petroff remained 9th falling one pin behind Dodson. Danny Mackowski, Jr. also made a jump, moving from 12th to 10th, by defeating Kylle Twaroski 183-152. Bob Stile dropped to 11th and Twaroski to 12th.

There were no changes in places 13 through 16 in any of the day's final 4 games with Chris Moffett 13th, Robbie Troutman 14th, Chris Jannazzo 15th, and Jake Martz II 16th.

The title was Eighmy's 8th, two better than both Ron Palombi, Jr. and Mike Shady. It was also his third in a row matching Shady's feat in 2002-14.

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