From start to finish, Safari Bowl was the only team in first place throughout the first half of the Bill Mastronardi/Bud Light Masters traveling league.
The team won the first-half title last Monday at Roxy's in Pekin, despite a 34-16 loss to second-place T&D Windshield.
Needing just nine points to sew up the first half, Safari won the opening game, 10-2, getting 259 from captain Mark Stenger, 257 from Brad Moore (726 series), 220 from Bill Maher and 208 from Rob Johnson.
"Turns out we needed that first game, because we had two of our worst games of the season after that," Stenger said.
T&D got a 732 set from Travis Anderson and a 690 from Adam Burnette, and won the next two games. T&D won total pins by more than 100 pins. It was only the third loss of the season for Safari, which won the first half by 15 points over T&D.
Safari's team average of 909 was 14 pins higher than the next highest team. Individually, Moore led the team, and the league, at 238, Stenger was at 229, Johnson 223 and Maher 221.
"I thought we got a steal when we picked Brad 31st (out of 36 draft picks)," Stenger said. "If he could give us 220 (average), we would have a good chance to win. He averaged 238 for 45 games and made our team almost unstoppable."
Moore also rolled two 300s and a league-high 826 series, while going 81-39 in head-to-head play and finishing ahead of Steve Taylor (236.38) in average in the first half.
The league starts the second half on Monday at Sunset Lanes in Pekin.
JANUSZ BENEFIT: Safari Bowl will host a benefit at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, to help the family of Peoria River City Association president Joe Janusz.
Janusz has been placed in ICU at the Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, and is on the heart transplant list. The benefit is to help his family offset the mounting costs in dealing with the situation.
The benefit will include a 9-pin singles event, with optional doubles. Handicap will be 80 percent of 210. Entry fee will be $25, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Janusz family. There also will be raffle items and a 50/50 drawing.
SENIOR STATE CHAMPS: Dillard Clark and Gary Alstott teamed up to win the Division E (50 to 54) doubles title in the Illinois State USBC Senior Tournament. They totaled 1,378 to win by 10 pins.
Alstott also was third in Division E all events with 1,416, Rick Remelius second in Division C all events with 1,330, and Clark third in Division E singles with a 726.
SUNSET WINNER: Rob Morgan edged Corey Gray, 214-204, in the title match to win the Sunset Handicap Sweeper last Sunday at Sunset Lanes in Pekin.
Morgan opened the bracket finals by beating Steven Lawson Jr., 228-194, and then edged Stephen Czaja, 247-236.
Gray beat qualifying leader Kathy Bath, 236-211 in the quarterfinals. Bath went into the tournament with a 177 average, but posted scratch games of 209, 264, 234 and 258 for a 965 scratch total — the fourth high scratch total in qualifying. With her handicap, Bath was the leader with 1,117.
Gray beat Kenny Combs, who had the high scratch qualifying score at 988, in the semis to reach the title match.
BROTHERS LEADERS: Douglas and Justin Hammel have taken over the scratch and handicap leads in the brothers division of the 95th annual Brothers Tournament at Landmark Lanes. They took the lead with a 1,281 scratch total and a 1,404 handicap effort.
Defending champions Mark Zimmerman and Mike Bohm took over the lead in the brothers-in-law division with 1,372. Robby and Billy Hurst continue to lead the adult/juvenile group at 1,231, while John and Christopher Gray are now leading in the juvenile division with 1,136.
JOHNNY CAMPOS is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 686-3214. Read his Spare Change blog at blogs.pjstar.com/sparechange, or follow him on Twitter at @JohnnyCampos59.