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Bowling tourney winding down as players gear up

By By Ryan Satcher / staff writer
June 11, 2002
The Mississippi State Bowling Association Tournament finished off its sixth and final weekend with a bang.
Chris Fiala of Hattiesburg, Ben Edwards of Tupelo and Chuck Gray of Meridian each bowled a perfect game in the doubles event. Curly Small of Jackson recorded the tournament's highest series and only 800 with a 813 series in the team event on Sunday.
The winner of the singles handicap event was Joe Fortenberry of Hattiesburg. His 820 was good enough to beat second place C.W. Gray of Meridian. Chad Flemming of McComb took the singles scratch title with a 759.
In doubles, Johnnie Blackmon of Meridian and Edwards won the doubles championship by two pins. They bowled a 1493 in the final weekend to take the win. It was the fifth time the leader of the doubles event had changed. The pair also had the highest scratch series and had a 568 to take the high scratch game in doubles.
Khurtz's Keglers successfully defended their team title by winning the team event once again this year. It was the first time in state tournament history that a team had one back-to-back titles. The team composed of members from Hattiesburg, Vicksburg and Gulfport bowled a 3512 to repeat. "Long Shots" finished second, 31 pins behind the winners. The Meridian team, "Joint Forces" finished 11th. The team was made up of Dewitt Griffin, Bob Davis, Gene Derusha, Paul Samasuck and Leon Fike.
All the standings are unofficial until verified.
The All-Events scratch champion was Curly Small with a 2149. He won a cash prize and the Mississippi State Champion trophy as well as a paid entry into the nationally televised 2003 ABC Masters in Reno, Nev.
Chris Tedford of Columbus took the All-Events Handicap title with a 2242.
A total of 260 teams, 574 doubles and 1148 singles competed in the tournament that was spread over six weekends. Bowlers competed for over $60,000 in prize money.
Next year the tournament will be held in Tupelo.