The Southeast Pin Crushers U12 and U15 teams took the top seeds for the match-play bracket.
MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The USA Bowling National Championships presented by Sixlets kicked off Thursday with 32 teams but the Southeast Pin Crushers showed they have the teams to beat in both divisions while Chesapeake Bay Strikers rolled the second perfect game in the history of the event.
In its fourth year, the USA Bowling National Championships brings together the 32 champions from 16 regional tournaments – 16 teams in the 15-and-under division and 16 teams in the 12-and-under division – but the teams from the Southeast Region took the top seeds in both divisions at Astro Lanes.
In Thursday’s qualifying round, all teams bowled 15 qualifying matches, using a modified Baker format, to determine seeding for Friday’s double-elimination match-play bracket. Match play starts Friday at 10 a.m., also at Astro Lanes, and will consist of best-two-of-three Baker matches until the teams for the national title matches are determined.
BowlTV.com will provide livestream coverage of Friday’s match-play rounds.
In the U15 division, the Southeast Pin Crushers posted an 11-4 record to edge Menace To The Alleys (10-5), the Lower Great Lakes champion, for the top seed while the U12 Southeast Pin Crushers rolled to a 13-2 mark to beat out Ohio Valley regional champion #TEAMSCRUB (12-3).
“We’re really pleased that they performed well, but we just have to stay focused and try to close out the day tomorrow,” Jeffrey Collins, coach of the U15 Southeast Pin Crushers, said of the two teams. Collins coached a U12 team to a runner-up finish at the inaugural USA Bowling National Championships in 2016.
The U15 Southeast Pin Crushers are comprised of Kendall Battles, Rylan Breese, Matt Bruce, Ethan Collier and Joshua Collins.
The U12 team is coached by David Abel and team members are Peyton Abel, Keegan Alexander, Elijah McClain, Hunter Moffitt, Spiros Schenk, and Nathan Thesir.
Also, during Thursday’s qualifying round, the Chesapeake Bay Strikers, the Northeast Regional champion out of Rab’s Country Lanes in Staten Island, New York, posted the second 300 game in the history of the USA Bowling National Championships.
John Banfield completed the perfect game for his team with three consecutive strikes in the final frame. He admitted he was nervous on the last shot, but then turned around to celebrate the moment with his team.
“It made me want to cry, I was so filled with joy,” said Banfield. “It was amazing, just to feel that coming together of the team, and knowing you can do that, is amazing.”
In addition to Banfield, the team coached by Leo Menendez includes James Bennett, Nicholas Menendez, Nate Trentler, and Laney Wells.
With the bracket set, Friday’s match play will consist of best-two-of-three Baker matches until the teams for the national title matches are determined.
Thunderbowl Lanes will host the title matches on Friday, July 19, with the U12 final at 5 p.m. and U15 final at 8 p.m. The single-elimination best-three-of-five Baker matches will be taped for broadcast.
CBS Sports Network will televise the U12 title match on Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. (Eastern) and the U15 final will air Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. (Eastern).
Visit BOWL.com/USABowling for more information on the national championships.