Jackson’s frames are the perfect square
Post Independent Staff
NEW CASTLE ” Webb Jackson likes comebacks. And the New Castle resident is good at it.
Edging his way by six pins into the fifth and final qualifying spot for the championship round of the King of the Mountain bowling tournament, Jackson concluded a spectacular run of four straight wins by rolling a perfect 300 game for the 2005 crown.
“Actually, I like coming in as one of the lower qualifiers,” he said. “Because you’re throwing the ball, and you’re keeping your stroke going.”
And nobody, as the tournament wound down, had a better stroke than Jackson on Saturday.
The native of Georgia, who has lived in the area for about a year, concluded the day with perfection.
After rolling a tournament high of 289 in his sixth game of the eight-game qualifying series, Jackson, per tournament rules, had to move to the outer alleys to finish up.
The switch couldn’t have come at a worse time.
In two games on lanes 15 and 16, Jackson’s scores dropped dramatically. Game 7 ” a 242 ” was strong. Game 8 was a disaster. Jackson lost his rhythm and was unsure of anything after totaling 135.
“I thought that game was going to take me out of the top five,” he said. “I squeaked in.”
Given a reprieve, Jackson had one thought: “I was just hoping that we weren’t going back that pair (of lanes) at all in the stepladder.”
Jackson’s hopes were answered.
Shifting back to lanes 10 and 11 ” alleys where Jackson had better success earlier ” he responded by mowing down his opponents.
“The (lanes) were dead on,” he said. “They never changed. I had the same shot every time.”
And most of those times Jackson rang up a strike.
Needing to defeat all four players ranked ahead of him in head-to-head competition, Robert Stroud and Tony Bergman were first on the list. Both players lost to Jackson by more than 40 points.
Jackson won his third match against No. 2 scorer Ted Bina by one pin ” 216 to 215. The key moment came when Bina missed the four pin for the spare in the fourth frame.
Dennis Brown loomed as a tougher challenge.
He had brushed aside the rest of the field in the earlier rounds. Entering the championship match, Brown averaged 216, and, as the top qualifier, earned a 45-minute rest as Jackson knocked off opponents.
It took Brown a frame to get back into the groove. His first-frame spare was all the opening Jackson needed.
Retaliating with a strike, the Georgian kept on rolling.
Jackson did get a bit of luck when his ball ticked enough of the left-side pocket, between the 1 and 3 pins, to keep the streak going.
“I tugged that ball. I just got lucky. It was a bad shot,” said Jackson, who typically goes for the pocket to the right of the front pin. “The rest were pretty pure.”
Brown, after the first frame, was almost as good.
He threw six straight strikes until a stubborn six pin failed to topple in the eighth frame. Brown concluded the championship game with a 269 ” his best single game of the tournament.
“Dennis was great. He’s a good bowler, and I knew he was going to put up some pressure,” Jackson said.
“He did his job,” Brown said of Jackson’s perfecto. “He was great. That’s all that counts.”
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