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, 2018-03-18 18:51:00
East Syracuse, N.Y. — Ryan and Evan Connor realized Sunday they have a pretty cool mom.
When their mother, Anne Connor, came off the lanes after winning her second straight Post-Standard Women’s Masters Bowling championship the proud siblings wasted little time jumping into her arms to congratulate her.
“She didn’t lose any matches,” 11-year-old Ryan said. “She’s really good.”
Connor was better than good as she rolled a tournament-high 287 game in the championship en route to a 531-504 victory against 2012 champion Courtney Radick at Bowl Mor Lanes in East Syracuse.
After the awards ceremony, Ryan Connor was in charge of carrying his mom’s oversized $1,000 first place check while 5-year-old Evan held the crystal Mary Jane Egloff Memorial trophy. Connor’s cheering squad also included her husband Rob, her mother Carol and her brother Sal Acquaviva.
“It means a lot to have them here,” Connor said. “The boys weren’t here when I won it last year but they watched it on Facebook. They followed along and were definitely more aware of it this year.”
Connor, of New York Mills, is the first player to win back-to-back titles since Julie Sakran did it in 1998-1999. Sakran was on hand Sunday to watch Connor repeat as champion and was among the many to congratulate her on the feat. Connor set a tournament record with 14 consecutive match play wins.
“She’s going to win three in a row,” Sakran predicted.
Radick, of Oswego, did her best to hand Connor her first loss in two years. Although Radick was down 18 pins to Connor after the first game of the two-game title match, she showed her toughness by staying with Connor strike for strike in the second game. Both bowlers had the first six strikes until Radick broke off with a 10-pin in the seventh frame.
“I thought I threw a pretty good shot that could have carried,” Radick said.
Radick closed out with a 278 game while Connor kept striking. She flirted with a perfect game but left an 8 count on her 11th ball and finished with a 287. Connor’s 531 scratch series total was high for the tournament.
“I knew the match would come down to who could carry the 10-pin,” Connor said. “I just tried to keep doing what I was doing and hope that I carry. And I did.”
“I would have liked to give Anne a run for her money in a winner-take-all final match,” Radick said. “Sure I’m disappointed. There are things I could have done differently. But I don’t know if they would have changed the outcome. She bowled great.”
Radick, a Syracuse Women’s Bowling Association hall of famer, took the longest road possible to get to the championship. After an opening round loss to Rosemarie Speich, Radick racked up 10 straight wins including a 461-451 come-from-behind win over Michele Connor in the semifinal.
“It was a lot of games but I held up pretty well,” Radick said. “I had a great shot so I had some confidence that if I bowled well I could do something.”
Connor, who bowls one night a week in a men’s classic league at Pin-o-Rama in Utica, finished the tournament at 7-0 with 221 scratch average. Connor’s closest match came Saturday when she and Christine Episcopo tied at 453 with Connor winning the two-frame roll-off.
“Most of my matches I was down after the first game but I found a way to win,” Connor said.
Radick (10-2) and third-place finisher Michele Connor (5-2) tied for high scratch average with a 232. Angela Miller, who lost to Radick on Saturday, placed fourth.
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