Early in the NDBowling.com Era (2012-present), the annual State Scratch Team Tournament often seemed like a foregone conclusion when Team ND Storm was in attendance. The team brought home 4 consecutive titles from 2012-2015 by margins ranging from as much as 325 pins in 2015 to as little as 41 pins in 2013.
In 2016, the empire was brought down by a young Double Stuffed Lefties team (Brad Nordick, Blake Wallstrum, Eric Parvey, Thomas Wolf) up in Minot. Last season, Team Sunset Lanes (Mike Larson, Scott Handlos, Lonnie Thielbar, Mike Morris) claimed their first title at Paragon Bowl in Dickinson. This season, a new-look ND Storm team showed up to Midway Lanes in Mandan in search of past success.
14 teams made their way to Midway Lanes for the annual State Scratch Team Tournament. Each member of the 4-man team would bowl 6 games on Saturday and 6 games on Sunday with total pins determining the champion.
Team ND Storm (Travis Hersrud, Randy Peterson, Eric Kempel, Doug Wagner) jumped out to a decent lead on Saturday posting an overall total of 5139 on the custom 41 foot pattern put together by Midway Lanes. The oil pattern provided a tough test for the field as players were forced to make quick changes due to the pattern playing quite differently from pair to pair.
On Sunday, team NDBowling.com (Daren Seney, Charles Wilkin, Tad Schmidt, Matt Smallin) made a run early in the day to cut the lead down to around 80 pins with 4 games to go, but that is when team ND Storm turned it up.ND Storm would go on to post games of 879 and 943 to open up a lead of over 200 pins. With games of 820 and 808 to finish the tournament, ND Storm claimed their first team title in 3 years by a comfortable 309 pin margin. ND Storm was lead by Randy Peterson who fired a 12 game total of 2614 (217 ave). All 4 bowlers of team ND Storm finished in the top 20 individually with 3 finishing inside the top 8.
The individual side of the tournament was dominated by Thomas Wolf. Despite a 140 game late on Saturday, Wolf still managed to post a 2742 12-game total (228.5 ave) that included a 300 in game 9. Wolf was 100 pins better than any other bowler in a field where only 14 bowlers shot plus (over 200 average) out of 56 participants.
Thank you to Jim Mellon and the staff at Midway Lanes for hosting another great event. The staff was able to overcome a few scoring glitches on Saturday, and things were smooth sailing on Sunday for the remainder of the tournament.
Congratulations to team ND Storm on a great weekend of bowling and another State Scratch Team title.
Also, big shout out to Thomas Wolf for an impressive individual performance taking home the Singles Title.