By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — Fifty-six men and women filled the lanes at Great Balls of Fire in McAlester on Saturday, hoping to finish among the top 14 in the Kiamichi Country Senior Bowling Tournament.
John Newport came out on top, taking first place in the tournament and automatically qualifying for the Tournament of Champions in December.
Particpants bowled four games apiece Saturday, moving to a different pair of lanes after each game. The top four finishers then competed in a “stepladder” competition for the top four spots, with the third- and fourth-seeded bowlers facing each other for the chance to face the second seed, and the winner of that match moving on to face the top seed.
Gayla Wagner finished her first four games in fourth place, but then beat her husband, Ken Wagner, in the 3-4 playoff to move up the stepladder. Gayla Wagner then fell to second-seed Hubert Pingleton, who in turn lost to Newport, who posted the highest combined score through four games and then took home the championship.
With his second-place finish, Pingleton also qualified for the Tournament of Champions.
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