Two local bowlers found Circle Bowl to their liking this past weekend and made it to the final of the December BR Tournament.

It was Derwin Pitre, who has called several cities home, but who is well-known in the local bowling circles, winning the top prize of $2,625, defeating Baton Rouge’s John Aubert in the two-game championship match.

Pitre, a 232 average bowler with no handicap, spotted 32 pins to his rival, who entered with a 190 average. Pitre made up the handicap difference in game one and rolled games of 245-257 to win, 502-409. For his 19 games in the tournament, Pitre averaged 232.

Aubert, who averaged 205 for 16 tournament games, took home second-place money of $1,312.75 from the field of 403.

Dustin Haynes of Houston and Texas’ Derrick Woods lost in the round of four — Haynes to Pitre, 447-426 in which Pitre won the first game of the match 179-148 before fortune smiled on both players in the second game with Haynes edging Pitre, 278-268. Aubert took down Woods, 435-398.

Both semifinalists won $551.36.

Clay Duke of Baton Rouge and Wesley Fletcher were the local quarterfinalists, winning $367.57, while Wade Duplessie, Trey Field, James Gribble, Justin Vietch, Jason Webb and Brian Yoches were the area bowlers making the round of 16, for $210.04.

John Amedee, Jerry Conard, Michael Book, Butch Cormier, Billy King, Thomas Matthews, Duke Nelson, John Rahm, Eugene Smithers, Sumner Taylor and Woody Woodruff advanced to the bracket of 32 representing our state and earning $144.40.

PBA shows under way

New camera angles, a large enthusiastic crowd and familiar names highlighted the opening two shows Sunday of the PBA bowling season on ESPN.

Mika Koivuniemi and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard won the respective World Bowling Tour titles for the season. But the first match was the one everyone has been waiting for between Sean Rash and Jason Belmonte. There has been much tension between the two since the expletive-laced outburst by Rash on TV this summer after he suspected Belmonte was squeezing a plastic water bottle on purpose at inappropriate times.

Now, ESPN played it up top on the show, and they should because Rash and Belmonte could face each other several more times before all is said and done in these tape-delayed shows.

This week starts the first of five shows over six weeks (no bowling on Christmas), which will decide the PBA World Championship. There are four groups of four, and they will bowl eliminator style to get the final four that will bowl for the title in mid-January. All five shows are at noon on ESPN.

BR USBC Open update

Folks, it is two months and a few days until the opening shot is thrown on the specially-constructed 48 lanes at the Baton Rouge River Center for the 149-day USBC Open that begins Feb. 11.

Construction of those lanes and all that surrounds the tournament is also about a week away.

Brian Lewis, the managing director of tournaments for the USBC, said the entries as of last weekend stand at 11,250 for this year’s tournament or over 56,000 bowlers. While we won’t get to the 13,000 number of 2005, both Lewis and I agreed that 12,000 teams was doable by the Dec. 15 deadline.

I just sent in my entry about five days ago. I didn’t enter in 2005, so there is a new team. If some of you who didn’t bowl in 2005 take the opportunity to throw the ball in the grandest stage you will ever roll in, 12,000 is a distinct possibility. I’m not looking for all that number we need to come from here. But a few teams here and a few teams there and those procrastinating team captains will get us over the mark.

I can’t wait until we begin The Advocate’s coverage of a special event soon after the first of the year.

Charles Dunaway notes

There were some great numbers rolled since we were last with you topped by the 824 with a 300 game by Duke Koontz (278-300-246). Donnie Riley had a perfect 300 game. Joe Parsiola had 300 with a 773 set, while Sumner Taylor was in with a 300. John Rahm had 11 strikes in a 290 game, while Wade Duplessie had 11 strikes in a 279 effort. On the women’s side, Deidra Johnson had 711 (225-253-233), with Lyndsey Stewart at 710 (256-255-199).

David Moragas led the youth leagues with a 735 (243-266-226), while Tim Toler had 679 to lead the Senior leagues.

Mike LeJeune had a first 600 on a 652 and a high of 220, with an average of 159. Gerti Dixon picked up the 6-7-10 split and Jason Landry’s 201 was his first 200.

We’ll have our final bowling column for 2011 when we join you in two weeks on Dec. 20. Until then, good luck and good bowling.