By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
As the bowling season winds down, Bill Dickens is ending one league in the same way he started it.
Dickens, 56-year-old Granby resident, rolled a 300 game on Tuesday night at Bowl East. He also bowled a perfect game last August on the opening night of the league.
His latest 300 capped an 825 series — highest in the city this season. He shot 278-247 in the first two games.
“When I first started off in practice, I started striking every time,” he said. “I felt in the groove and never let up, I felt good all night long and got a couple of breaks.”
Dickens began his series with five strikes, then left the 6-10 in the sixth frame. He converted the spare and struck out for a 278.
A big split in the ninth frame of the second game resulted in an open frame, but he struck out in the 10th for a 247.
It was the third game when Dickens received a couple of good breaks.
“I had a couple of high ones around the fifth frame and seventh frame that carried for strikes,” he said. “Then I got back in the groove, and every one was in the pocket from there on out.
“I get to where I’m not nervous any more. I knew I had to get 280 or better to get the 800.”
It was Dickens’ seventh 800 of his career and his first this season.
He now has 25 career 300s, and except for the date, he remembers vividly his first perfect game.
“It was probably 18 years ago,” he said. “I had the front six at the Flower Box in Neosho, and the owners were bowling with me. A couple of lanes broke down, and it took them 45 minutes or so to fix them. Then I finished with the last six.”
Dickens, who has been bowling since he was about 10 years old, competes in three leagues this season. He is averaging 218 on Tuesday night, 221 on Wednesday night and 218 on Thursday night.
The annual Greater Joplin USBC banquet will be held May 4 at the Butcher’s Block.
Cocktails will be available starting at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30, awards at 7:30 and a dance at 9.
Tickets are $15 now and $18 after April 29 and can be purchased from any association board member.