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BEAT THE CHAMPS: Kevin Kullman, Tinecha Banks lead the way

Dwight McKinley Chicago Ill. bowls during BeChampions competitiDoltBowl DoltIll. Saturday February 16 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media

Dwight McKinley of Chicago, Ill., bowls during the Beat the Champions competition at Dolton Bowl in Dolton, Ill., on Saturday, February 16, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 16, 2013 11:31PM

They threw 300 games around like nickels Saturday at Dolton Bowl.

Kevin Kullman even finished with 25 consecutive strikes and put up his first back-to-back 300s while rolling a scratch 856 to top the men’s side of the Section 4/Will County sectional of Beat the Champions.

Tinecha Banks, the manager at Dolton Bowl, nearly rolled her first 300 but came up a little high on the final ball and left the 10 pin for a 299 in the final game.

“I was worried on the [12th ball] because the ball felt heavy,’’ said Banks, whose previous high game was 279.

“It’s my home house,’’ she said of the outpouring of cheering in the final frame.

Banks topped the women’s side with a 765.

Kullman, after rolling his 30th and 31st 300s, left for the Masters. The Tinley Park man started bowling at 2.

“The DVA balls, they strike,’’ said Kullman, who threw a vivid red-yellow Hell Raiser. “The 800s are more important.’’

Dwight McKinley Jr. opened with his first 300 game.

“Between the eighth and 10th frames, I was nervous; I was shaking,’’ said the Chicagoan, who finished second with an 820.

Striking a blow for the experienced, Don Purcell, 80, took the day off from his job as a service clerk at Jewel and made his first Champs finals, tying for the final spot with a 729 that only included 67 pins of handicap.

The quote of the day went to Ronda Perry.

“I need the keys, honey,’’ said the South Holland woman, who knows something about transportation working for the railroad.

The top prize in the finals for both men and women is a 2013 Ford automobile.

The biggest winner in BTC is charity with 5,657,412 entries raising $2,783,374.87 in the first 51 years the charity bowling event has been cosponsored by the Sun-Times and the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association.

Also advancing on the men’s side were Jim Reitz, Anthony Willoughby, Travis Mitchell, Chris Schuch, Andre Jones, Craig Pasch, Kyle Loving, Henry Ausley and Rodney Carroll.

Edwana Rodgers, Hanni Merritt, Amy Lutchen, Keesha Watts, Melissa Blanchard, Carolyn Budz, Pamela Allen, Sharon Bright, Chris Kamplain, Chardel Johnson, Jacqueline Nelson and Armandia Collins also advanced to the finals on the women’s side.

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