ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The East Islip girls bowling team was hoping to take one last step this season after finishing as runner-up a year ago in the state public school bowling championship.

Instead, the Redmen will look back and wonder what happened Saturday at Gates Lanes after they placed fifth out of 10 teams with a six-game score of 5,018. South Colonie (Section II) won the event (5,661).

“It just wasn’t our day,” EI coach Harold Cooley said. “Everyone has a bad day, and unfortunately we had to have it today.”

Julianna Spina led the Redmen with a 1,047 series. Teammate Julia Bocamazo had a 1,022, and was the only East Islip bowler to surpass 200 with a 205 in Game 5. The sophomores were the only two Redmen bowlers to crack the 1,000-pin plateau.

The state championships utilized a challenging sports-shot oil pattern called “middle road”. This pattern gives bowlers a smaller margin of error, which brings scores down. (This is opposite of a “house shot” pattern which promotes higher scores.)

“It was very tough,” said Bocamazo of the oil pattern. “It’s tough to make adjustments on, plus there’s what’s at stake, a state championship, and that’s some pressure.”

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But Cooley had his own thoughts on the situation.

“Everybody else had to bowl on the pattern, too,” said Cooley, who has guided the Redmen to state titles in 2000, 2008 and 2014. “That’s not an excuse.”

Mackenzie Wagner (1,077) and Rebecca Lee (1,049) were top 20 finishers for Nassau champ Syosset, which was seventh as a team (4,644). Both Wagner and Lee saved their best for last with a 222 in Game 6, as did Syosset with its best game (897) in the finale.

Meanwhile, the Redmen can look positively at their future.

“We’re such a young team with no seniors,” said junior Amanda Kreush, who had a 706 in four games. “We grew together this year, and that’s why we are here.”

But can East Islip make it back to the state championship next season?

“I believe we can,” Kreush said, “and I know we can.”