Chris Vietri began his first game with 10 consecutive strikes, but he said he was still looking over his shoulder to his Holy Trinity bowling teammate Bryan Bono, who wasn’t far behind.

“He threw the first eight strikes,” Vietri said Thursday in a phone interview. “I was just trying to stay ahead of him, really.”

Vietri bowled a 289 in Game 1 of a 751 series and won the CHSAA individual championship Thursday at Babylon Lanes. Bono rolled a 279, a new personal best, he said, in the first game of a 730 series, the tournament’s second highest.

“It was kind of like practice because we always go at each other in practice all the time,” Vietri said. “We’re always trying to beat each other and it was really fun. I’m happy I won because I’ll be graduating, so it’s nice to win the tournament.”

Holy Trinity coach Frank Messina said he dreamt that Vietri was going to win the tournament, but Bono’s strong performance wasn’t a surprise. He said both have been leaders all season.

“They were No. 1 and 2 throughout the whole series of games,” Messina said. “They fed off of each other. It was a great thing to witness.”

SJB’s LoPiccolo wins the girls title

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Katie LoPiccolo isn’t sure if it was the unusually upbeat bus ride to the bowling alley or the emotion of saying goodbye to a few senior friends, but she said things felt different.

The feeling worked in her favor.

The St. John the Baptist sophomore bowled a 206 in Game 2 of a 565 series, her new personal best, and clinched the CHSAA individual girls title. Michelle Reynolds of Holy Trinity rolled a 190 in Game 1 of a 510 series.

“I can’t stop smiling,” said LoPiccolo, who bowled a 166 in Game 1 and a 193 in the third game. Of the graduating seniors: “I didn’t want to let them go, I wanted to show them the team will be OK next year, we’ve got it covered.”

St. John the Baptist coach Mary Coon said LoPiccolo was noticeably more relaxed than usual, and it helped her.

“Today she seemed to hit the pocket and do what she was capable of doing,” Coon said. “She’s a young bowler, but she’s a good bowler. I’m just really excited for the things to come and her future.”