SYRACUSE -- The emotion poured out after Brianna Meyer's last shot.
A year ago, the Longwood star's final roll clinched the Sectional All-Star championship for Suffolk. This one ended the senior's high school career. "I'm disappointed," she said, still in the moment and tearful. "I wanted to do better for my team."
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Team Suffolk finished fourth Sunday, ceding its title to the Section VI all-stars, who toppled 6,562 pins at Strike 'N Spare Lanes. Nassau took sixth. "I wanted to cry, too, and I probably will in private," said Plainedge senior Meghan Wing, a three-time All-Long Islander. "It's a weird feeling knowing that it's over."
Most likely, once the tears have dried, the reflection will begin and these seniors should have a wealth of fond memories of their careers.
East Islip's Lena Sorrentino bowled a 1,399 series -- third best in the tournament -- to lead Suffolk, which totaled 5,975 pins. Meyer, a three-time all-star, had a 1,200, and fellow Longwood senior Kylie Spilett a 1,157.
Section VI was too much, though. Melanie Hannon had a 1,410 series, including a 299 in Game 6, and Bridget Masiello a 1,303.
This could be the best year ever for Long Island girls bowling, East Islip coach Harold Cooley said with certainty before the season. All-star tournament notwithstanding, there was enough evidence to support that prediction. The single-season average record was surpassed twice; Middle Country won the state title, and 13 girls had better than 200 averages.
"Having watched this group of seniors develop, I knew it would be a special year," said Cooley, who coached the all-stars. "The younger girls have a nice challenge before them to uphold this standard."
The future looks bright, though. Those six-person all-star rosters had a good sprinkling of youth. Smithtown junior Laura Malloy and freshmen Brittany Arne (Patchogue-Medford) and Olivia Lopera (East Islip) emerged this season and could soon become Suffolk's stalwarts. And MacArthur junior Kerri DeLisi, sophomore Elizabeth Ferraro (Bethpage) and Bellmore JFK freshman Nicole Brown have bright futures for Nassau.
"It was an achievement getting here and being part of a team like this," Lucente said. "I think it's definitely something to build on."
Ferraro, a two-time all-star, said she followed Wing's career and the two have become close in the last year. "She's given us some advice, little details and ways to stay poised," she said, "and we're definitely getting better."
And so the torch was passed.