Nick Caruana said he had no idea how close the Sachem boys bowling team was to overtaking Commack for the top spot in the Suffolk County Championship until the final frame of the sixth and final game, when he tossed the ball nearly halfway down the lane before it hit the wood and left no pins standing.
The Sachem East senior threw two more consecutive strikes for good measure, enough for newly combined Sachem to clinch the Suffolk bowling championship with a total of 6,918 Saturday at Sayville Lanes. It was only 33 pins higher than second-place Commack (6,885), which was led by Michael Regan’s 300 game. Middle Country, which had a 300 game by Kurt Schall, took third with a 6,688.
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“For us not to do it — I couldn’t see it in my mind,” said Caruana, who bowled a 290 in Game 6 and a 268 in Game 5 of a 1,556 series. “This is my last year, I’ve been to states five times already, it’s not for me, I did it for my team.”
Sachem led the tournament after three games, but Commack took the lead after Game 4. Ryan DiMaggio, a junior from Sachem East, said the uphill climb proved to be an advantage, especially late in the game.
“The adrenaline of my team trying to fight back fueled me,” said DiMaggio, who bowled a 266 in Game 6 of a 745 series. “We just kept fighting.”
East Islip girls cruise to county title
Lyndsay Mavrich is finally in uncharted territory.
The East Islip girls bowling team senior has been a leader this season for the perennial powerhouse, but said she’s never been to the state championship. Mavrich said East Islip went there in 2014, but she was an alternate and didn’t compete.
This time, the team couldn’t have made it without her. Mavrich bowled a 268 and a 258 in Game 2 and 4 of a 1,391 series to help East Islip win the Suffolk Championship with a total of 6,367. Middle Country finished second with a 5,940 and Longwood rounded out the top three with a 5,934.
East Islip led the whole tournament and held a commanding 336-pin lead heading into the sixth game.
“We knew we were in first, but not by how much,” Mavrich said. Olivia Lopera, who rolled a 254 in Game 1 of a 1,353 series, also led the team. “It’s amazing how we all put this together. I’m really happy with what we accomplished today.”
The state championships will be in Cheektowaga March 5.