Nick Breidenbach has imagined the feeling of winning a county championship and advancing to the state tournament since he first picked up a bowling ball for the Bellmore-Merrick team. And the moment of accomplishing just that surpassed even what he had in mind.
“I’ve been on varsity since ninth grade, so I’ve been picturing it since then,” Breidenbach said. “Seeing how it could be, and now that I get to experience it, it’s going to be awesome.”
Breidenbach, a senior at Mepham who averaged a 201.7 Saturday, helped deliver Bellmore-Merrick its first Nassau boys Division I championship at Garden City Lanes under coach Joe Bianca, who said he’s coached the team since 1995. Bellmore-Merrick finished with a team score of 5,899, edging Hewlett (5,803) and East Meadow (5,602).
“We started out not thinking we were going to have much of a chance,” said Samuel Farber, of Calhoun, who averaged a 216.7. “But as the day progressed, we kept bowling better and better and that’s how we won.”
Brendan Morone added a 199.5 average, with Donovan Morone averaging 191.8 and James Petler at 173.5 in the win.
“We were thinking about this the whole time, as a team,” Breidenbach said. “Never done it before. Senior year is the best time to do it.”
Seaford wins back-to-back
After getting a taste of competing in the state championships last winter, it’s all the Seaford boys bowling team has been able to think about ever since.
“We’ve been practicing all year just for this day,” said Max Pedone, who had a 179 average Saturday. “But it’s tough. There’s lots of good schools out here today.”
But the Vikings were able to outlast them all, posting a team score of 5,685, to win its second-straight Nassau Division II boys bowling title. Seaford also finished with the third-best score of any team competing, including the Division I schools.
“It’s cool when we have the bigger schools with more than 100 more kids than us and we’re throwing bigger numbers than them,” said Chris Pupa, who averaged 193.1 on the day.
Jon Saloman averaged 206 for Seaford and Joe Ledesky, Jason Donovan and Joe Gallagher each bowled four strong games in the win.
With Bellmore-Merrick and Seaford each heading to Syracuse for the state championships from March 8-10, the Vikings believe this season could have a special finish.
“I’ve been on here three years and this is the best team we’ve had,” Pedone said. “We’re going to go up there and finish top three. We’re going to bring it home this year and win it all.”
“We’re really excited,” Pupa said. “Because I think we can win it this year.”