With the county tournament looming, the Smithtown boys bowling team put its undefeated record on the line Thursday against Commack, the second-place team in Suffolk League III.
The Bulls had handed the Cougars their only loss this season and knew they would be in for a battle.
“This match was really big for us,” Smithtown coach Rob Aplin said. “I like the way it landed on our schedule because it was at the end of our season. It made our guys step up their game.”
Behind the left arm of Kyle Perillo, Smithtown defeated Commack, 23-10, at AMF Smithtown Lanes in its second-to-last match of the regular season.
Perillo, who entered the day with the highest average on Long Island, rolled a 247 in Game 1, a 246 in Game 2 and a 255 in Game 3 for a 748 series. The Smithtown East sophomore increased his average from 225.97 to 227.77.
“Last year I averaged 217 and this year I have increased that by 10 pins. It’s a really huge improvement and I’m truly proud of myself for what I have been doing,” Perillo said. “I practiced a lot more during the offseason and purchased some new bowling balls that have worked really well for me.”
Fellow sophomore Joshua Bholan (Smithtown East) added a 247 in Game 1 of a 692 series, junior Jake Ryan (Smithtown East) had a 247 in Game 2 and senior Glen Robinson (Smithtown West) threw a 228 in the middle game of a 661 series. Robinson and Brian McLean (Smithtown East) each bowled their final match on their home lanes.
“These guys are all just so, so good honestly,” Perillo said. “I wouldn’t have wished to be a part of any other team in the world.”
The Bulls (13-0) had 3,316 total pins and averaged more than 1,100 for their three games (1,072, 1,115, 1,129). Commack (11-2) put up a strong showing of its own and totaled 3,275 pins, with the five bowlers averaging just below 1,100 combined for the three games (1,037, 1,117, 1,121).
“To see the dedication, the time and the effort that the guys put into this sport is remarkable,” Aplin said. “We practice Monday through Thursday, but they’re at the lanes seven days a week.”
Commack sophomore Kieran Carney had the high game of the match with a 269 in the final game of a 707 series. Junior Frank Manetta added a 246 in Game 1 of a 675 series and seventh-grader Anthony Bocchino had a 236 in Game 2 of a 665 series for the Cougars.
The Bulls will bowl against Whitman on Tuesday and are hoping to finish the season on a high note before the county tournament on Feb. 8 at Bowlero Sayville.
“It would feel great to finish the season undefeated and would be a huge confidence booster going into counties, knowing that we were never beaten,” Bholan said. “We might have one of the highest pin totals of any team this season, but let’s show how good we are, where it matters most.”