Daniel Tufano of Chaminade, left, poses with the second-place plaque alongside Bob...

Daniel Tufano of Chaminade, left, poses with the second-place plaque alongside Bob Hamilton at the CHSAA state bowling championships on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at Captree Lanes in West Babylon. Credit: Neil Miller

Even when he’s not at his best, Daniel Tufano is better than most.

The Chaminade junior took second place at the state CHSAA individual boys bowling championship Saturday at Babylon Lanes.

He rolled a 191 in the last matchup of the stepladder final against Blaine Benson of Canisius (Buffalo), who took first place with a 213.

“I was throwing some good balls, but I missed a couple of spares and that was the difference,” Tufano said.

25 bowlers qualified for the event, with the top five bowlers at the end of five games advancing to the stepladder final. Entering the fifth game, Tufano was in ninth place and 29 pins behind St. Anthony’s junior Dominic Forte, who was in fifth.

Tufano rolled a 264 to catapult him into a tie for second place with Forte with a total score of 1,108.

“I threw a lot of strikes that game,” Tufano said. “I had one unlucky frame, but otherwise that was my best game of the day.”

“He’s cool under pressure,” Chaminade coach Terence Fitzgibbon said. “Not only today and this season, but throughout his three-year career so far, that’s been the case. It didn’t quite go his way today, but he’s always putting himself in position to be in the mix.”

Tufano entered the stepladder final as the second seed, as his 264 was better than Forte’s high game of 244.

Forte took fourth place with a 244-192 loss to Jack Tebeau (St. Francis) in the second round of the finals. Tufano defeated Tebeau 204-179 to advance to the championship match.

After the five finalists were announced, St. John the Baptist coach of 30 years and CHSAA chairman Bob Hamilton was honored with a special presentation.

A North Babylon resident, Hamilton was recognized by Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer for his three decades of dedication to CHSAA bowling.

“I wish we could’ve done more for him because he’s such a special man,” said assistant coach J.P. Connors, who worked with Schaffer to coordinate the presentation.

Schaffer presented Hamilton with a plaque and announced that Sunday will be recognized as “Coach Robert Hamilton Day” in the Town of Babylon.

It happened on the 19th anniversary of the first state CHSAA event, when Hamilton created it in his first year as chairman in 2004.

“I do it all for the kids,” Hamilton said. “To see these kids from all over the state all in the same room and to see their parents come out, it means the world to me.”

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