CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — Suffolk’s boys bowling team wasn’t going to let a slow start get in its way of a four-peat.
Despite trailing by 390 pins after the third of six games, the Suffolk bowlers knew they could come back and win their fourth straight state sectional championship at Anchor Lanes Sunday. The bowlers used a 30-minute intermission to regroup after holding a meeting.
“We have three seniors on this team, including myself,” said Deer Park’s Adam Zimmerman, “and we just said ‘Let’s do it.’ We just started practicing and got that look and the rest was history.”
Suffolk ended with 6,456 pins and a 169-pin victory. The team had 400 pins more than any other section in the final three games.
Zimmerman, who finished the championship’s highest series (1,415) for the second straight season, led the comeback with a 227 in his fourth game followed by a 245 in his fifth game.
The fifth game proved to be the difference as five of six bowlers scored over 200 pins, led by Middle Country senior Drew Esposito’s 257.
“We knew we could do it,” Esposito said. “We’re good enough to be here and we wanted to prove to the state that we could do it.”
Zimmerman said he wanted to “cry and scream” after winning the team championship.
“To end it on my senior year and to win, you can’t really beat it,” Zimmerman said. “It’s a special moment.”
Nassau placed sixth of 11 teams — led by Division’s Brandon Soedarmasto’s 1,246 pins. East Meadow’s Thomas Burke had the third highest game score with a 267.
Zimmerman’s been a member of each of the four championships. Other bowlers, such as Middle Country teammates Esposito and Kurt Schall, earned their first medal.
“Best way to go out,” Esposito said. “Really, it’s a crazy experience. It was a goal of mine to make this team and to come here and win after being down so much, it’s awesome.”
Schall, who had Suffolk’s second-highest series (1,285 for seventh place), said, “Everyone was just so on in Game 5, there was no stopping us after that.”
Everyone except Schall. That ended up being his low game (175), but the junior said once he fell behind his teammates, he used the rest of the game to make changes to his shot — because only the top five of six scores count toward the total.
Those changes played dividends in securing the championship as Schall led the team with a 265 in the final game.