The way last season ended for the East Islip girls bowling team left a bitter taste in the mouth for many of its members, especially Julianna Spina.
The Redmen fell 42 pins shy of a county championship a year ago, and the senior wasn’t ready to let it happen again this time around.
“It gave us a lot more motivation to work on making our spares and making sure we hit our marks,” Spina said. “We needed to execute our shots better because that was what made us fall last year and we were able to do that today [Saturday].”
Spina and her teammates certainly hit their marks and went on to capture the Suffolk County team championship Saturday at Bowlero in Sayville. East Islip totaled 6,459 pins and will represent Suffolk at the state championships March 8-10 in Syracuse. Longwood was second (6,028) and Middle Country placed third (6,022).
Spina threw a 244 in Game 4 of a 1,307 six-game series.
“When it was over last year, I explained to the girls that we didn’t lose, Middle Country won,” East Islip coach Harold Cooley said. “I always tell the girls that there’s a difference between the two. If you bowl well and somebody beats you, you tip your hat.”
Julia Bocamazo added a 258 in Game 1 of a 1,324 series and Natalie Mavrich rolled a 245 in Game 3 of a 1,332 series.
“I think we are going to dominate upstate,” Bocamazo said. “I am really hoping to bring home a state championship back to East Islip.”
Although her team did not win a county title, Newfield’s Hannah Skalacki had quite the day.
The Middle Country star bowled a 300 in Game 2 and qualified for the Suffolk All-Star team that will represent the county at the state championships in March.
“I tried to keep everything the same and block everything out,” said Skalacki, who finished with a county record 231.5 average during the regular season. “When it came to the 10th frame, I said to myself ‘okay everything is out of my way now and I can finish this off.’”
Skalacki has bowled 300 games in the past, but there was something about doing it for the first time at a county championship, which made it more emotional.
“I was so speechless, I was like this can’t be happening,” Skalacki said. “When I threw my last shot my teammates started running up to me and hugging me and I started tearing up and then I saw my parents hugging in the back and I ran up to them and teared up again.”
Skalacki will be joined on the All-Star team by Amanda Naujokas (Sachem), Rachel Hines (Longwood), Taylor Eggert (Smithtown/Kings Park), Hannah Manetta (Comsewogue) and Canan Bademci (Patchogue-Medford).