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Hewlett’s Zane Lipson ramps up game when going gets tough

Junior star bowls a clutch 256 in victory after teammate has to retire because of illness.

Zane Lipson of Hewlett during a boys bowling

Zane Lipson of Hewlett during a boys bowling match against Seaford at Baldwin Lanes on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. Photo Credit: James Escher

Zane Lipson has been a part of the Hewlett boys bowling team since seventh grade. During that time, he has won two county championships and has bowled multiple 300 games.

With those accomplishments, he also has learned to lead his team when they need him most.

When Lipson’s teammate JP West was feeling under the weather after Game 2 of Monday night’s Nassau Conference V match against Seaford, Lipson knew he needed to pick up his game.

The junior began Game 3 with seven consecutive strikes, before picking up a spare in the eighth frame.

Lipson rolled a 256 in that game and a 207 in Game 2 of a 652 series to lead Hewlett past Seaford, 858-688, 762-701, 820-627, at Baldwin Bowling Center.

“I was trying to show the team that even with one of our top bowlers out of the lineup we can still push through it,” he said.

Senior Brian Saks stepped in for West in Game 3 and bowled a 181 in his first varsity match.

Another bright spot for Hewlett was Dillon Ristano. After picking up a spare in the first frame of Game 1, Ristano proceeded to roll nine straight strikes, and bowled a 278, the high game of the match.

“My release was great,” Ristano said. “Normally when I bowl I usually hop at the line which causes my shot to miss right, but [Monday] I was smooth and everything was working good.”

The Bulldogs’ four starters, West, Lipson, Ristano, and senior Matt LeBlanc are each averaging 200 or better. Having the opportunity to bowl in such a strong lineup makes it a lot easier on everyone, especially Lipson.

“I know that if I mess up and leave up a split, the person behind me or the person in front of me will pick me up in the next frame or even that frame,” Lipson said.

The defending county champions are off to a 7-0 start and are attempting to capture their third county title in the past four years.

“I really think we are setting ourselves up nicely for the county tournament,” Hewlett coach Nick Paxinos said. “When we get there we are going to try to win, we expect to win. I hate to even say that because it’s not really my style, but if we don’t win it will be a disappointment.”

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