SYRACUSE — Even as the frames ticked away, the enthusiasm never waned.
Julianna Spina and her East Islip girls bowling teammates knew the score, but were not about to give in.
“We’re not going to give up just because we have one bad game,” Spina said. “We’re going to keep chugging along and just hope for the best.”
“We’re fighters,” Jenny Murphy said.
East Islip battled to the end but just came up short, finishing second in the state Division I girls bowling championship Friday at Strike ‘N Spare Lanes.
North Rockland won the title with 6,057 pins in six games. East Islip was second with 5,895 and Orchard Park was third with 5,710.
“We want to stay as positive as possible no matter what,” Spina said. “We want to keep cheering and keep everybody up.”
East Islip entered the fourth game trailing North Rockland by just 58 pins, but the Red Raiders put together a high game of 1,142. Nicole Cona highlighted the onslaught with a 300 game.
“I was just looking up at the scoreboard as it was happening,” Julia Bocamazo said. “We just knew there’s always next game and we came back as much as we could.”
Bocamazo finished with a 218.83 average, the third highest of the championship. Spina had a 217.5 average.
East Islip ended up taking the final game and Spina closed out her last game with four consecutive strikes.
“We bowled well all day but we just ran into a buzzsaw,” East Islip coach Harold Cooley said. “They were bowling great and deserved to win but I’m proud of my girls, they never quit or gave up and kept rooting for each other.”
Cooley said his three seniors — Bocamazo, Spina and Murphy — led a team that hadn’t lost a league match in three seasons. The trio just finished their sixth season with the team and were a part of a state championship team in 2014.
“It’s difficult to be as consistent as they’ve been,” Cooley said. “They work really hard — nobody has ever complained about my girls not working hard."
Long Island’s other representative, Massapequa, was making its first state championship appearance in program history and finished ninth with 4,377 pins. Katherine Tammaro led Massapequa with a 173.2 five-game average.
“It was amazing to get here and the girls were unbelievable,” Massapequa coach Stephen Donovan said. “Coming up here was fun — we didn’t have the finish we hoped for but they had a blast.”