It came down to Game 6.
The Middle Country girls bowling team was in the lead but up only 118 pins. And with a difficult oil pattern on the lane, the ball could have rolled anywhere.
But it spun just right, earning Middle Country the state Division I team bowling championship Sunday in Syracuse.
“We needed to stay pumped and finish our last game strong,” said Middle Country’s Nicole Lettich, who bowled her high score of 223 in that final Game 6.
Said teammate Hannah Skalacki: “It’s a great feeling now that we’ve finally won after all these years.”
Middle Country won a state title in 2013 and since then have lost battles to East Islip for a ticket upstate. This year they overcame that hurdle and weren’t going to let an oil pattern stop them from going all the way.
“The pattern was tough,” Lettich said. “You really needed to hit your mark and throw a good ball . . . and as a team we did very well.”
Three Middle Country bowlers were in the top 10 for high series. Skalacki placed second (1,163) with a high score of 226 in Game 1.
“I’m so proud of myself,” she said. “It was a great way to start things off.”
Lettich was fourth (1,150) and Amanda Scarfogliero seventh (1,100).
“Bowling is very much an individual sport but for this state tournament, we were a team first,” Lettich said. “I’m proud of all my team has accomplished this year.”
Syosset, led by Jacquelin Tang’s 932 series, finished eighth.
In the state All-Star competition, the Suffolk girls came in first.
“I wouldn’t want to win with any other group of girls,” said Sachem North’s Amanda Naujokas. “We were screaming so loud for each other I lost my voice . . . The win really showed off our hard work.”
Suffolk rolled a 1,120 series in Game 2, the only sectional girls team to bowl over 1,000 during the weekend.
Four girls were in the top 10 for high series: East Islip’s Julia Bocamazo placed third (1,125), Naujokas was fourth (1,121), East Islip’s Julianna Spina got fifth (1097) and Longwood’s Rachel Hines was seventh (1,091).
“Earning the win and placing third in the state is amazing,” said Bocamazo. “[Game 2] was awesome. I struck seven times.”
Bocamazo rolled a 241 in Game 2 and Spina had a 256.
“We shot our best game and it set us ahead of the pack early,” Spina said of that fateful Game 2. “It feels amazing to be a part of a great team and be able to bring back the championship to Section XI.”
Nassau placed eighth. Clarke’s Arianna Fracchioni and MacArthur’s Amanda Petrillo starred for the squad with Petrillo placing 10th with a 1,067 series.
“It’s amazing to end my high school career on such a high note,” Petrillo said. “I would’ve never thought I’d be in the top 20, let alone ranked 10th . . . It’s really mind blowing.”