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Marissa Anselmo, Bellmore-Merrick win Division I title over Mineola in a roll-off

Marissa Anselmo of Bellmore Merrick gets the strike

Marissa Anselmo of Bellmore Merrick gets the strike in the tie breaking extra game against Mineola at the Nassau County boys and girls team championships in Garden City on Feb. 20, 2021. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Six games were simply not enough to decide the Nassau Division I girls bowling team championship Saturday at AMF Garden City Lanes.

Mineola and Bellmore-Merrick finished tied on total pins at the end of regulation and proceeded to a roll-off.

Marissa Anselmo tossed a 227 in the extra game, her highest score of the day, to propel Bellmore-Merrick past Mineola, 839-710. Kylie Persampire added a 191 to secure the victory.

"Every pin counts in that type of situation," Anselmo said. "Even if you don’t collect a spare or a strike, you have to move on to the next frame and focus on the following shot."

Bellmore-Merrick trailed Mineola by 104 pins after the first three games but combined to throw a 786 in Game 4 to narrow Mineola’s lead to 17 pins. Lauren DeMarco had a 200 in that game for Bellmore-Merrick, and Michaela Palumbo had a 193 for the Mustangs. Palumbo finished with a 1,106 six-game series.

The Mustangs answered with a 794 in Game 5 to take a 48-pin advantage into the final game.

"We really didn’t pay too much attention to the score," said Persampire, who finished with the highest average (179.8) on the team during the regular season. "We just focused on bowling our best, picking each other up if someone missed a spare and took it frame-by-frame."

Anselmo threw a 185 in Game 6 to help Bellmore-Merrick tie Mineola with a 4,665-pin total.

"I was shocked when I heard we tied. I have never seen that happen before," said Persampire, a three-year starter. "I was excited that we were able to get a second chance to come back and win. I knew that after Game 6, we were going to come out in the roll-off and perform well."

The Clarke girls earned their first Division II county championship after finishing as the runner-up in each of the past three seasons. The Rams had a total of 4,145 to place first, and three-time defending champion Seaford finished second (4,070).

Cosette Bedoya, a four-year varsity starter, rolled a high game of 188 in Game 3 of a 1,013 six-game series. Clarke combined for a 746 in Game 1 and a 713 in Game 2 to take an early 105-pin lead, which they never relinquished.

"I am beyond happy that I was able to experience this moment before I graduated," said Bedoya, a senior. "I am really proud of all the girls. I hoped that we could have gone to states, but I am grateful that we all finished strong and came away with a title."

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