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Sachem boys win state bowling championship

Nick Caruana of Sachem East rolled a

Nick Caruana of Sachem East rolled a 1,384 six-game series to lead a combined Sachem team to the NYSPHSAA state bowling title Saturday at AMF Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga. Credit: Robert Kirkham

It’s a winning combination.

The newly-combined Sachem boys bowling team, formerly Sachem East and Sachem North, was impressive all season and stayed on a roll to win the state championship.

The Flaming Arrows (13-1) led a field of 10, including Sewanhaka, with a total pinfall of 6,166 to win the state title Saturday at Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga near Buffalo. It was a commanding 245 pins higher than second-place Albany Lansingburgh.

Nick Caruana, a senior at Sachem East, led the tournament with a 1,384 six-game series and his new teammate Anthony Naujokas, of Sachem North, was second with a 1,325. Caruana bowled a high of 263 in Game 6 and Naujokas threw a 254, his best of the day, in the same game.

“It’s over, we won,” Caruana said with equal parts excitement and exhaustion. He said he also led the field two years ago when he was at states with Sachem East.

Added Naujokas, a senior: “It’s just a good way to go out. I think Sachem East alone had a good chance of winning counties, and when we combined we knew we were going to have a really good team.”

Sachem was in second place after the first three games and overtook Lansingburgh with a team-high 1,118 in Game 5. The two teams also faced each other in the sixth game, where Sachem had a 1,050-878 edge.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Sachem coach Brian Weinstein. To put the icing on the cake of an amazing season, I’m super proud of the team. They wanted to win and they did.”

Sewanhaka had a total pinfall 4,952, and was led by Philip Stern, who rolled a 238 in Game 2 of a 1,112 series. Paul Simorella bowled a 234 in the third game of a 1,065 series. The Indians (9-2) rolled a high of 891 in the second and third games.

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