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Sachem North’s Amanda Naujokas leads Suffolk all-star bowlers to fourth

Middle Country eight-grader Hannah Skalacki, center, reacts after

Middle Country eight-grader Hannah Skalacki, center, reacts after getting a spare during the first game of the NYSPHSAA Boys and Girls Bowling Championship. Credit: Nick Serrata

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — There will be no regrets for Sachem North’s Amanda Naujokas and the Suffolk girls all-star bowling team.

Naujokas, only a ninth-grader, rolled an impressive 1,176 six-game series and helped Suffolk finish fourth (5,645) of 11 teams Sunday at the state public school sectional all-star championship at Gates Lanes.

Section II won the event (5,977), and Section I (5,842) and Section VI (5,724) rounded out the top three. The Nassau all-stars were eighth (5,275).

“I struggled in the first game,” said Naujokas, who had the fifth-best individual series. “But the oil pattern started to break down and it made things easier for me.”

The freshman overcame a 169 in Game 1 and threw games of 236, 233, 166, 184, and 188 for a 1,176. (Jenna Lemke of Section II had the best series with a 1,366.)

“She was phenomenal,” Suffolk coach Noel Rivera said of Naujokas. “Without her, I don’t know what we would have done.”

Other Suffolk participants were Comsewogue’s Hannah Manetta (1,104); Longwood’s Teresa LoCurto (1,092); Selden Middle School eighth-grader Hannah Skalacki (1,091), who bowls for Middle Country’s varsity; North Babylon’s Skylar McGarrity (1,082) and Sachem East’s Alissa Fontana (974).

Suffolk was second after the opening three games with a 2,908, and it trailed Section II (2,940) by just 32 pins heading into the afternoon session. However, Suffolk rolled an 879 in Game 4, while Section II went 1,045. Suffolk would get no closer, tossing games of 930 and 928. Section II rolled 999 and 993 to close the event and capture a state sectional all-star crown.

“It was a real eye-opening experience,” said Manetta, who had a 206 in Game 2. “The oil pattern gave you 10 different things to look for, and each lane was different. . . Still, I feel like we bowled our butts off.”

Rivera had a similar view of Suffolk’s performance. “The girls made all the adjustments I wanted them to,” Rivera said. “It was just a miss here or there.”

Valley Stream Central’s Alexa Messina led Nassau with a 1,083, which was 24th overall. Other Nassau bowlers were Carle Place’s Kristen Doherty (1,076); Hicksville’s Colleen Kingsepp (1,065); Wantagh’s Alyssa Augello (1,009); MacArthur’s Amanda DeLisi (964) and Bethpage’s Kathryn Backman (912).

Nassau has won three state sectional titles — in 1993, 1985 and 1981. Suffolk has won six times, most recently in 2012.

“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but this was, by far, the best Section 11 (Suffolk) team I was part of,” said McGarrity, a senior who will bowl at Adelphi next season. “We had some bad breaks, and unfortunately, some pins didn’t fall for us.”

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