Sachem’s Matt Grimaldi said, “If it doesn’t finish out good,...

Sachem’s Matt Grimaldi said, “If it doesn’t finish out good, it wasn’t a good thing” after taking 41st with 1,185 pins on Saturday. Credit: Mark McGauley

SYRACUSE, N.Y.  — Matt Grimaldi said ‘This ain’t over’ during the final game of the state boys team tournament.

The Sachem senior has been on both ends of late comebacks on the bowling alley, so he knew Suffolk could regain its first place position.

“I’m a tournament bowler, I bowl out of state all the time,” Grimaldi said. “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, even if you already lost, finish it out. If it doesn’t finish out good, it wasn’t a good thing.”

The Suffolk boys all-star team led after the first three games, however it fell to a seventh place finish. The team knocked down 6,253 pins with Comsewogue junior Anthony Manetta placing 14th with 1,278. Grimaldi finished 41st individually with 1,185.

Jayden Lobasso, a Bay Shore junior, tied for the second highest game score of the day with 279 and placed 21st with 1,244.

The Nassau boys all-stars ended the first half in seventh place, but like Grimaldi expressed for Suffolk, there were still three more games to play. Nassau leapfrogged Suffolk in the standings with a game-high 1,186 in game six, finishing with a total of 6,371 pins for fifth place.

East Meadow's Anthony Merrow and Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK's Brandon Nanoo tied for ninth place individually with 1,294 total pins.

Clarke coach Bryan Landini fired the Nassau team up with a pep talk toward the end of the day.

“They were here for a reason,” said Landini, recalling the speech. “This (could be) your last one. Embrace where we are and have fun.”

It was the last one for Billy Grotheer, Mineola senior, who placed 25th with 1,236 total pins. He was on the state all-star team last year as well, so he was familiar with the tournament’s environment.

“After last year, I had such a good time,” Grotheer said. “I didn’t really think it could get any better. But after bowling this year, we got so close as a team. I think it was just as good as last year, maybe better.”

Mineola coach Helms Bohringer knows how valuable this experience, win or loss, was for the team even if they don’t return next year.

“If you look at everyone’s scores, you’re going to see that probably one person every game didn’t do as well as they’re normally accustomed to,” Bohringer said. “Usually the next game, they bounce back with a very, very good game.”

Comsewogue coach John Romero acknowledged the difficulty of bowling on new lanes after halftime, which he said was what hurt his team down the stretch. Nonetheless, he had high praise for the team’s ability to stay focused amid adversity.

“They should be proud of their accomplishments,” Romero said. “They’ll need to get over the disappointment of coming up here and not doing as well as they thought they were going to do.”

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