There is a new team atop Suffolk girls bowling and its name is Middle Country.
After finishing second to East Islip at the county team championship the past two seasons, Middle Country found itself in familiar territory entering the final game.
After trailing by 248 pins heading into Game 4, East Islip came out on fire in Game 4 and Game 5, and took a 43-pin lead into Game 6.
Before Game 6 began, Middle Country huddled up. That’s when Newfield’s Amanda Scarfogliero took over.
“When we were in the meeting beforehand, all my teammates said that we have to pump it up more, and that’s what I did,” Scarfogliero said. “I made a promise to them, I made a promise to my parents and I made a promise to me that I would get this team to states.”
Scarfogliero, who finished with a 1,317 series, saved her best game for last. The junior rolled a 256 in Game 6, the team’s second highest game, to help earn Middle Country the county championship at a raucous Bowlero in Sayville Saturday.
Middle Country finished with a six-game score of 6,454, followed by East Islip (6,412) and Longwood (5,798).
Newfield’s Hannah Skalacki rolled a 255 in Game 1 of a 1,330 series and Julie Acosta (Newfield) and Nicole Lettich (Newfield) each bowled a 1,290 for Middle Country. Acosta had the team’s high game with a 279 in Game 2.
East Islip boys cruise. Unlike the Middle Country girls, the East Islip boys bowling team didn’t have to sweat.
The Redmen compiled a six-game score of 6,829 to capture back-to-back county titles. West Babylon (6,353) finished second and Sachem (6,346) placed third.
East Islip set the tone early by rolling a 1,291 in Game 1, which according to East Islip coach Bob Cheadle is the third-highest game ever at the Suffolk team championships. East Islip holds the record with a 1,303 set in 2008. It also has the second highest with a 1,298.
Senior captain Justin Orobello rolled a 280, Eric Tadler added a 279 and Sonny Pico had a 270, all in Game 1 for the Redmen. Orobello finished with a 1,424 series and Pico ended with a 1,402.
“I told everyone to stay focused: ‘This is my last year, do it for me and do it for the seniors,’ ” Orobello said. “We came out strong in the first game and it was the greatest bowling I have ever seen.”
Freshman Joe Zagari, who bowled for Tadler in Game 6, threw the high game for East Islip with a 290 in his first ever appearance at the county tournament.
Last year East Islip fell just one pin short of a state title and has used that as motivation throughout the season.
“We have been pointing to this day all year, but we still have some unfinished business,” Cheadle said. “We have five weeks to get ready and hopefully this time it will be a different outcome.”
300 games for Naujokas, Axinn. Sachem North’s Amanda Naujokas and Newfield’s Noah Axinn each bowled a 300 game Saturday. Naujokas rolled hers in Game 1 and Axinn threw his in Game 2.
“I was comfortable, because the last day of practice I shot a 300,” Naujokas said.
“I never bowled a sanctioned 300 before,” Axinn said. “To do it in this kind of atmosphere is insane.”