ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Suffolk boys all-star bowling team’s drive for five took a wrong turn on Sunday.
Suffolk did not win its fifth straight sectional state title. Instead, Suffolk finished fifth (5,791) out of 11 teams at the state public school sectional all-star bowling championship at Gates Lanes.
Section IV won the state title with a 6,191. Nassau was eighth with a 5,496.
“We came here to do well and win,” Suffolk coach John Romero said. “But we didn’t do so well. We’re used to taking home big trophies, but now we’ll get a small one.”
After the three-game morning session, Suffolk — represented by six bowlers, who bowled six games apiece on the day — was in third place (2,987). Section IV was in first (3,070) and Section I was second (3,037).
“That was a bad one,” Middle Country’s Kurt Schall said of the team’s 867 in Game 2. “None of us could find the [oil pattern] breakdown and we bowled horrible.”
The struggles continued for Suffolk in Game 4 with a 936, and actually got worse in Game 5 (907). The all-stars rallied with a 961 in Game 6, but it was not enough.
Meanwhile, senior Tony Macchietto led the Nassau squad with a 242 in Game 5 for a 1,227 series, which was sixth-best overall. His younger brother, Phil, a seventh grader who attends Mineola Middle School but bowled varsity for Mineola this season, had a 1,097.
Other team members were MacArthur’s Dylan Hoffman (1,073), Uniondale’s Leon Kessee (1,012), Clarke’s Willie Bedoya (995) and Calhoun’s Sam Farber, who bowled for the Bellmore-Merrick combined team, added a 976. Nassau has won three sectional titles, the last coming in 1993.
Suffolk — which has won 14 sectional titles — was looking for its fifth straight crown and sixth in seven seasons.
West Babylon’s Peter Ramos led Suffolk with an 1,170, and Schall, who goes to Centereach, added an 1,147. Other Suffolk participants were Sachem East’s Ryan DiMaggio (1,139), Commack’s Daniel Petriello (1,128), North Babylon’s Anthony Cioffi (1,062) and Smithtown East’s Eric Bholan (1,020).
How did Schall know things weren’t getting better?
“When I left the eight pin spare in Game 5,” Schall said. “I knew we were done.”
Suffolk led after Game 1 thanks in part to Cioffi’s opening-game 267.
“I kept thinking, ‘I have to keep my scores up,’ ” said the North Babylon junior. “I have some gaps in my game, but I’m going to work hard, get better and be back next year.”
For other teammates, there’s a lot of hurt and want.
“I feel terrible, but I gave it my all,” said Ramos, a senior. “I wish I had another year.”