East Islip’s Sonny Pico was locked in Saturday.
The senior was in good form, and he also knew how well his teammate, Dylan Sgueglia, was bowling after he was subbed into the starting lineup by coach Judy Fischer before Game 3.
“Dylan bowled a what, 258 [in Game 3]?” Pico said. It was a season-high game for Sgueglia. “He was lights out after that.”
So was the East Islip boys bowling team. Four teams in all held the lead at one point of the six-game series. But it was the Redmen who had the advantage after Game 5 and never relinquished it en route to a fourth straight Suffolk team championship at Bowlero Sayville.
East Islip totaled 6,409 pins and will represent Suffolk at the state championships March 13-15 in Syracuse. Comsewogue was second (6,358), Longwood placed third (6,303), Sachem was fourth (6,252) and North Babylon placed fifth (6,236).
North Babylon held the lead after the first, second and fourth games, respectively. Smithtown was ahead at the morning break after three games. But it was East Islip that rose to the challenge when it mattered most.
“In that fifth game, we really stepped up,” said Pico, who had a 1,332 series. “We started to show the kind of team that East Islip is.”
Team is a good word for East Islip, as it took a team effort to pull off its fourth straight crown. Christopher Andresen had a 1,362 series. Joseph Zagari added a 1,225 series, and PJ Miglionico had a 1,149. Sgueglia totaled 945 pins in four games for a 236.25 average. His regular-season average was 197.1.
“I knew what I had to do,” said Sgueglia, a junior. “I tried to calm myself down and take it one shot at a time.”
Fischer probably made the best move of the championship when she sent Sgueglia into the starting lineup for Game 3.
“I consider Dylan to be our reliever,” Fischer said. “I knew he could come in and close it out. He certainly did his job.”
The Suffolk All-Star team was also determined and includes Kyle Perillo (Smithtown), Frank Manetta (Commack), Colin Michels (Longwood), Nicholas Anselmi (Copiague), Brandon Epp (Rocky Point) and Steven Orland (Comsewogue).
Also, Smithtown’s Glen Robinson had a 1,376 series. Other notables included North Babylon’s Michael Carrier (1,364) and Longwood’s Johnathan Edwards (1,346).
But, in the end, it was a wild day on the team side with multiple programs holding leads after each of the six games. What did it come down to for East Islip?
“Adrenaline,” said Andresen, a senior. “The team never quit, even when there were ups and downs. We just kept working to get the lead, and when we did, we finished it off.”