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Syosset’s Mackenzie Wagner gets her goal: A trip to the state championships

Syosset's Mackenzie Wagner bowls at the Nassau High

Syosset's Mackenzie Wagner bowls at the Nassau High School Bowling Championships held at Garden City Bowl in Garden City, NY on Saturday, February 4, 2017. Credit: Enrique C. Mendez

Mackenzie Wagner set out a goal for herself and her Syosset bowling team after a disappointing first season.

“When I started as a freshman, we were a team of four and we were lucky we made the second half of counties,” Wagner said. “From that point on, I said that by the time I graduate, I want to have a county championship for the team.”

Mission accomplished.

Syosset outlasted 15 other teams at the Nassau bowling championships at Garden City Lanes yesterday, sending the team to the state finals in Rochester.

Syosset trailed Sewanhaka District by nine pins after three games, but took the lead for good after strong performances in Game 4 and Game 5. The Braves finished first with a six-game pin total of 4,484, edging Sewanhaka District (4,317) and Farmingdale (4,300).

Wagner, now a senior, rolled a 197 in the fifth game and a 193 in the sixth game. Jackie Tang bowled a 200 in the third game and Rebecca Lee threw a 200 in the sixth game for the Braves.

“This group has been together for a couple of years now and they really improved from kids who did not bowl much at all, to now being at the pinnacle of the sport in Nassau County,” Syosset coach Wayne Berbert said. “It is so great to be able to see them enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

Hewlett boys also won the county title even though they finished the regular season with the sixth-best team average. The Hewlett boys finished first with a 5,433 total. MacArthur finished as runner-up with 5,241 and Massapequa was third with 5,171.

JP West rolled the high game of the day for Hewlett in Game 2 with a 237. Four of five Bulldogs bowlers bowled above a 200 in Game 2 to give Hewlett a lead that it never relinquished. Bryan Krinick bowled a 234 in the third game and Zane Lipson bowled a 235 in the fourth game to help Hewlett secure its second title in the past three seasons.

“It is really a great accomplishment for myself and the team because this year we weren’t expected to do this well,” Lipson said. “We wanted to prove to our coach exactly how good we can be and we wanted to show the seniors on the team that we can carry this team for the next few years.”

The Hewlett boys will join the Syosset girls at the March 4 state tournament.

“You don’t win by just showing up,” Hewlett coach Nick Paxinos said. “You have to work hard and get through the battles and that’s exactly what they have done.”

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