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James Alaimo leads Chaminade to CHSAA boys bowling crown

James Alaimo of Chaminade, right, is congratulated after

James Alaimo of Chaminade, right, is congratulated after rolling a strike in CHSAA boys bowling championship against Kellenberg at Farmingdale Lanes on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017. Credit: James Escher

When it comes to Chaminade bowling, nobody’s getting in the way of the groove.

Junior James Alaimo had nine consecutive strikes and took down the last pin standing for a spare to close out the Flyers’ 8-1 victory over Kellenberg for its sixth consecutive CHSAA team championship at Farmingdale Lanes on Monday. The pin advantage was 3,512-3,223.

“You just get into a groove and you start making shots,” said Alaimo, who completed a 264 in the third game of a 675 series. “You try to make the best shots you possibly can and it just happens.”

There are entire classes of bowlers at Chaminade (13-0) that can’t remember a loss, but that didn’t mean there weren’t nerves — Kellenberg (11-3) played a close match the first time they faced off and tied the second time. Alex Cruz led the Firebirds with a 616 series.

“That was definitely a humbling experience,” said Chaminade’s David Bianco, who had a 673 series. “We were going in a little worried and confident at the same time.”

After Alaimo hit his seventh strike during the ninth frame, he spun around and pumped his fist as the crowd erupted and energy built. It set off a chain reaction with Bianco tacking on two strikes and a spare and Bobby Wright knocking off three strikes before Alaimo’s finishing touches.

“We feed off each other,” said Nicholas Brusseler, who had a 638 series. “If one of us is having a good game, that pumps everyone else up.”

Freshmen boost Kellenberg girls. A terrific trio of freshmen brought down a dynasty.

Daisha Howard, Allison Swilinski and Alexis Kotanidis led the way in a 5-4 victory for Kellenberg (10-2) over St. Dominic (9-4), which had won three CHSAA girls titles in the previous four years. The Firebirds had a 2,449-2,390 pin advantage.

“People expect you to not be that good because you’re young, but you come out and you’re proving them wrong,” said Swilinski, who bowled a 446 series. “It’s really a good feeling.”

Howard saved her best for last, rolling a 169 in the third game of a 455 series for Kellenberg. The final score was so close that the official had to tally the results while standing between the two sides. When the scores were official, the Firebirds let everyone know.

“I was really nervous,” Howard said. “I can’t even explain how nervous I was.”

Kotanidis (441) said winning the title as a freshman showed that with practice, age doesn’t matter.

“If you dream it, you can do it,” she said

Emily Edelman led the Bayhawks with a 175 Game 1 of a 457 series.

New York Sports