Category Archives: Bowling

DiPaola worked hard to improve this season

Chris DiPaola, the Courier News' Boys Bowler of the Year. Photo by: Augusto F. Menezes

Chris DiPaola, the Courier News’ Boys Bowler of the Year. Photo by: Augusto F. Menezes

Like many great athletes, Immaculata High School junior bowler Chris DiPaola puts in a great deal of work on his craft to improve from season to season. But DiPaola made a meteoric rise between his sophomore and junior years, bringing up his average from 206 to a Skyland Conference-best 219 this winter.

DiPaola is the Courier News Boys Bowler of the Year.

When asked what the biggest difference was for him this season, DiPaola wasn’t quite sure how to reply.

“It’s hard to say why I was so much better this year,” DiPaola said. “I work hard all the time and I’m always at the bowling alley. I don’t have an answer as to why I was able to pick up my average 13 pins. Maybe I wasn’t thinking as much at the lanes this season, but I just did what I’ve done every other season and the scores kept getting higher.”

Along with the 219 scoring average, DiPaola posted five 700 series and 11 600’s. According to head coach Frank Mazzariello, DiPaola rolled a score of 200 or higher in 37 of his 51 games this winter.

“I have picked up spares so much better over the last year. Coach Mazzariello always says to us ‘make your spares, make your spares.’ I got tired of hearing it and so I decided I was going to make more of them,” DiPaola said with a laugh. “I knew how to throw strike balls, but I needed to pick up the spares better to be great.”

One of the more impressive moments from DiPaola’s season was the 300 game he bowled in mid-January. The perfect game was one of just two bowled in all of the Skyland Conference this season, with teammate Zack Vitelli firing the other on Dec. 19. DiPaola credits his friendship and friendly competition with Vitelli for pushing him to get his own perfect game.

“The 300 was awesome,” DiPaola said. “Zack shot one three weeks before me and he and I like to challenge each other. I just bowled one strike after another and I looked up in the 10th frame and saw I still had it going so I did all I could to seal the deal.”

The Immaculata boys squad didn’t have enough able bodies to compete in statewide tournaments, which hindered DiPaola and his teammates from bowling as many games as some of their friends in other conferences. But, even though they were put in a difficult position, DiPaola helped keep his team upbeat and positive, according to Mazzariello.

“The kids didn’t know about not being able to compete in states until halfway through the season,” Mazzariello said. “With only four bowlers on our squad, Chris kept everyone engaged in the game. He was a calm person and a steady influence to our guys.”

Throughout the season, DiPaola steadily improved his game, climaxing at the Skyland Conference Tournament in late January. DiPaola rolled the highest game of any Skyland bowler with a 266, something he said will help him stay motivated for next season.

“I work very hard to do what I do,” DiPaola said. “To be recognized like this means the hard work paid off, but it also means I need to work even harder down the road to keep getting better.”

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Weinert watched Bombers bowl into history books

For the Sayreville High School boys bowling team, the 2012-13 season was a magical one. But for the man in charge of the squad, it was more of a representation of how hard his bowlers worked.

Michael Weinert, Sayreville’s boisterous head coach, had the best seat in the house for the Bombers’ championships in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, NJSIAA Group III Tournament and the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions. Sayreville finished the season with a 13-0-2 record in GMC matches en route to capturing the trio of tournament titles.

Weinert is The Home News Tribune’s Boys Bowling Coach of the Year.

“It’s been an awesome ride every season is a culmination of a lot of hard work and this one that rewarded us all,” Weinert said. “If you can win in the GMC, you can win anything in this state and we proved that this season.”

Love of sport carried Ciszewski to magical season

Jay Ciszewski, The Home News Tribune's Boys Bowler of the Year. Photo by: Augusto F. Menezes

Jay Ciszewski, The Home News Tribune’s Boys Bowler of the Year. Photo by: Augusto F. Menezes

Six years ago, Jay Ciszewski was just like many of his peers: a 12-year-old kid playing baseball in his free time, until one day, a friend asked if Jay wanted to tag along to the bowling alley.

From that day forward, Ciszewski has been in love with bowling and his love for the sport culminated in a magical senior season.

The 6-foot 8-inch Ciszewski from Sayreville High School’s bowling team, capped off a memorable campaign with a perfect 300 game to help lead the Bombers past Jackson for the Tournament of Champions title.

“The 300 that I shot at the state finals was the thing that will stick with me most from this season,” Ciszewski said. “I had never shot one at Carolier (Lanes) and I couldn’t have asked for a better time for a first one there. It was truly a culmination of all the work I have put in over the years.”

Along with the Tournament of Champions title, Ciszewski helped lead Sayreville to the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament title and the NJSIAA Group III crown.

Ciszewski is the Home News Tribune’s Boys Bowler of the Year.

“Every accolade is important to me, but this one is a little more important,” Ciszewski said. “It’s based on the entire season and the my entire body of work. Anybody can have a good series or a good week, but it’s hard to have a whole season like I did.”

Ciszewski finished fourth at sectionals and then seventh at the state individual competition, but his 223 scoring average was the highest in the GMC this season. Sayreville’s head coach, Michael Weinert, was beyond impressed with Ciszewski’s season and how he handled the pressure of being the anchor bowler.

“We’ve had some really good individual seasons at Sayreville and I’ve seen some really good ones around the state, but his is one of the best I have ever seen,” Weinert said. “A lot of it is mental for Jay, but he’s a leader for us. To have a guy like that on your team is invaluable and an incredible honor.”

Throughout the season, Sayreville faced tough competition from GMC foes such as Colonia and Woodbridge, which forced Ciszewski to step up his performance.

“Our conference is stacked overall and not many conferences can stack with us,” Ciszewski said. “It’s so tough with so many good teams, but that certainly helps us prepare for later in the season.”

Ciszewski had thrown five perfect 300s before his postseason run, but that number would have been one higher if not for a foul on his final ball in the GMCT final. Sayreville was way ahead of Colonia to win the team title, but Ciszewski was working on a perfect game into the 10th frame. He had gotten the first 11 strikes and knocked all 10 pins down with his 12th ball of the game, but Ciszewski’s plant foot went over the line and counted as a foul.

“The 300 near-miss, everyone knows about it,” Ciszewski said. “I’ve been catching a pretty good amount of heat for it since, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of for shooting a 290 in the conference finals.”

Ciszewski credits being at the bowling alley four to five times a week for his recent success, with his job at the pro shop at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick and all the time he spends actually practicing his craft.

But in the end, Ciszewski stands alone as the GMC’s top bowler, whether he has six perfect games to his name or seven.

“For me to be that guy, is a great feeling,” he said. “I can’t explain it.”

Sayreville, South Brunswick roll to GMC titles

Sayreville's Jay Ciszewski. Photo by: Augusto Menezes

Sayreville’s Jay Ciszewski. Photo by: Augusto F. Menezes

NORTH BRUNSWICK — All season long, Sayreville High School boys bowling head coach Michael Weinert made it known that if his team bowled to its potential, opponents would have a hard time beating them.

On Wednesday, the top-seeded Bombers completed a perfect run through the Greater Middlesex Conference, knocking off second-seeded Colonia 2-0 to win the conference’s tournament title.

Senior Jay Ciszewski came within a fault on his 12th ball of a perfect 300 in the second game, but that extra 10 pins wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Sayreville, which won the first game 1,077-966, exploded for a total pinfall 1,187 in the second game behind Ciszewski’s 290 to win total wood by a staggering 320 pins.

“We were prepared to bowl today. We knew it was going to be a good match and we knew we’d be tested and pushed,” Weinert said. “Credit to Colonia for making it this far; there wasn’t a lot of room for error today. But when we bowl to our potential, we’re tough to beat.”

In the second game, all five Bombers went over 200, as AJ Angotti (244), Mike Bernstein (227), Kevin Nettler (214) and Andy Danchisko (212) backed up Ciszewski’s monster game.

“The guys had my back the entire tournament; I didn’t bowl that well against St. Joseph on Monday and they picked me up then so I figured I could pay them back today,” Ciszewski said.

He did so in a major way, collecting a strike on each of his first 11 balls in the game, but when he approached the line for the 12th time, his plant foot slid a bit too far and went over the line for a fault. Even though he came that close to a perfect game, Ciszewski found a silver lining.

“It’s OK,” he said. “I’ll save it [a perfect game] for the state finals.”

Chad Gallop kept Colonia in it, rolling games of 231 and 195, but in the end, Sayreville had too much firepower.

On the girls side, fellow top-seed South Brunswick continued to roll its competition, besting third-seeded Carteret 2-1 to capture the team title.

The Ramblers jumped out on top, winning the first game 1,032-969, but the Vikings took control from there, winning Game 2 988-901 and capping it off with a narrow 959-955 victory in the deciding Game 3.

“Carteret bowled an awesome first game,” South Brunswick head coach Tara Burniston said. “Even if we bowled our average, we wouldn’t have won, so I told the girls to forget about it and if they wanted to win, they had turn it up a notch.”

In the second game, Amy Caruso took her coach’s advice and started the game with strikes in the first eight frames en route to a 277. Caruso, the GMC’s Individual Champion, finished with a tournament-best 692 series.

“I knew I had to come out strong because Carteret is a really good team and I just tried my best to take it frame-by-frame and I didn’t think about the bigger picture at hand,” Caruso said.

Even with Caruso’s 277, South Brunswick needed a couple more of their bowlers to step up in the second game to swing the momentum, and Connie Thanapuasuwan and Alanna Zetchus answered the bell. The pair rolled matching 181 games to help spur the Vikings and give them a lead in total pinfall that they wouldn’t relinquish.

Carteret’s Heather Androvich did all she could to will the Ramblers to victory, but in the end, South Brunswick’s depth was too much. Androvich finished with a 665 series (217-204-244) and capped off her day with four consecutive strikes in the third game.

Boys Final

Sayreville 2, Colonia 0

Sayreville 1077-1187 — 2264: Jay Ciszewski 238-290 — 528, AJ Angotti 231-244 — 475, Mike Bernstein 235-227 — 462, Kevin Nettler 181-214 — 395, Andy Danchisko 171-212 — 383, Mike Danchisko 192-191 — 383.

Colonia 966-879 — 1944: Chad Gallop 231-195 — 426, Joe Adase 183-213 — 396, Brandon Wilczynski197-189 — 386, Bruce Thome 179-191 — 370, Kyle Caggiano 176-190 — 366, Ryan Gormanly 131-125 — 256.

Girls Final

South Brunswick 2, Carteret 1

South Brunswick 869-988-957 — 2916: Amy Caruso 203-277-212 — 692, Connie Thanapuasuwan 185-181-187 — 553, Alanna Zetchus 162-181-194 — 537, Kristin Krier 164-171-182 — 517, Adrianna Anghelone 146-178-183 — 507, Brianne Font 155-159-183 — 497.

Carteret 1032-901-955 — 2888: Heather Androvich 217-204-244 — 665, Cryssi Golino 216-155-217 — 588, Cynthia Youngclaus 214-177-180 — 571, Dashira John 211-177-133 — 521, Alexis Policastro 174-188-150 — 512, Kati Golino 147-116-164 — 427.

Woodbridge girls surprising everyone

Over the first two rounds of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament, one thing is clear: the Woodbridge High School girls bowling team isn’t going to go quietly.

The tenth-seeded Barrons knocked off seventh-seeded Edison 2-0 in the first round last Wednesday before pulling off the upset of the tournament; a 2-1 decision over second-seeded Cardinal McCarrick.

Jodi DiSilvestro’s 598 series carried Woodbridge, which entered the GMCT with a record of 5-9-3. But their performances of late have been nothing but stellar.

“The last couple of weeks, our girls have been bowling really well; shooting over 850 consistently and they’ve come a long way since the beginning of the year,” Woodbridge head coach Rich Maddock said.

In the semifinals, which take place this afternoon at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, the Barrons will take on third-seeded Carteret, which is fresh off of a first-place finish in the NJSIAA Central Sectionals.

“We just have to stay focused,” Maddock said. “A lot of times, the girls get frustrated with everything that’s going on, so I just have to keep them calm and concentrate on making spares. If we make spares, we can hold our own with a lot of good teams.”

On the other side of the girls bracket, top-seeded South Brunswick will matchup with fourth-seeded North Brunswick. Both teams qualified for the NJSIAA state finals after strong performances this past Saturday.

“When we’ve bowled them in the regular season and in tournaments, we’ve sometimes gotten the better of them, as far as scores go,” North Brunswick head coach Paul LaMagra said of South Brunswick. “But whenever we’ve gone head-to-head, we’ve been able to take one out of the three games and it’s going to take our best effort to beat them.”

Over on the boys side of the tournament, the top four teams have made it to the semifinals. Top-seeded Sayreville will meet fourth-seeded St. Joseph and second-seeded Colonia will matchup with third-seeded Woodbridge.

Combined, the four teams have won 55 of a possible 67 matches this season, which makes the semifinal round one to watch. Not only have the four teams made it to within two wins of a conference championship, but they’ve done so by dominating the competition.

But Sayreville head coach Michael Weinert knows that if his team bowls to their potential, they shouldn’t have much to be concerned about.

“If we bowl the way we should bowl, we should win,” Weinert said. “I’m confident in that. Obviously as you get down to these last few teams, you’re bowling against better competition.”

Sayreville and St. Joseph met twice in the regular season, with the Bombers winning the first meeting 3-1. In the second of the two matches, the teams tied 2-2.

“They’ve been bowling much better lately and they’re clicking at the right time,” Weinert said. “But we don’t worry about what the other team does. We just worry about us and if we go out and execute, we’ll be where we want to be.”

GMC Individual Champ Joe Adase leads Colonia against Mike Chundak and up-and-comer Mark Simon and Woodbridge in the other semifinal. Both teams go four deep in terms of stars in their starting lineup, so plenty of pins should fall to determine which of the two squads moves on to battle for a conference crown.

North Brunswick edges Franklin for Group III title

NORTH BRUNSWICK — Opening a three-game series with identical scores in your first two games is quite difficult to do. But for the North Brunswick High School girls bowling team, they showed that, sometimes, doing the impossible leads to the bigger prize.

At Saturday’s NJSIAA Central Sectionals, the Raiders opened with a pair of 895 games and finished with a 932 in the third game, narrowly edging second-place Franklin for the Group III crown.

Both teams qualified for the state finals, which will take place Feb. 11 at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick.

“All I can say is that they bowled very consistently,” North Brunswick head coach Paul LaMagra said. “It’s almost impossible to bowl the same game twice in a row, but it’s just a coincidence. Luckily, we had those solid first two games, which got us off to a good start. We just stayed solid and in that third game we did even better and it was enough to overtake Franklin.”

Leading the way for North Brunswick was Kate Lonczak, who shot a 607 series (180-191-236). Her set was the fifth-highest of all the competitors, but the Raiders had someone different lead the team in each of the three games.

“In each game, someone different stepped up and it gave us a nice boost,” LaMagra said.

Franklin, which captured the Skyland Conference Tournament title on Thursday, backed that performance up with a strong showing, coming in second in the group. The Warriors got off to a fast start, rolling matching 943 games to open their day, before finishing with a 795. Morgan Marcial paced Franklin as she rolled a 591 set (184-222-185), and her showing was one that she has been searching for all season long.

“I wanted to show my coach that I can really bowl this way and me having a good season personally has been a great way to end my senior year,” Marcial said.

In Group IV, South Brunswick finished 45 pins behind Howell. The Vikings got off to a slow start, by their standards, but finished their day with two games over 900 to advance to the finals.

“The first game, there were a little bit of jitters there; we dug ourselves a little bit of a hole, but came back in the end with a really solid third game,” South Brunswick head coach Tara Burniston said. “We went frame-by-frame and they let everything hang out and we took control at the end. It was great to see.”

South Brunswick finished with 988 and 910 in their final two games, thanks in large part to Kristin Krier. The sophomore posted a 178-245-181-604 line, which was good enough for the seventh-best set on the day. Amy Caruso went over 200 twice and Alanna Zetchus struck out in the tenth frame of the third game to finish with a 205.

Not to be outdone by their Greater Middlesex Conference rivals, the Carteret Ramblers won the Group I crown, finishing 50 pins ahead of second-place Cardinal McCarrick. Carteret’s third game of 941 propelled them to the top of the group.

“They were absolutely fantastic in the third game,” Carteret coach Charles Simon said. “The first and second game, we could have done a little better, but they were relaxed going into the third game and they bowled as a team and pulled it out.”

Heather Androvich and Cryssi Golino helped the Ramblers, posting 576 and 566 series respectively. Both bowlers went over 200 in the third game, with Androvich registering a 211 and Golino posting a 208.

“Coming from behind is always nice,” Simon said. “They showed today in the third game that this game is fun and that’s part of why we were able to pull it out.”

Demetria Bethel of Piscataway scored the second-highest series at 644, with Katie Latham of Cardinal McCarrick coming in just behind her at 643.

Franklin sweeps titles in Skyland Conference Bowling Tournament

Franklin's Sergey Eccles. Photo by: Mark R. Sullivan.

Franklin’s Sergey Eccles. Photo by: Mark R. Sullivan.

WASHINGTON TWP. — Heading into the third and final game of the Skyland Conference Bowling Tournament Thursday afternoon, Franklin High School coach Ken Margolin took his boys team aside and gave them a bit of a pep talk.

“I just told them that they ‘needed to step it up,’ ” Margolin said, and that ‘there were a lot of teams within 100 pins of us and if we bowl better than everyone else in this game, then we’re going to win.’ We needed to send a message; you’re conference champs in the regular season, so if you want to be tournament champs, you’ve got to step it up.”

And step up they did, as the Warriors rolled a 1,015 in the third game to pull away, capturing the title at Oakwood Lanes.

The sextet of Dylan Coker, Sergey Eccles, Kevin Greene, Jake Hills, Nick Piomelli and Jake Olszyk finished with a team score of 2,960, 99 pins ahead of second-place South Hunterdon. Greene and Hills spilt time for Franklin in the tournament.

“We knew it was going to be tight on both sides,” Margolin said. “We just needed to knock down more pins than everybody else. In this conference, if our boys and girls bowl to their ability, we’re not going to lose many matches.”

The Franklin girls squad of Michelle Kwan, Morgan Marcial, Alanna Merritt, Megan Rossi and Lucy Shepherd cruised to the team title, finishing 105 pins ahead of Warren Hills.

Franklin's Megan Rossi. Photo by: Mark R. Sullivan.

Franklin’s Megan Rossi. Photo by: Mark R. Sullivan.

Before the third game, Margolin tried to pump the girls up in a similar way he did with the boys, relaying a simple message of confidence.

“They just needed to relax and trust their stuff and bowl to their abilities,” Margolin said. “That’s been the message all season long.”

Margolin credited volunteer assistant coach Robin Both with helping the girls stay focused all year.

“She’s a tremendous coach and someone that has been the voice in their ear when I’m with the boys team,” he said. “She’s been telling them exactly what they need to do and it’s been great to have her on board.”

Both teams led wire-to-wire, but their coach knows that the way they bowled on Thursday won’t take them too far come state tournament time.

“The whole season is about states,” Margolin said. “It’s nice winning the conference and the conference tournament, but it is all about states. We have some work to do when we get to states, but we know what we need to do to move on the rest of the season.”

Boys team scores: 1. Franklin 857-988-1015–2960; 2. South Hunterdon 916-964-985–2861; 3. Warren Hills 896-916-962–2774; 4. Hunterdon Central 927-938-891–2756; 5. Watchung Hills 939-953-855–2747; 6. Immaculata 937-941-879–2557.

Girls team scores: 1. Franklin 860-869-779–2508; 2. Warren Hills 792-848-763–2403; 3. South Hunterdon 653-631-645–1929; 4. Watchung Hills 615-609-611–1835; 5. Hunterdon Central 563-591-644–1798; 6. Immaculata 542-628-507–1677.

Barrons set themselves apart from competition

The Greater Middlesex Conference’s Red Division is always one of the toughest to compete in, regardless of sport or gender. But this winter, the Woodbridge High School boys bowling team has conquered the division, setting itself apart as the top team.

In two head-to-head matches against perennial Red Division power South Brunswick this season, Woodbridge has won easily, taking the two by a combined score of 7-1. Barrons’ head coach Rich Maddock expressed that beating a team like South Brunswick in the fashion that they have has helped his squad in other matches.

“South Brunswick is a phenomenal team,” Maddock said. “They can put up huge numbers at any point, but we just put up bigger numbers than them this year. And the fact that we’ve been able to do that has shown our guys that we can beat anybody when we bowl our best.”

Woodbridge has been beating everyone this season, compiling a 14-2 record through Sunday, and has secured the No. 3 seed in this week’s GMC Tournament, which begins Thursday at Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick.

Leading the Barrons’ charge this season is a trio of seniors: Brandt Bannister (180 average), Matt Caggiano (205) and Mike Chundak (202). As a group, those three have helped Woodbridge roll past their competition, but recently, it’s been junior Mark Simon who has been the hot hand for Maddock’s bunch.

Simon, who has bowled 10 fewer games than Bannister and Caggiano this season, has a 226 average this winter, which is among the best in the GMC.

“As a group this year, I think we’ve done pretty well,” Maddock said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, like everyone else, but we’re hitting our stride at the right time. Mark has come on lately and we just have a bunch of guys that can put up huge numbers at any time.”

The Barrons have dropped just two matches this season, to Sayreville and Colonia, which earned the first and second seeds in the GMC Tournament, respectively, but haven’t lost since Dec. 19. In Maddock’s estimation, his squad just needs to make enough spares and he believes it can beat anyone, including Sayreville and Colonia.

“We just need to stay focused,” Maddock said. “Spares have been out big problem this year; we need to stay focused and relaxed, because the team that makes the most spares that will win.”

GMC seeds

Sayreville, the conference’s lone unbeaten team, was awarded the top seed for the GMC Tournament, which gets under way Thursday afternoon. Colonia, which has the GMC’s individual champ in Joseph Adade, is second, followed by Woodbridge, St. Joseph’s and South Brunswick. JF Kennedy is sixth and Middlesex, Old Bridge, Monroe and JP Stevens round out the top 10. Seeds 11 through 22 will compete Thursday to round out the top 16 seeds.

South Brunswick, which ended the weekend with a 15-0 record, was awarded the top seed on the girls side of the tournament. The Vikings, who boast the conference’s individual champion, Amy Caruso, are followed in the seeding by Cardinal McCarrick, Carteret, North Brunswick and Piscataway. JF Kennedy was given the sixth seed, ahead of Edison, Monroe, Mother Seton and Woodbridge. Seeds 11 through 22 will compete Thursday to round out the top 16 seeds.

Ramblers on roll despite lack of practice

For the Carteret High School girls bowling team, the pins have been falling at a more consistent rate this season than they have in years past. But don’t credit their 14-1 start to lots of practice; in fact it’s the complete opposite.

“Unfortunately once the season starts, we don’t get to practice too much,” Carteret head coach Charles Simon said. “We have to just bowl.”

And bowl they have thus far in 2012-13, as the Ramblers have vaulted to the top of the GMC’s White Division behind junior Heather Androvich, who carried a 190.9 average through the weekend. Androvich, according to Simon, has been taking the game a lot more seriously this year, which has clearly shown in her leadership on the lanes with her teammates.

“I think I was good last year, but I just practiced a lot and I spent a lot of time just trying to figure out the lanes, the oil and the patterns,” Androvich said. “Last year we had a pretty good record, but the difference for us this year was in December; we practiced together a lot over winter break and we got a lot closer as a team and learned how to help each other.”

The Ramblers have rolled over their competition this season in dual meets, losing only to Red Division leader South Brunswick. And Androvich’s stellar bowling has been one of the key reasons why they’ve won match after match this winter. Against Perth Amboy on Dec. 7, Androvich rolled a 252-246-256 for a 754 series, which was the highest mark of her career and one of the top marks in the conference this season.

“The lanes were just working with the ball I had that day,” Androvich said. “I was just in a groove.”

But for all of Androvich’s successes this season, Simon made it known that a senior leader has been the one he’s leaned on to guide the squad.

“Cynthia Youngclaus is our leader,” Simon said. “She has really come on to be very steady for us this year. There’s a motto that I have for the girls that she reflects really well: if at first you don’t succeed, there’s another frame and another game and another match.”

Simon also noted that sophomores Alexis Policastro and Cryssi Golino have picked up the pace.

For the remainder of the season, Simon said that his squad just needs to remain focused on the task at hand and not get caught up in what’s down the road. But, because of their front-heavy schedule, when they bowled 10 times before the Jan. 1, Simon is now faced with a difficult situation.

“The season has played out funny, in the sense that we bowled a lot before Christmas and we bowled a lot last week, with the GMC individuals and the Brick Tournament, we were bowling six days of the week and in my opinion that’s way too much,” Simon said. I have to be able to keep the girls focused in the next couple of weeks when there isn’t much on our schedule.”

Woodbridge Classic

J.F. Kennedy finished second to St. Peter’s Prep in Saturday’s Woodbridge Classic at the Woodbridge Bowling Center.

St. Peter’s Prep rolled a 3,112 total in the morning session. Kennedy, bowling in the afternoon session, totalled 3,095 in the tournament, which consisted of two traditional games followed by five in Baker format. Anthony Ruiz of Carteret tied for high game with 268.

Other local boys finishes include: 5. Linden 3,001; 8. Old Bridge 2,964; 9. Colonia 2,900; 10. Woodbridge 2,895; 12. J.P. Stevens 2,836; 13. Middlesex 2,793; 15. Monroe 2,742; 18. South Plainfield 2,640; 19. Edison 2,557; 21. Carteret 2,510. On the girls side, J.F. Kennedy’s Courtney Wiewiorski, who competed while recovering from a broken ankle, rolled the high game of 247 and led Kennedy to a fourth-place finish. Brick and Brick Memorial finished 1-2 with Woodbridge third (2,571). Carteret was fifth (2,528). Other local boys finishes include: 6. Edison 2,422; 7.South Plainfield 2,401; 8. Colonia 2,337; 9. Monroe 2,290; 10. Middlesex 2,017; 11. J.F.Kennedy B 1,796; 12. J.P. Stevens 1,794; 13. Old Bridge 1,735.

Sayreville boys roll through tournament; South Brunswick girls also win

NORTH BRUNSWICK — For the Sayreville High School boys bowling team, the 37th Annual Joe Romer Memorial Baker Shootout was a breeze. The Bombers qualified first for the eight-team final round and then rolled through Monroe, J.F. Kennedy and Colonia to capture the title in what head coach Michael Weinert called their best performance of the season.

“This was our best showing of the year,” Weinert said. “We talked when we came in today how we are what we are right now; other than fine-tuning there aren’t going to be a lot of things to change between now and the postseason, so we just have to take what we’ve got and go out and assert ourselves as the best team in the state. I believe we are the best team in the state. I think we showed a little bit of that today.”

The Bombers knocked off Colonia 446-390 in the final round, using a 256-191 victory in the first of the two games to create a bit of breathing room. The quintet of AJ Angotti Mike Bernstein, Jay Ciszewski, Michael Danchisko and Kevin Nettler made it look easy in the Baker-style tournament, where the bowlers go in a batting order format, and thus only get two frames per game instead of a normal 10.

“I don’t really see that there’s any bit of a difference between a regular tournament and the Baker-type of tournament like this was,” Bernstein said. “You just need to buckle down and make spares like it’s a normal tournament. With my teammates having my back, it’s so easy to go out there and make good shots.”

On the girls side, South Brunswick fought through a slow start to emerge victorious, besting Woodbridge 434-395 in the final two games. The Vikings, which qualified fifth, disposed of Edison and Cardinal McCarrick in the two matches leading up to the finals, and found their groove at the right time on the afternoon.

“Throughout the 12 qualifying games, we didn’t get into as much of a rhythm as we usually do, but it really kicked in for us in the final couple of games,” South Brunswick head coach Tara Burniston said. “In the final matchup, we were down by 40-something pins going into the final game, and we have such a young team and it’s kind of hard to get them to pull together, but I told them they had to come out and bowl one great game and we’ll see what happens.”

The Vikings had their work cut out for them heading into the final game, with Woodbridge having won Game 1 220-179 and the champion being awarded by total wood in the two games. South Brunswick responded with their best game of the day, opening with five straight strikes en route to a 255-175 rout. They only missed one spare in the game and finished with nine strikes out of a possible 12.

“The girls knew what they had to do there in the final game to make up the differential,” Burniston said. “They’re so coachable and they make my job easier and they went frame-by-frame and kept supporting each other and it was the best energy we’d had all day.”