In its second tournament of the season, the South Brunswick girls bowling team was successful for the second straight tournament.
The No. 1 seeded Vikings topped No. 6 seed East Brunswick 347-285 in the final round of the Carteret/Old Bridge Baker Challenge on Saturday at Carolier Lanes, the third straight year South Brunswick has captured this tournament.
“It’s a great start,” South Brunswick coach Tara Burniston said. “We started off bowling really well in the qualifying (round) and then we stumbled a little, but their experience and determination made them able to pick up their game.”
South Brunswick trailed No. 8 seed by 10 pins after one game in the quarterfinals, but came back in the second game for the 308-289 win.
They then defeated No. 5 seed Manchester 379-326 in the semifinals to meet East Brunswick in the finals.
“We had a rough start in the (semifinals) round against Manchester also, but then it was clear sailing from there,” Burniston said. “They got together as a team and had a common goal – they wanted to win.”
Senior Amy Caruso was in the critical anchor position for South Brunswick, which consists of bowling the fifth and important 10th frames of each game.
“It’s a lot of pressure because you have three shots (at the end), but it also comes down to everyone else on the team because each frame counts,” Caruso said.
East Brunswick edged No. 3 seed North Brunswick by a pin, 320-319, in the quarterfinal round before topping No. 2 seed Howell 356-345 in the semifinals.
Manchester topped Howell 363-359 for third place.
Linden, the No. 5 seed, fell to No. 2 seed Freehold Township 463-384 in the boys final, but the Tigers were very satisfied with their showing.
“Early in the preliminary rounds we were struggling to make our spares, so I never really expected to advance (to the quarterfinals)” Linden coach Cherie Pizzano said. “The last set of four (preliminary) baker games we came on strong, made our spares, and were able to string a lot of strikes.”
Linden has two girls bowlers, Alexis Dulko and Sinoda Cook, who compete on its boys team as Union County does not have a girls bowling league.
“If the girl is good enough, I put her on the (boys) varsity and it’s worked out very well for us,” Pizzano said. “It’s almost intimidating sometimes I think because the other teams automatically assume they have the advantage because you have a girl bowling, so I think it works in our favor a lot of the time.
Preliminary Results: 1-Jackson Memorial 2,715; 2-Freehold Township 2,458; 3-Sayreville 2,426; 4-South Brunswick 2,291; 5-Linden 2,254; 6-Howell 2,241; 7-Manchester 2,228; T8-St. Joseph 2,197;T8-Monroe 2,197; 10-Woodbridge 2,141; 11-Brick Memorial 2,126; 12-Franklin 2,111; T13-Edison 2,109; T13-Old Bridge 2,109; 15-Piscataway 2,105; 16-Passaic Tech 2,090; 17-North Brunswick 2,061; 18-East Brunswick 2,053; 19-Carteret 1,942; 20-Westfield 1,882; 21-Colonia 1,739; 22-Perth Amboy 1,590; 23-J.P. Stevens 1,520.
Quarterfinals: 1-Jackson Memorial d. 8-St. Joseph 500-390; 5-Linden d. 4-South Brunswick 439-382; 3-Sayreville d. 6-Howell 371-344; 2-Freehold Township d. 7-Manchester 435-377.
Semifinals: 5-Linden d. 1-Jackson Memorial 400-364; 2-Freehold Township d. 3-Sayreville 440-313.
Finals: 1-Freehold Township d. 5-Linden 463-384.
Third-place: 1-Jackson Memorial d. 3-Sayreville 406-290.
1-South Brunswick 2,201; 2-Howell 2,175; 3-North Brunswick 2,093; 4-Brick Memorial 2,083; 5-Manchester 2,014; 6-East Brunswick 1,964; 7-Carteret 1,873; 8-Jackson Memorial 1,849; 9-Edison 1,844; 10-Sayreville 1,774; 11-Woodbridge 1,729; 12-Colonia 1,687; 13-Freehold Township 1,634; 14-Piscataway 1,630; 15-Franklin 1,555; 16-Old Bridge 1,385; 17-J.P. Stevens 1,270.
Quarterfinals: 1-South Brunswick d. Jackson Memorial 308-289; 5-Manchester d. 4-Brick Memorial 342-322; 6-East Brunswick d. 3-North Brunswick 320-319; 2-Howell d. 7-Carteret 350-285.
Semifinals: 1-South Brunswick d. 5-Manchester 379-326; 6-East Brunswick d. 2-Howell 356-345.
Finals: 1-South Brunswick d. 6-East Brunswick 347-285.
Third-place: 5-Manchester d. 2-Howell 363-359.