Bowling: Yonkers a 'big shot' at sectional tournament

Bowling: Yonkers a 'big shot' at sectional tournament


Bowling: Yonkers a 'big shot' at sectional tournament



Winning bowling tournaments usually requires two things: good spare shooting, and execution on big shots when needed.

Yonkers Public Schools didn’t have the greatest spare shooting at Fishkill Bowl on Tuesday, but it was fortunate to escape with the Section 1 boys bowling title after executing on big shot after big shot.

The team, which features four combined high schools from the Yonkers area, won its second championship in three years — dating back to the time the team was formed — after beating defending champions Clarkstown 6,142 pins to 6,027.

“It’s so surreal,” said senior Nick Poggiogalle, who took the individual title with a 1,315 six-game series. “Especially since it’s my last time here, and I get to win with a couple of other seniors in Robbie (Shine) and Anthony (Bowles). It’s so great.”

Poggiogalle, who attends Early College, bowled in the leadoff spot on Tuesday, a change that was made by Shine’s father, the team’s assistant coach, before the match.

“He wanted someone who did strike a lot, someone with a lot of fire and emotion,” Poggiogalle said. “It doesn’t matter to me (where I bowl); I’d say I’m good anywhere, but if I’m going to bowl, I’m going to bowl the same game no matter where I am.”

Holding an 89-pin lead heading into the three-game afternoon block, Yonkers was on the ropes against Clarkstown, which looked like it was going to make up the difference in one game.

Then, Yonkers caught a break. Three, actually.

Clarkstown’s Nos. 3-4-5 bowlers opened in the 10th frame, opening the door for Shine and Yonkers. Riding a five-bagger into his final frame, Shine threw the first two strikes in the 10th frame to give Yonkers a 1,119-1,113 win.

“I told them to focus on the game in front of them and not worry about what anyone else was bowling,” Yonkers coach Maria Hadala said. “Just do their own thing, make their spares, and victory could be theirs.”

The defending champion Vikings, a combined team of Clarkstown North and Clarkstown South, made up 23 pins the following game, but could not overcome the nearly 100-pin deficit in the final game.

This is the fourth consecutive year that a combined program has won the boys bowling section title, with Clarkstown and Yonkers exchanging championship wins.

Since Yonkers won as a team, and since Yorktown’s Anthony Branca and Mahopac’s Dominick Brown already qualified for states as two of the three high averages in the section, Clarkstown’s Matt Lampel was the first state qualifier from the section tournament.

The top three bowlers at the section tournament who are not members of the winning team or among the three highest averages in the section, qualify for states.

Lampel edged Tappan Zee senior Nick Carbonetto for the top qualifying spot 1,276-1,275 and Harrison junior Mike DeRenzis grabbed the final spot with a 1,269 series. Suffern’s Al Chamberlain rounded out the Section 1 all-stars as the section’s high average.

Carbonetto, the younger brother of former Junior Team USA member and Journal News Rockland bowler of the year Jackie, will make his first trip to the state tournament at AMF Babylon Lanes on Mar. 1-2 after several near-misses.

The 2011-12 Journal News Rockland bowler of the year, Carbonetto narrowly missed the state tournament two years ago as a high-average automatic qualifier and then again at the section tournament later that year.

“Personally, for me, I didn’t have very good carry (Tuesday) — I didn’t strike very much — so spares were important,” Carbonetto said. “(Jackie) and her boyfriend (Matt Gasn) are two of the best bowlers that I know, personally, and I’ve learned so much from them, it’s unbelievable. I can’t thank them enough.”

DeRenzis will make history when he heads to Long Island, as he will become the first two-handed bowler to represent Section 1 at the state level. The junior, who averaged 216 during the season, was five games short of qualifying as a high-average automatic bid.

Bowlers need 18 games during the season to qualify for the section tournament, but need 30 games to qualify for high-average honors. Since matches at White Plains Bowl, Harrison’s home house, can sometimes be only two games, DeRenzis fell short of the requirement.

Entering Tuesday, DeRenzis thought he had automatically qualified. It wasn’t until right before the tournament that he found out he would have to bowl his way onto the state team.

“Once I realized that my name wasn’t (on the high-average list), I realized that I had to bowl for real,” said DeRenzis, who bowled a 300 game during his freshman season. “When they told me I was five games short, I was kind of mad.”

A bowling style that has been sweeping across bowling alleys worldwide, thanks to the success of superstars Jason Belmonte of Australia and Osku Palermaa of Finland on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, DeRenzis switched to the two-handed style after getting a blister on his thumb in eighth grade.

“I was bowling one-handed, then I got a blister on my thumb, and then I tried two hands and just stuck with it and it seemed to work,” DeRenzis said. “I didn’t know about (Belmonte or Palermaa) at the time.”

State qualifiers Anthony Branca and Dominick Brown already had their spots secured entering Tuesday, but both still finished in the top three individually.

Branca, the section’s third-highest average, posted the high series of the tournament (289) in Game 5, but then shot 150 in the final game to fall to Poggiogalle by four pins. Brown, whose team bowls at Fishkill Bowl during varsity matches, finished third overall with a 1,303 series.

Heading into the state tournament, Yonkers will look to follow up a strong, second-place finish two years ago. With four starters back from that team, confidence and experience levels are high.

“It’s going to be the same as (at sections) — we know we can do it, it’s my last time there and I’m not going out without a bang,” Poggiogalle said. “It’s the same thing I thought about here; hopefully the same results happen.”

Twitter: @Zacchio_LoHud


More USA TODAY High School Sports