NORTH BRUNSWICK – The South Brunswick boys bowling team did not have the start they wanted.
They came out and bowled a 947 during the first game and were in a bit of a hole. It took a speech from two seniors, Kris Kimberlin and Charles Zaabadick, to help them wake up and march their way back to a first place finish in the Central Jersey Winter Classic.
“Me and my other teammate Charles (Zaabadick) have been playing for four years and it’s our job to keep the team together,” Kimberlin said. “Today, we had a bad first game and we both made a speech and got our team going.”
The team responded to their seniors prep talk and bowled a 1063 in game two and a 1065 in game three, which game them a final tally of 3075. This helped the Vikings edge out last year’s Tournament of Champions winners Brick Memorial, who completed the competition with a 3047.
“The good competition brings out the best in us,” Kimberlin said. “When we face lower teams, we kind of get less competitive. When we have a competitive match, we are a bit louder and we bowl better.”
Kimberlin led the competition with an overall tally of 761. He shot a 260 during the second game, which was his best score of the day.
“Just hitting my mark every time,” Kimberlin said when asked what went right for him during the tournament. “Not getting too worked up over what I was shooting, just worrying about what my team was shooting.”
Kimberlin and the South Brunswick squad had a slow start to the season. They had two early season losses to two Greater Middlesex Conference opponents, Edison and Old Bridge. Since then, South Brunswick has began to return to the bowling status that they are familiar with.
Kimberlin feels that he is personally beginning to roll his best games of the season.
“I kind of started the season out slow,” Kimberlin said. “Now, I am bowling a lot better. I’ve had two 700’s in a row.”
South Brunswick wants to win the GMC Red Division and Central Jersey, Group 4 championship titles again. Claiming Central Jersey Winter Classic will give them motivation heading into the pivotal parts of the season.
“Coming into tournaments, the biggest thing is staying calm,” Kimberlin said. “We feel a lot of pressure heading in because we know we are always up there with them. One thing we try to do is worry about our own scores and not focus on what everyone else is shooting. It doesn’t put as much pressure on us.”
Piscataway girls come in second
The Piscataway girls bowling team came into the season wanting to prove their worth. Other GMC schools were receiving praise, but the Chiefs were not in the conversation.
Piscataway knew they would be able to compete with some of the best. The Piscataway bowling squad will go as far as their star bowler, Demetria Bethel, will take them
On Saturday at Central Jersey Winter Classic, Bethel shot an overall score of 707, to lead Piscataway to a second place finish. Piscataway had a team score of 2744, which closely followed Brick Memorial’s top score of 2801.
Bethel will have to lead the way if Piscataway wants to stick around with heavy favorites Edison. Bethel showed she was capable of leading her team, shooting the top score of the tournament. She also finished with the top game, tallying a 279 during her third round.
South Plainfield’s Rebeca Armand also had a stellar performance during the tournament. She fell just short of Bethel’s top score, bowling a 705 for the day. East Brunswick finished the day with a top five appearance, rolling a collective score of 2642.
Staff writer Steven Macri: firstname.lastname@example.org