Coming off the first Section 1 championship it actually had to work for in about a decade, the North Rockland girls bowling team posted a respectable sixth-place finish at the team state championships Saturday at AMF Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga.
Three Red Raiders bowlers — Deanna Jones, Mercedes Morel and Nicole Cona — were among the top 25 individual bowlers for the tournament, placing 19th, 21st, and 24th, respectively. Jones is the lone senior on a young but gifted North Rockland team that also has no juniors on the roster.
North Rockland has made 12 consecutive trips to the state tournament but has yet to come away with a title. With stars like the sophomore Morel and the freshman Cona ushering in the new wave of Red Raiders talent, the future is bright for North Rockland.
“A lot can happen,” said Red Raiders assistant coach Alex Rodriguez, who bowled in the state tournament with North Rockland in 2008.
Rodriguez said poor spare shooting and decreased morale attributed to the team’s second-half struggles, but that both should change as the team matures in both age and experience.
“You have to keep the same momentum throughout the day,” he said, adding that controlled emotions are pivotal to success on the lanes. “There’s always plenty of time left.”
The John Jay-East Fishkill boys’ tremendous season was capped with a fifth-place finish. The Patriots posted an undefeated regular season before capturing the program’s first-ever section title.
Senior Joe Ginese paced the Patriots with a six-game series of 1,186, good enough for a 197.67 average and a fourth-place individual finish. Fellow Patriots John Bald and George Pacacha also finished in the top 25.
The individual championships will take place Sunday morning at AMF Airport Lanes, beginning at 8:30.