Right up to the last shot, Matt Lawton showed his confidence, and as the strikes fell, so did the barrier between the Liverpool boys bowling team and the OHSL regular-season championship.
In a courageous comeback, the Warriors overcame East Syracuse-Minoa's quick start last Wednesday at Strike-N-Spare Lanes, earning a 4-3 victory over the Spartans.
These two teams had the best records in the OHSL, and the high anticipation over the match drew a large crowd to cheer both sides on.
Early on, ESM partisans had a reason to smile. As Liverpool managed just a 1,030 total (top five scores out of six count), ESM had games of 259, 246, 226, 211 and 202 for 1,154 and a 2-0 lead.
All of it turned around in the second game. Dave Sanderson followed an open frame with 11 consecutive strikes for a 279, as his hot play inspired all the teammates, creating a 2-2 tie.
The last game was tense, and the scores quite close. Though ESM would win the one point for overall pin count, Liverpool got the other two points as Lawton finished off a 258 to seal the team's victory.
Overall, Lawton had a 706 series. Sanderson earned a 678 set, while Andrew Bartrach earned a 595 series. John Maselli led ESM with a 651 series and high game of 259.
Meanwhile, Liverpool's girls team maintained the OHSL lead by surviving a big challenge from ESM, earning a 3-1 decision.
Marni Vincitore had a steady 634 series, with a high game of 233. Mandy McCoy fit a 234 game into her 560 series. Lisa Hinman paced ESM with a 553 set.