At one point in Friday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys bowling Division I tournament at Strike-N-Spare Lanes, the Liverpool Warriors had climbed from ninth to second place.
And while the Warriors didn’t stay in that runner-up spot, its fifth-place finish was still a strong showing for a young side that had surprised many by winning the Section III team title a month earlier.
What’s more, Josh Winzens made his way to second place among individual bowlers and his teammate, Zak Ormsby, took sixth place.
The state tournament format was similar to Liverpool’s narrow sectional victory over Utica Proctor at Pin-O-Rama, with six games spread out over two sessions.
And in that opening game, the Warriors’ nerves rose to the surface as it shot 907 to sit at the back of the pack. Only Winzens, with a 212, stood out as East Islip’s Joe Zagari blazed to the only 300 game of the day.
In the second game, though, Liverpool beat everyone with an 1,140 total as Ormsby got a 266, up from his opening 177, and Winzens added a 222 as Deacon Roberson shot 236 and Brandon Davis earned a 225.
The first session concluded with the Warriors shooting 1,064 to enter the break at 3,111, trailing only East Islip (3,174) and Fairport (Section V), who had blazed to the lead with 3,401 as it won both the first and third games.
Winzens peaked in the fourth game, stringing together strikes in a 269 as Davis had his best score, a 246, and Ormsby got a 214. With that, Liverpool, at 1,063, eased past East Islip into second place and made up ground on Fairport, though it still trailed the Red Raiders by more than 200 pins.
But in the fifth game, the Warriors shot 954, and then closed with a 1,006 in the sixth game to leave them at 6,134. Corning, eighth at the midway point, charged up to finish second at 6,191, with East Islip third (6,157) and Kingston (Section X) getting fourth place with 6,139.
No one would get close to catching Fairport, though, as the Red Raiders, with a 6,497, claimed the state championship over Corning by 306 pins, its 1,173 third gamd and 1,150 fifth game all but clinching the outcome.
As for Winzens, he finished with a 240 to post 1,376, beating every individual except East Islip’s Aaron Rice, who shot 1,436. Ormsby had closing games of 224 and 218 to finish at 1,311 for sixth place, while Davis had a pinfall of 1,235 to get 21st place.
Deacon Roberson had a 1,159 to gain 29th place, with Devin Roberson shooting 872 over five games, including a 216 in the third game. Logan Herrmann shot a 181 in his lone game.
In the girls bowling sectional Division I tournament, Rome Free Academy finished seventh with 5,092 as North Rockland (Section I) led most of the way and, with 6,057, beat runner-up East Islip by 162 pins.
Orchard Park’s Sarah Radt was the individual champion with a 1,358 series, but it was North Rockland’s Nicole Cona snatching the spotlight as her 300 game in the fourth helped her side to the state title. It was just the second perfect game in girls state tournament history.
In Sunday’s state Division II team tournaments, Camden’s girls and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill’s boys each recorded seventh-place finishes, with Dunkirk (Section VI) taking the girls title with 5,671 and Lansingburgh (Section II) the boys title with 6,213.