By Jim Ferchland
The Warriors came up short against the cream of the crop for the second time this season, as the No. 2 Comsewogue girls bowling team fell to No.1 East Islip, 3-0. The Redmen clinched the conference title and improve to 9-0 in League III.
“They’re a great team,” Comsewogue 12-year head coach Bo Frimmer said, noting East Islip’s 11 county titles. “They’ve won states before. We are trying to get to that point. This is always who we try to beat every year. Coming into the match, we thought had a shot, and we did. We just didn’t close.”
The Redmen won each game by over 100 pins, with two bowlers exceeding 225 during the games. Junior Julianna Spina recorded a 256, and classmate Jenny Murphy scored 226 as East Islip took the games 1,043-935; 1,074-939; and 1,028-921.
“They work really, really hard,” East Islip head coach Harold Cooley said of his athletes. “They bowl all year round. They do what’s necessary to maintain where they are.”
Junior All-State bowler Hannah Manetta finished for the Warriors with 227 in Game 1, starting off the match with five strikes, a 234 in Game 2 and 246 in Game 3. Her consistent improvement led her to finish with the highest total score, a 707.
“Hannah bowled great,” Frimmer said. “Her goal for the year is to make the state team, which she did last year. She’s right on the cusp right now, so a day like today really helped her. It was a very important day for her.”
Senior Alex Gallo scored 202 in Game 1, 195 in Game 2 and 175 in Game 3. Sophomore Colleen McInerney bowled a 163, 153 and 163. Before the match, her average was a 177.
“With East Islip, you’ve got to focus on making your spares,” McInerney said. “You have to put your head in the game more. Usually, when we bowl, we’re having more fun, but with East Islip, it becomes real serious.”
While the Comsewogue girls were struggling in the first two games, Frimmer spoke to his team about making the spare opportunities count, saying they can’t miss them in key situations.
“It’s the game of bowling,” Frimmer said. “You’re going to make your runs with your strikes, and if you don’t make your spares, it’s gonna kill your score.”
East Islip has been league champion since 2014. Two years ago, Comsewogue fell to East Islip by just three pins.
“We don’t usually beat them,” Manetta said. “We always come in second place in our league. I wasn’t expecting it to be easy. I wanted to show them that we are second in the league and we weren’t going down without a fight.”
Coming off a loss, Comsewogue has one more match before counties, and Gallo isn’t worried one bit. The Warriors traveled to Islip Jan. 17, but results were not available by press time.
“I have full confidence,” Gallo said. “I have no doubt in my team. If you feel confident, that’s the only way you’re gonna win.”