February 8, 2016
Trojan keglers head to states after keeping title
UTICA — Homer Central boys came into the 2015-16 bowling season as the defending Section 3 Class B champions.
On Sunday, the Trojans took the next step.
Led by senior Brandon Grant’s 1,316 six-game score, the Trojans repeated a Class B champions with a 5,840 pin team total and also avenged last year’s overall loss to Class A champion Fulton by beating the Red Raiders by 135 pins to claim the Section 3 Overall Championship.
That success advances the Trojans to the New York State Championships in Cheektowaga being held March 5-6.
Grant was second overall after a 647 (173-258-216) morning series at Pinorama in Utica Sunday and 669 (212-222-235) in the afternoon. Grant was seven pins behind overall individual champion Josh Whiting from Rome Free Academy. Joe Mitchell from Utica Proctor was sixth overall, but he started his day with a perfect 300 game and finished with a 1,258 total.
“I have never been so proud of a group of guys,” Homer coach Robert Nasiatka said. “They ground out an unbelievable win today. Fulton was coming up fast in the afternoon, but we did what we needed to do to hang on. The day worked out just like we scripted, be in the hunt in the end and be tougher than the rest.
“Brandon Grant was a horse, having the second best series in the tourney,” he continued. “Storm Grant’s shot did not set up well for the conditions, but he stared down every spare and converted. Joey Esposito, Ryan Aylesworth and Brandon Aylesworth had solid days, but the oil pattern was non-existent by the end of the day.
The Trojans have certainly come a long way in a short time.
Esposito rolled 1,189 (611-578) to finish 15th overall. Ryan Aylesworth was 17th with a 1,167 (594-573), Storm Grant took 22nd with 1,117 (593-524) and Brandon Aylesworth was 39th with 1,051 (597-454).
“This is a six-year old program,” Nasiatka said. “We were the Hoosiers beating schools 3-4 times our size. Thanks to the parents the kids and the community, we are going up to Buffalo with nothing to lose. We met all of our goals. You never know what may happen.”
Cortland High boys placed 11th overall with a 5,241 total and fourth in Class B.
“Our top three bowlers were separated by a three-pin difference,” Cortland coach Ron Reed said.
Troy Vallese led Cortland with his 1,108 (574-534) total for 23rd place. Jake Woods posted a 24th-place total of 1,106 (578-528) and Alex Babcock rolled his 35th-place total 1,105 (561-544). Mike Davis had a 1,051 (456-595). They were the only four to throw six games for the Purple Tigers.
ON SATURDAY at King Pin Lanes in Rome, Cortland High girls placed fifth in Class B with a 4,349 total and Homer was sixth with a 4,124. Camden overcame a slow start to take the Class B crown with 4,841 pins for third overall while East-Syracuse-Minoa was second in Class B at 4,714. Utica Proctor repeated as Class A and Overall Champion with a 5,181. Proctor’s Jennifer Roback took individual honors with her 1,174 total after series of 619 (178-162-279) and 555 (173-187-195).
Liz Minnard led the local girls as the Purple Tiger placed 19th with a 979 total after series of 466 (161-154-151) and 513 (172-187-154).
Homer’s Katie Vartanian was next in 33rd place with her 910 series after series of 457 (135-163-159) and 453 (127-158-168).
Rounding out the Purple Tigers in six-game series were Taylor Cullip in 35th with an 890 (480-410), Rebecca Alteri in 48th with an 843. Calista VanEpps rolled a 435 (110-164-161) morning series while Holly Vallese rolled 409 (126-122-161). Gretta Allen rolled 409 (149-134-126) in the afternoon while Blaik Hale tossed a 384.
“Alex, Liz and Taylor have qualified for the individual shootout at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton Thursday,” Reed said. “The top two from the boys and girls will join a composite team consisting of four other athletes who qualified because they had the highest season average in the league.”
Completing the Trojans were Delaney Smith in 49th place with her 843 series and Ashley Aloi in 68th with her 699 series. Julia Day rolled a nice 456 series in the morning after games of 157-162-137, but bowled just one game in the afternoon. It was the same with Anna Young who rolled 397 in the morning with games of 152-119-126. Samantha Button had a 349 afternoon series.
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