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March 7, 2016

NYS bowling: Trojans struggle to sixth at states

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

CHEEKTOWAGA — The honor of just making it to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Bowling Championships outweighed a rather tough day on the AMF Airport Lanes Saturday for Homer Central boys.
The Trojans struggled throughout the day, but came home in sixth place in the team competition.
Homer threw its best series of the day, a 929 pin total, in its sixth and final game of the tournament for a 5,339 team score. Game-by-game, Homer started with an 849 before series of 912 and 883 for a 2,644 morning session. In the afternoon the Trojans threw 862-904-929 for a 2,695 afternoon total.
Sachem from Section 11 won a two-team showdown for the title with Lansingburgh, overtaking the Section 2 champions in game five and winning 6,166 to 5,921 when the final pins fell.
“We couldn’t string anything,” Homer coach Robert Nasiatka said. “”It’s a whole different ball game up here. It doesn’t say anything against us. We had our struggles and it was a tough (oil) pattern, but there are hundreds of teams in the state and we are in the top 10.
“I am disappointed? No. Did we dream of winning it all? Sure. I could not be prouder of the seniors,” he added.
Brandon Aylesworth was the most consistent Homer bowler all day long. The junior started with a 172-184-213 morning series of 568 and improved in the afternoon with games of 207-212-200 for a 619 series to vault from a top 20 spot in the individual standings to a fourth place total of 1,188.
Sachem took the top two spots with Nick Caruana (1,384) and Anthony Naujokas (1,325), and Lansingburgh’s Nick Pondillo (1,305) was third.
“IT WAS FUN,” Aylesworth said. “It was good experience. We are really setting the tone for years to come. Bowling isn’t the big thing in Homer. We need to get it out there and get people into it.
“We have the greatest coach ever,” he continued. “The potential is here to come back to states next year with the guys we have coming back. We need to put in the work in the off-season and hopefully we can get back here, starting with another sectional title.”
Ryan Aylesworth, Brandon’s older brother, was back for his second state tournament and his experience appeared to help early. But the senior struggled as the day went on. He started with games of 208-221-191 for a 620 morning series and stayed in the top 10 until the final two games of the day. He shot 195-168-166 in the afternoon (529) and slipped to 13th overall with a 1,149.
“The lanes were workable,” Ryan Aylesworth said. “I thought I shot pretty well in the morning. I just couldn’t find my groove in the second set.
“The Long Island schools are very good,” he continued. “You got to give them props. They do a lot of bowling.”
Ryan Aylesworth will look to take the next step in his bowling career at Schenectady County Community College.
Trojan senior Brandon Grant finished 23rd with a 1,073 total (190-192-151-180-171-189) and his senior twin brotherStorm was 33rd with a 992(161-170-152-160-171-178). Joey Esposito struggled in the morning as the junior threw games of 118 and 145 before senior Nate Marko came in to complete the lead-off spot in the morning with a 176. Marko started the afternoon with a 120 as the senior got his moment in the state spotlight. Esposito came back and redeemed himself with games of 182 and 196.
AFTER THE MORNING struggles, Homer had an unlikely person come a talk to them during the break as Fulton coach Mike Tryniski joined the Trojan bowlers.
“Between Mike and Marty Piraino (ES-M coach) and all the other people here, they are all here to support us today,” Nasiatka said. “This is huge. It is a close league. You meet tough competition here. You have to work together here.”
Looking back, the Homer accomplished a lot of great things, especially the last two seasons.
“We won two Section 3 Class B titles, one overall sectional title, a league championship, numerous individual singles and doubles titles,” Nasiatka said. “You can’ be disappointed with that. We made the state championship. Not a lot of other teams in the county did that. We’ll celebrate this.
“I look at the youth leagues at 281 Bowl, Cort-Lanes and Hi-Lanes,” he added. “The future is bright. I think we’ll be okay.”
Section 2 champion Columbia took the girls’ team crown by a mere 56 pins over Section 11 champion East Islip. Columbia totaled 5,563 and East Islip 5,507. Section 3 champion Utica Proctor was fourth with a 5,272 total.
ON SUNDAY, THE Section 3 boys’ and girls’ composite teams both finished in third place. Section 11 took the boys title with a 6,456 while the Section 2 girls won with their 5,778 total.
Auburn senior Andrew Kopec led the Section 3 boys as he placed third with his 1,346 total as the team rolled a 6,258. Kopec averaged 224 for his six games.
ES-M sophomore Haley Youker was second individually with her 1,249 series, an average of 208 for the day. Section 3 posted total of 5,686.

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