Sunday, February 15, 2009

(2/14/09) North Jersey 1A Sectional Finals - Boys

So, which movie title to parody for this one? You've got "A Knight's Tale," with New Milford winning its fourth straight sectional championship... how about "Meet the Folkers"? Yeah, it's not spelled the same, but cousins Rob (Pascack Valley) and Kyle (Old Tappan) helped their respective teams to Group titles... maybe "Peace Rules" to salute the monster effort by Group 1 champ Queen of Peace-- oh wait, that was a race horse, not a movie. Moving on.

Now, New Milford didn't end up with the high score -- their 2,799 was 8th-best overall -- but consider that the '07 and '08 Group 1 winner bumped up to Group 2 this year... AND, that the Knights' streak began in 2006, the year before each section was divided into groups and they beat big guns Bergen Catholic and Fair Lawn. Leonia maintained a streak of its own, earning a trip to Carolier Lanes for the third straight year in Group 2 -- the Lions have two runner-up finishes since winning the '07 title. Gold nugget: New Milford anchor Anthony Karalian rolled a 664 series (235-225-204) with a broken middle finger on his throwing hand. He missed the individual cut by 6 pins, but who cares? A) It gives him more time to rest up for the team finals, and B) I couldn't bowl a 6-anything with a good hand, so he's got that going for him.

Group 3 champ Pascack Valley (2,972) has already had its sartorial tendencies well-documented by the local media this season, but we would be remiss to mention the Indians' two other match-day superstitions: they always bring a small Buddha-esque statue and some sort of wooden Tiki doll. Neither really conjures up images of Pedro Cerrano's pal Jobu from Major League (although I am a tad leery since that Dennis Haysbert Allstate commercial is playing on the TV as I type this paragraph), and in fact I was told the Tiki was just found in Rob Folkers' father's car and immediately added to the team roster. Hey, whatever works -- Rob had a team-high 630, including a first-game 247 that started with 7 strikes, and PV had a fairly-impressive 1,097 team series in Game 3. (Why "fairly"? You'll see shortly.) And we gave props to New Milford for bumping up a Group and still going to the state finals -- how about Ramsey, which won Group 2 last year but emerged from a very tough Group 3 bracket to earn its second straight berth in the State finals.

In Group 4, Kyle Folkers and the Golden Knights of Old Tappan (3,000) didn't bring quite as many esoteric rituals into play, they simply got hot at the end (993 in Game 3) and overtook a Bergen Catholic team that stumbled (861) after posting back-to-back 1,000s but still managed to hang on to second place. Ridgewood actually led this group after shooting 1,031 in the opener, but the Maroons couldn't quite maintain the pace. And so, OT becomes the third different Group champ in 3 years, reaches the distinction of averaging 200 per bowler per game... but even that wasn't the most impressive outing of the day.

There was only one thing that could make us qualify Pascack Valley's 1,097 as "fairly" impressive, and that was Queen of Peace firing a second-game 1,197. Would love to find out where that stacks up in terms on 1A Section records, but for the record right here, the Golden Griffins produced the score in the following manner: Nick Gavron 254 + Rebecca Van Dyk 223 + Greg Purvis 201 + Steve Fernandez 265 + Andrew Suscreba 237. Wow. I really don't have anything to say, although here's a theory to consider: perhaps Ridgewood's first-game mojo somehow got transferred to QP, since the two teams were sharing lanes? Possible, but it's getting too late to think that one out, and I'm even too tired to make a coherent Austin Powers "stolen mojo" joke. PS, Becton's two-year stranglehold on second place in Group 1 has ended, with Park Ridge (2,838) shooting three games over 900 to earn a trip to North Brunswick next Saturday.

Individually, congrats to River Dell's Freddy Carlo (yes, he is related to Brianna Carlo of Dumont, it's her brother) for winning the sectional title with a 706, although Alex Prell of Wood-Ridge (703) and Matt Priore of North Arlington (700) were close behind. The cutoff was about 30 points higher than it had been the last two years, leaving some pretty good bowlers on the outside looking in.

Mike Wuhrman of Park Ridge got high game honors -- he threw a 286 in the second game, starting off with 10 strikes before finishing 7-2. Ramsey sophomore Kyle Landau was nearly as impressive in Game 1, carrying a perfecto through 9 before leaving a 7-10 split on his first ball of the 10th -- a bummer, but I do have to offer props for getting the wood on his second ball since the Rams ended up beating River Dell by just 20 pins for 2nd in Group 3.

AND NOW, FOR THE BIG FINISH: As many possible notes & nuggets as I can fit in before hitting the hay because I have to leave for the girls State finals at Carolier at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow... Perrin DeFreitas of Hackensack heads back to the individual finals for the 2nd straight year; his second-game 262 featured all strikes except for a pesky 6-2 in the 5th... I did catch up with Indian Hills coach Mike Michels, he said his girls team knew that they beat Bergenfield by 1 pin last week, they just skedaddled since there was no second-place hardware to be handed out (to make the story sound better, I will assume they wanted to beat the line at White Manna)... PV coach Judy Lucia told me her team dedicated their 3rd game to former Mahwah coach Marlene Kowal, who recently passed away from breast cancer. The two NBIL coaches were fairly close, and Judy had some very nice things to say -- going to see if maybe the Mahwah Suburban News might have interest in a feature story... Fort Lee had only four bowlers, but managed to outscore a couple of 5-bowler teams, and one 1-bowler team... For some reason, North Arlington was listed on the team scoreboard even though Priore was its only entrant... Speaking of outscoring, QP's magical Game 2 gave it a subtotal of 2,195 -- more than the three-game totals of four other teams... Also, the Golden Griffins' Rebecca Van Dyk (584 series) may have had the best day of any girl at the boys tournament, but Midland Park senior Amanda Stacey "made the most noise," announcing the final ball of her career, as has become her right and custom. And I, for one, have not the slightest wry remark to make about that, since Stacey threw a last ball strike to finish off a 201, tying teammate Shaun Cairns for the Panthers' high game.

And, that's all I've got. Can't wait for the finals...

North 1A Sectional Tournament scores
1stOld Tappan95910489933000
2ndBergen Catholic100710228612890
3rdParamus Catholic96110138632837
4thBergen Tech9658699982832
7thFair Lawn9349128632709
10thNorthern Highlands8618178262504

1stPascack Valley100686910972972
3rdRiver Dell9978778672741
4thIndian Hills8768038842563
7thSt. Joseph8127747952381
9thFort Lee6836767352094

1stNew Milford9838959212799
4thPascack Hills8198919352645
5thRidgefield Park8089548782640
9thElmwood Park6567456632064

1stQueen of Peace99811979613156
2ndPark Ridge9459939002838
7thMidland Park7167438202279
9thNorth Arlington223257220700

1stFreddy Carlo, River D.245236225706
2ndAlex Prell, Wood-Ridge223266214703
3rdMatt Priore, NA223257220700
4thSean Carmody, RP233246217696
5thMike Wuhrman, PR184286223693
6thRob Grippo, Bergen C.198244242684
7thGary Job, Lyndhurst223245214682
8thPerrin DeFreitas, H'sack215262205682
9thSteve Fernandez, QP213265192670

1 comment:

  1. I have a problem with any sport like bowling that is influenced so much by the equipment and the lanes that the bowlers use. Let me cite an example. In two previous sectionals, at Bowler City in Hackensack, a certain nameless high school bowler had the misfortune of drawing the house's lower scoring end lanes and failed to qualify. To qualify what I'm saying I have to add that all the other bowlers who drew those lanes had similar problems (lower scores than they were used to). But this time around fate smiled on him and he drew the higher scoring lanes in the middle of the house and qualified for the states. It also helped that he bought a new ball, capable of creating more revolutions than his old ball because of its advanced technology. Was he any better this time around than the two previous years? I doubt it, but the lanes and his equipment certainly were. So is this game called bowling really a test of an individual's skill or has it turned into a game of luck and one's ability to afford the new technology?