SCHENECTADY — Schalmont coach Hugo McGroty took a chance by inserting two subs off the bench for the final game of the Section II Class B Bowling Championship Tuesday at Boulevard Bowl. The strategic move almost worked to perfection.
Despite a spirited rally from the Sabres, perennial champion Lansingburgh held off Schalmont by just 26 pins to not only capture the ‘B’ crown but also earn the small-school berth in next month’s state tournament in Syracuse.
Lansingburgh owned just a five-pin cushion over Fonda-Fultonville heading into the final game of the six-game tournament, but Schalmont was a little more than 100 pins behind the Braves and made a surprising move to put a scare into the Knights. McGroty put Jack Moyer (221) and Nick Phillips (183) into the lineup for that last game to help Schalmont knock down 1,108 pins and come up just short of the Knights.
“I was just searching for a different look, so I put two new guys in, including a freshman,” said McGroty. “I was trying for something different, thinking that it may work, and it did. I knew halfway through the 10th frame that we’d get Fonda, but I didn’t know if we could catch Lansingburgh. We were 100 pins down, and we came up 26 pins short, but it was quite a run. I wanted to give them an opportunity to bring home some kind of plaque for Schalmont, and I’m pleased with that.”
Meanwhile, veteran Lansingburgh coach Roland Blanchet kept harping fundamentals to his junior-laden team.
“The boys have got each other’s back and they play as a team. They don’t get down. I always say to them one frame at a time and to play your own game and don’t worry about your opponents. They got it back and they defended their title. I’m happy,” Blanchet said. “The whole team had their heads on straight. During the season, the most common error is corner pins missed, but I told them to stare at the center arrow and follow through. Spares win tournaments. They went by a few, but so did their opponents.”
Lucas Foster, the Knights’ lefty captain, led the way for the Knights with triples of 676 and 610 for a 1,286 six-game block. Matt DiGiulio added a 637-604—1,241. Rounding out the lineup were Aaron Mantello (602-558—1,160), Dan Goldston (616-533—1,149) and Alex Metcalfe (569-555—1,124).
“We really didn’t think about the other teams. We just tried to focus on our own game and to do our best,” Foster said. “In the 10th frame, I was shaking. I had noodle legs by then. We needed that [10th frame performance] and pulled through. It was great.”
David Squires paced Schalmont with triples of 662 and 628 for a 1,290 block. Sean Howlan (634-641—1,275) and Richard Pitsas (625-604—1,229) also excelled.
Fonda-Fultonville finished third with a pinfall of 5,871 followed by Cohoes (5,700).
The six-person composite team for the state tournament included Aidan Goodwin of Columbia (1,393), Kyle Smith of Niskayuna (1,384), Michael Jubie of Catskill (1384), Ryan Williams of Mechanicville (1,372), Tyler Bogholtz of Columbia (1,351) and Steve Zarub of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (1,313).
SECTION II CLASS B TOURNAMENT RESULTS
Team scores — Lansingburgh 5960, Schalmont 5,934, Fonda-Fultonville 5,871, Cohoes 5,700, CBA 5,683 Hudson Falls 5,493, Mechanicville 5,495 Johnstown 5,467, Catskill 5,456, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 5,260, Voorheesville 5,158, Hudson 5,026, Glens Falls 5,025, Broadalbin-Perth 4,882, Schuylerville 4,823, Cobleskill-Richmondville 4,577, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 4,359, Saratoga Catholic 4352, Gloversville 4,342, La Salle 4,308.
High triples — Ryan Williams (Mechanicville) 759, Mike Jubie (Catskill) 699, Ian Brisco (R-C-S) 690. High singles — Jack Popow (Voorheesville) 279, Richard Pitsas (Schalmont) 266, Steve Hulbert (Johnstown) 266, Devon Humphrey (Fonda) 258.
Composite team — Aidan Goodwin (Columbia) 1,393, Kyle Smith (Niskayuna) 1,384, Michael Jubie (Catskill) 1,384, Ryan Williams (Mechanicville) 1,372, Tyler Bogholtz (Columbia) 1,351, Steve Zarub (BH-BL) 1,313.
Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected].