Family bragging rights keep twins Bill and John Pulver on their toes.
The seniors came through in the clutch, as usual, and led Colonie to the Section II Class A bowling championship Monday at Boulevard Bowl.
Down 14 pins to Columbia heading into the final game, Colonie relied on lefty John Pulver, who fired a 279 game to cap off a 799 triple in the afternoon block, as the Garnet Raiders rallied for a 38-pin victory. Pulver, who shot a 715 triple in the morning, finished with a 1,514 six-game block, while Bill Pulver, the team anchor who carries a 232 average, finished with a 1,308, including a 680 triple in the afternoon session.
Colonie knocked down 6,430 pins, while Columbia downed 6,392. Mohonasen was third with 6,390.
“There’s more pressure trying to keep up with each other than there was today in the sectionals,” said Bill Pulver. “We’re always trying to see who the top dog is between us. We are very competitive. We like to push each other, and we have all our lives. Our father keeps track of how we’re doing.”
The Pulvers, who both plan on bowling for Hudson Valley Community College next season and then transferring to a four-year school, are also trying to keep up with their sister, Lauren, who is bowling at Arkansas State.
Neither twin knew exactly how many pins they needed in the final game, but it didn’t really matter.
“I just threw one shot at a time. I was focusing on each shot. The only number I was concentrating on was 10,” said John Pulver, who opened with the first eight strikes. “I was able to shoot pretty much my normal shot all day. It felt good to win it.”
Colonie had plenty of support at Boulevard, including many parents and friends, and the Garnet Raiders’ girls’ team, which won the Class A girls’ crown Thursday at Spare Time Clifton Park.
“We feed off each other,” said Colonie boys’ coach Dan Ault. “We bowl together in practice Monday through Thursday, and even on the weekends. The girls support us, and we support the girls.”
The Garnet Raiders, who came in as the Class A favorite after winning the Suburban Council championship last week, got off to a rough start.
“We’ve been starting slowly all year long,” said Ault. “It seems like we always come out of the blocks slow. But it’s always easier to chase. Maybe that’s why the guys bowl that way, who knows.”
Ault said that he knew exactly what his team had to shoot in the final game to win, but he didn’t tell his players.
“That was our entire strategy — to keep them relaxed,” he said.
“Our entire season comes down to this day. We’ve got six seniors, and they won’t have another chance after this.”
Matt Olson shot a 1,311, including a 696 triple in the afternoon, for the Garnet Raiders, who must wait for today’s Class B championship, also at Boulevard, to see if they will represent Section II in the state championships, to be held March 6-7 in Rochester.
“I’ll be here,” said Ault. “I wouldn’t miss it.”
The all-section team, so far, includes Tom Egan (1,397) of Mohonasen, Seth Adams (1,369) of Christian Brothers Academy, Joey Wolfrum (1,367) of Hoosick Falls, Zack Dames (1,361) of Schuylerville, Ryan Sickler (1,354) of Guilderland, which led the morning block Monday with a 3,163, and Ryan Howard (1,346) of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
John Pulver’s 799 was the high triple of the day, while Matt Fazzone of Mohonasen, Howard and Adams tied for high single with 289.
Team scores: Colonie 6,430, Columbia 6,392, Mohonasen 6,390, Burnt Hills-Ballston L ake 6,104, Schenectady 6,051, Guilderland 5,969, Niskayuna 5,903, Saratoga Springs 5,901, Ballston Spa 5,852, CBA 5,739,
Amsterdam 5,590, Shenendehowa 5,587, Shaker 5,584, Averill Park 5,558, Bethlehem 5,540, Troy 5,310, Queensbury 5,158, Albany 5,047.
High triples: John Pulver (Colonie) 799, Tom Egan (Mohonasen) 710, Ryan Sickler (Guilderland) 708. High singles: Seth Adams (CBA) 289, Ryan Howard (BH-BL) 289, Matt Fazzone (Mohonasen) 289, Eric Hilton (Columbia) 278, Bill Pulver (Colonie) 278, Josh Martinez (Ballston Spa) 268.
All-section team: Tom Egan (Mohonasen) 1,397, Seth Adams (CBA) 1,369, Joey Wolfrum (Hoosick Falls) 1,367, Zack Dames (Schuylerville) 1,361, Ryan Sickler (Guilderland) 1,354, Ryan Howard (BH-BL) 1,346.