After struggling mightily in the morning block, Mechanicville’s Red Raiders didn’t think they had much of a chance to surpass Middleburgh and Hoosick Falls for the Section II Class C title.
But they were wrong.
Led by Drew McHale’s 661 triple, Mechanicville (5,468 pinfall) roared back from a 90-pin deficit and beat Middleburgh (5,456) by 12 pins Tuesday at Boulevard Bowl.
“It was tough not to pay attention to what was going on on the other lanes,” said Mechanicville coach Terry O’Brien. “We knew we had to make up ground. We were 90 pins behind Middleburgh. Then, we had trouble with our pair of lanes, so we ended up bowling on our own.”
O’Brien said the Red Raiders were tight in the morning, but then his experienced group made the right moves on the lanes and started to click.
“They all looked like basket cases in the morning,” he said. “But I told them after the morning block that we were only 80 or 90 pins [back] even after we struggled. We were still close.
“We have six seniors this year. We made the right adjustments, and we started to relax and have some fun. We bowled pretty well in the Colonial Council, and finished behind Lansingburgh, but this was our goal all along — to win a sectional title.”
O’Brien said a big difference for Mechanicville was the strong afternoon effort by McHale.
“He’s a very good bowler, but he shot only 531 in the morning. He was the MVP of the league with a 220 average,” said O’Brien. “He really helped us in the afternoon.
Although Mechanicville won its fourth Class C title in the last decade (2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014), the Red Raiders couldn’t surpass overall leader Mohonasen, which posted a 6,249 total to win the Class A crown last Friday and will represent Section II in the state tournament next month.
“Mohonasen had a very good score,” said O’Brien. I think our guys could have done it with their best effort, but it was a tough condition out there.”
Mohonasen coach Bob Tedesco Jr. was on hand to see if his Mighty Warriors’ overall score was surpassed.
“You never know. It’s just a number, and somebody could get hot,” Tedesco said. “But the scores were low [Monday], and I think everybody was just in the wrong spot.”
Tedesco said the new low-scoring conditions for sectionals makes the tournament much more competitive and a better preparation for the state tournament.
“It’s a different format with the scores so low,” he said. “It was tough for our kids waiting around to find out how they did. They were very nervous. I didn’t come over here [Monday]. I was getting texts to let me know where we stood.”
Tedesco said the same oil pattern used for the sectionals will be used for the states.
“We handled it Friday, but it’s still in the kids’ hands,” he said.
With the Mohonasen team heading to states, the all-section team remained the same: Justin Carl of Colonie (1,359), Austin Van Buren of Guilderland (1,324), Alex Matuszak of Schalmont (1,288), Ben Govel of Guilderland (1,271), Evan Carrier of Averill Park (1,240) and Ryan Thomas of Ballston Spa (1,238).
Top teams: Mechanicville 5,468, Middleburgh 5,456, Hoosick Falls 5,358, Fort Edward 5,233, Hoosic Valley 5,105, Coxsackie-Athens 4,857, Berne-Knox-Westerlo 4,835, Catskill 4,802, Canajoharie 4,765, Stillwater 4,748.
Top triples: Drew McHale (Mechanicville) 661, Tyler Ray (Hoosic Valley) 649, Ken Marbot (Hoosick Falls) 623..
Top singles: Derek Hempstead (Berne-Knox-Westerlo) 277, Bill Miaski (Middleburgh) 258, Adam Fuerst (Hadley-Luzerne) 243.