SCHENECTADY — The Lansingburgh boys’ bowling program has been a perennial small-school power for decades, and with 23-year head coach Roland Blanchet mentoring the Knights, it was no surprise that the youngsters listened to some sage advice Tuesday at Boulevard Bowl.
“It’s called team first. There has to be a bond between a coach and his team. There has to be trust,” Blanchet said when explaining how the Knights made just the right moves en route to winning the Section II Class B title and overtaking Class C champ Hoosick Falls for the small-school crown, as well.
“After the morning block, we adjusted and changed balls. That worked,” Blanchet said. “They were missing to the right. They had to tighten up their line and move inside.”
Lansingburgh’s junior-dominated team surged past Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk with a pinfall of 5,831 and will represent Section II at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association bowling tournament March 10-11 in Syracuse. Despite being a small school, Lansingburgh has represented Section II at the state tournament three times since 2006. This is the first season the section will send both a large-school and small-school representative. Guilderland repeated as the Class A champ on Monday.
Lansingburgh also won the Section II girls’ small-school title last Thursday.
Mike Connally tossed triples of 668 and 647 for a six-game block of 1,315 to lead the balanced Knights, who also got an 1,192 from junior Grant Laustraup, an 1,147 from freshman Devyn Riffelbach, a 1,039 from junior Jack Stevens and a 1,028 from Codi Genthner.
“We knew about what Hoosick Falls shot, but we were confident that we were going to beat it,” Connally said.
“We had to come out and improve on what we did in the morning block,” Laustraup added. “I didn’t have to adjust that much, but the lanes did start to break down, and I had to move a little.
It feels great that we didn’t have to worry about the large-school team this year.”
R-C-S was second with 5,648 pins, followed by Johnstown with 5,602.
Earning berths on the All-Section II team, which also competes at the state tournament, were Garrett Way (1,303) of Johnstown, A.J. Hurlburt (1,289) of Hoosick Falls, Josh Kalwasinski (1,285) of Mechanicville, Mike Westfall (1,285) of Shenendehowa and Jahlil Young (1,258) of Albany. Hunter Chandler (1,246) of Saratoga Springs tied with Jarrett Morris (1,246) of South Glens Falls for the sixth spot and will have a three-game roll-off later this week, tentatively set for Thursday.
Team scores: Lansingburgh 5,831, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 5,648, Johnstown 5,602, Hudson Falls 5,288, Cohoes 5,282, Scotia-Glenville 5,209, Schalmont 5,189, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 5,011, Voorheesville 5,000, Cobleskill-Richmondville 4,922, Glens Falls 4,920, Schuylerville 4,730, Hudson 4,725, Broadalbin-Perth 4,711, Catholic Central 4,676, LaSalle 4,511, Catskill 4,490, Coxsackie-Athens 4,447, Fonda-Fultonville 4,205, Taconic Hills 3,569.