SCHENECTADY — Tiny Fort Edward demonstrated surprising depth and took advantage of a sizzling start to stun the field in the Section II Class C/D Bowling Tournament Tuesday at Boulevard Bowl.
Although the Flying Forts won their first sectional crown in five years, they failed to overtake Class B titlist Schalmont for the small-school berth into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Bowling Championships next month at Strike N Spare Lanes in Syracuse. Fort Edward knocked down 6,085 pins, while Schalmont had 6,204 on Monday to advance to the states. The large-school representative will be decided Thursday with the Class A tournament.
Small-school powerhouse Hoosick Falls finished second with a pinfall of 5,889, followed by Stillwater in third with 5,873. Stillwater’s Connor Julian rolled the high triple of the C/D tournament (713), and Tyler Mann of Middleburgh posted the high single (268).
Fort Edward ripped an impressive 1,147 opening game, with all five starters shooting 203 or better. Andrew Fish carried the Flying Forts in the first block with a 249-675, but when he struggled in the first game of the second block, head coach Nelson Chase replaced him with senior Bailey Brayman, who fired games of 223 and 185 to keep the momentum going.
Sophomore Dillon Perkins led the team with triples of 648 and 642 for a 1,290 six-game block. Brenton DeLisle added triples of 563 and 648 for a 1,211 total. Edward Amell (580-612—1,192) and senior Austin Jones (583-589—1,172) also competed in all six games.
“We led it wire-to-wire,” Chase said. “We were very fortunate to do so. We had a 1,147 in game one. I didn’t touch a thing. The way I set the lineup up, with seven kids, two kids are going to stare at you with doe eyes. But I told them this is the top-five averages, so don’t take it personally. I told them to trust me with the numbers. I think the selective substitution rule helped. We made a seamless transition.”
Chase, in his 22nd year as the coach of the high school team and 29th year as the head of the city’s junior bowling program, said bowling is a big deal in Fort Edward.
“Fort Edward is tinier than tiny. But most of these kids have bowled juniors with me since age 5,” he said. “They have the experience and the trust in me. And they are a good bunch of kids.”
Chase added that he was keeping an eye on his team’s total score in hopes of overtaking Schalmont.
“Absolutely, but only in game six. If it happens, it happens. But I’m not disappointed with 6,000,” he said. “This is our World Series. This is it.”
Perkins said the shot at Boulevard was much like he and his teammates prepared for back home.
“But it did feel a little different. It was kind of surprising how well we did, and I think we were all surprised with our first game,” he said.
Jones, a senior, pointed out that one of his teammates was injured right before the tournament.
“We missed his momentum, his intensity and his bowling all day,” Jones said. “But we all bowled good today. I think a lot of the teams were surprised with our total, and I was surprised also, to be honest. But we kept up our intensity. I thought Coach’s move putting in senior Bailey Brayman in the fourth game helped us.”
Team scores: Fort Edward 6,085, Hoosick Falls 5,889, Stillwater 5,873, Fort Plain 5,676, Middleburgh 5,513, Maple Hill 5,505, Hadley Luzerne 5,237, Lake George 5,012, Granville 4,979, Canajoharie 4,951, Schoharie 4,926, Chatham 4,908, Mayfield 4,902, Whitehall 4,890, Duanesburg 4,796, Voorheesville 4,440, Berne-Knox-Westerlo 4,358, North Warren 4,344, Berlin-New Lebanon 4,241, Rensselaer 4,120, Waterford-Halfmoon 3,760, Hoosic Valley 3,722.
High triples: Connor Julian (Stillwater) 713, Mike Martin (Granville) 706, Andrew Fish (Fort Edward) 675, Jake Gosselin (Whitehall) 675.
High singles: Tyler Mann (Middleburgh) 268, Anthony Paradiso (Fort Plain) 257, Tyler Drexel (Duanesburg) 257, Dillon Perkins (Fort Edward) 256, Kody Brundage (Stillwater) 256.
Composite team (through Tuesday): Jacob LaFountain (Mechanicville) 1,356, Tyler Mann (Middleburgh) 1,339, Max Surprenant (Cohoes) 1,326, Mick Winton (Johnstown) 1,323, Logan Bennett (Hudson Falls) 1,314, Ryan Williams (Mechanicville) 1,312.