With the League V regular season title on the line, the Eastport South Manor bowling team beat rival East Hampton, 21-12, on January 22 at Shirley Bowl to take home the top spot heading into the postseason.
The Sharks officially clinched the title with a 31-2 win over Southampton two days later in a match that was, as expected, not a close one. ESM finished with a 9-1 record and was first in the league with 276.5 points in 30 games bowled. The team’s only loss came to East Hampton at East Hampton Bowl on December 18. After that, the Sharks won six straight.
East Hampton, which closed out its season with a 30-3 win over Westhampton Beach on January 24, finished second with an 8-2 record and 249.5 points in 30 games bowled. Rocky Point (213) was a distant third, followed by Southold (86), Southampton (85) and Westhampton Beach (80). Only the top two teams in the league advance to the county tournament, slated for February 2 at the Sayville Lanes. Before that, the Sharks and Bonackers were slated to compete in the Small Schools Division Tournament, also at the Sayville Lanes, this past Tuesday, January 29.
In the win over East Hampton, the Sharks prevailed with a 2,892-2,726 lead in total wood. The Bonackers won the last of the three games, however, and had the high game of the match in that last game with a 996.
Dallas Hayes led ESM with a 662 series and a high game of 237 against the Bonackers, while Doug Pinelli rolled a 627. Quentin Montemarano (533) and Jake Johnson (511) also had good showings. For East Hampton, Jackson Clark had a 622 series and high game of 228, while Jacob Grossman (572), Brianna Semb (546) and Gabby Green (537) also contributed.
East Hampton head coach Pat Hand said that while her team had hoped to get past the Sharks and win the league title, she wasn’t unhappy with the efforts of her bowlers. “They actually did really well against ESM,” she said. Hand explained that the team was not allowed to leave school early to go to the match, and as a result, arrived at in Shirley with only five minutes to warm up. “It was very cold in and out of the bowling alley, and we got literally no time to warm up,” she said. “I think that really hurt our first game.”
East Hampton lost the second game as well, but by only 17 pins. But Hand admitted that even under normal circumstances, beating the Sharks this year at their home lanes would have been tough. “ESM is a very strong team and always gives us a run, but they are particularly strong this year,” she said.
Hand said she was looking forward to the postseason tournaments, and added that her team likes to take a laid-back approach to the county tournament. Competing against the larger schools in the county, the League V teams typically do not finish near the top in the county event.
“We are the little guy in a big pool, so my goal is to get everyone in at least one game and make it a fun day,” she said.