Section V had an idea of how good its bowlers would perform at states.
So the medals from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Bowling Championships brought back from Syracuse's Strike 'N Spare Lanes were of little surprise.
Rush-Henrietta's Keaton Ostrowski, Fairport's Mackenzie Smolnik, the Section V boys composite team and Newark's girls team all struck gold at the state tournament last weekend.
And that's not all of the hardware brought home.
It all began with a friendly competition in practice before the state tournament. The girls won the wager, so the boys had to carry their equipment.
"These kids are so talented, and they were really bonding," said Lisa Cannon, who coached Section V girls composite team with her Greece Athena assistant, Julie Richmond.
What it means
This is the first NYSPHSAA Bowling Championship tournament since 2019. COVID-19 wiped out the previous two tournaments.
Along with the four golds won by local bowlers, Fairport's Brayden Masclee, Newark's Abigail Olmstead, and the Section V girls team each collected silver medals. Greece Athena's Haley Grabowski won a bronze medal.
Boys composite team strikes gold
The Section V boys composite team took home gold in a nail-biter Saturday.
Practically an "all-star team" of bowlers, the Section V boys composite team totaled 6,710 pins, squeaking past runner-up Section XI by 34 pins. Fairport 's Masclee led the way with 289-1,378, earning a silver medal for his high-game.
Coached by Hilton's Scott Stephenson and Fairport's Rob Wrights, Section V fell from first place to third entering the sixth and final game before exploding for 1,183 pins.
"It was just a moment I don't think I'll ever forget. Pure elation," Stephenson said.
Masclee rolled his 289 in Game 2. He shot nine straight strikes, but couldn't drop the seven-pin.
Masclee and Greece Athen's Ryan Phillips (1,308) — who earned the sportsmanship award — were the anchors. Fairport's Aaron Mirrione (1,335), Sodus/Williamson's Alan Bouwens (1,226) and Athena's Bobby Richmond (1,220) all bowled well. Hilton sophomore Matthew Carmestro continues to develop, Stephenson said, and also contributed (1,226).
"It meant everything to be at states together," Stephenson said.
Coach Cannon had three Athena bowlers at states: Phillips, Richmond and Haley Grabowski.
"The feeling of pride was incredible," Cannon said.
Girls composite team places 2nd
The Section V girls composite team was close to grabbing gold.
Instead, the Grabowski-led squad won silver. Not bad after being in sixth through the morning session.
Grabowski's 1,330 pins was bronze medal worthy. The junior bowled a higher score each game, shooting 587 in the morning and a 743 in the afternoon. Her high-game was a 267 in Game 6.
"Haley Grabowski is unbelievable," Cannon said. "She's a humble, gentle spirit, then goes out on there and dominates. A really cool way to see a female athlete."
Fairport's Mackenzie Smolnik (1,237) earned gold for her 279 high-game. Gates-Chili's Abby Unson (1,243) and Penn Yan's sportsmanship winner Andy Kniffin (1,147) were praised for their leadership.
Spencerport's Samantha Czerw (1,172) also had a strong afternoon, and Hilton's Isabella Ferraro (1,015) shot a 209 in Game 1.
Section V's 3,218 pins in the afternoon almost won it. Section III won the girls title by 76 pins.
"There were a lot of tears and happiness for these kids because they deserve it," Cannon said.
Ostrowski goes gold
Rush-Henrietta sophomore Keaton Ostrowski followed up his record-breaking performance at the Section V Championships with an NYS gold medal.
Ostrowski shot a 278-1,396 Sunday, scoring the highest series in the Division I boys competition against difficult lane conditions. He had a hard time stringing strikes together before switching using a different ball in Game 6, starting with a wide open split before ending with 11 straight strikes for 278.
Ostrowski helped the Royal Comets win Section V Class A in February, breaking a 10-year-old record with 1,503 pins. The 239 Ostrowski averaged during the season is one of the highest Section V has recorded in recent years. He even added another perfect game to his resume outside of school.
As a team, Rush-Henrietta team placed fifth at states. The Royal Comets were ranked No. 2 and had "high hopes" entering the tourney, but they struggled in the morning.
"We need to be consistent for six games, that means picking up every spare we're supposed to pick up, and being fundamentally sound," Rush-Henrietta coach Brian Usselman said.
Jacob Shoemaker (1,098), Tyler Bliek (590), Lucas Teeples (524), Caden Stollery (485) all played their part. Especially sportsmanship winner Chris Stollery (496), who Usselman called the "ultimate teammate".
"He puts the team before himself. That's something I admire about him," Usselman sai
Greece Arcadia's girls team placed eighth in Division I. Lizzy Anderson led the way with a 228-1,159. Sportsmanship award winner Jessica McDonald (954), Kaitlyn Johnson (941), Brooke Scioria (922), Anastasia Miles (413), Ashley Pastor (216) and Arissa Fuchs-Ellsworth (145) rounded out the team.
Section I's North Rockland won the boys and girls Division I titles.
Newark girls win D-II
Coach Mark Rowe's six-time Section V champion Newark finally broke through with a state title when the tourney began Friday.
Led by junior Natalie Kent, the Reds totaled 5,385 pins to win the Division II girls title by 307 pins. The morning didn't start so well, though. Newark was in third place through Game 1, but strung together spares scored the most pins in four of the next five games.
A six-time Section V champion, Newark placed third at states in 2018, then second in 2019, without graduating anyone. The tourney was canceled the previous two seasons, but the Reds returned after scoring the most pins of any class at the Section V Championships.
"To miss the last two state opportunities, they were very hungry. This was their goal. They certainly earned it," Rowe said.
Kent's 1,306 was the best pin total of the tournament. Daughter to Doug Kent, a former PBA Tour member, Natalie concluded the event with the tourney high-game 258.
"She missed a spare right away but spent the rest of the day executing perfectly," Rowe said.
Newark's Rebecca Spry (198-1,101) bowled the next best score, and Abigail Olmstead (220-1,088) won silver for her high-game. Emily Lang (1,032), sportsmanship winner Savannah Smith (154), Hannah Kinslow (571) and Sienna Hasseler (133) rounded out scoring.
Penn Yan placed sixth in boys Division II. Cameron Bassage led the team with a 221-1,162, and also won the sportsmanship award. Collin Johnson rolled a 1,105 and Connor Anderson shot 1,097. Dutcher Samatulski (898), Logan Miller (618) and Trenton Samatulski (418) also competed.
Section VI champion Maryvale won the Division II boys championship.
Section V championships
Class A: Fairport. Class B: Greece Arcadia. Class C: Newark. Class D: Penn Yan.
Class A: Rush-Henrietta. Class B: Spencerport. Class C: Newark. Class D: Penn Yan.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Section V bowling stands out in NY state competition