SHARKS 25, FIRST SETTLERS 8
A high school boys bowling team that is trying to find its way must look for positives wherever it can find them. Southold found 900 pins worth of positives on Tuesday night before heading out into the cold night air and onto the team bus for the ride home.
Those 900 pins that Southold downed were enough for the First Settlers to win Game 3, but they were preceded by two games that Eastport/South Manor won, 873-763 and 934-696. The Sharks triumphed, 25-8, in the Suffolk County League V match at Wildwood Lanes in Riverhead. It was Eastport/South Manor’s fourth win and Southold’s fourth loss in as many matches.
The 204-point jump Southold made from the second game to the third was a source of encouragement for the First Settlers.
“This game we did amazing,” Southold senior Brayan Palencia said after the third game. “If we could do that like every game, it would be pretty decent.”
But it has not been that way for the First Settlers this season. Just the day before, on these same lanes, they were handed a 29-4 defeat by Westhampton Beach. Patrick Smith posted a 546 series with a 195 high game for Southold in that match.
It was rough going for Southold on Tuesday — until the third game.
Eastport/South Manor was clinging to a 766-760 lead heading into the 10th frame. Kieran Brodarick came through with a 191 and Palencia put up a 190 to help Southold take the game, 900-871.
Don’t think that wasn’t soothing salve for the soul.
“Even though they lost, they felt good about it; they felt good about that third match,” Southold coach Sal Campo said. “They need that. They need that confidence.”
He added: “You know what they say, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game? Sorry, if you keep losing, it’s not going to help. You need to build your confidence to win.”
Eastport/South Manor qualified for the county tournament last year and finished ninth in Suffolk, but the Sharks have only one remaining starter from that team — eighth-grader Doug Pinelli. Eastport/South Manor coach Charles Ferro calls it a rebuilding year for his team, but what a rebuilding year. The Sharks started the day in second place.
“We’re looking forward to being competitive this year, and then next year is really [when] we’re looking to really knock it out of the park,” said Ferro.
The Sharks needed to adjust to Wildwood, where the lanes aren’t as oily as those in their home alley, Shirley Lanes.
Still, Quentin Montemarano didn’t do badly. The junior adjusted from his first game, consistently threw the ball around the pocket and rolled up scores of 213 and 218 to complete a 593 series. Montemarano, who has a 188.75 average this season, registered 13 strikes and 14 spares on the day.
“Quentin’s doing a great job right now,” Ferro said. “He’s really stepped his game up. He’s really serious about what he’s doing. You can see the difference in his game. He’s picked up about 20 pins on his average from last year, which is really nice to see.”
Three other Sharks bowled 500-plus series. A high game of 216 helped Dallas Hayes to a 550 series. Pinelli, aided by 13 strikes and 15 spares, finished with a 542 series. Brian O’Sullivan had a 527.
“We’re 4 and 0, but we could have had a lot more points than we took,” Montemarano said. “We blew probably a good 20 points we could have had, so we’re hanging in there.”
Southold was led by Palencia’s 499 series. Smith had a 497 and Zach DePaulis a 486. Palencia recorded 12 strikes and 13 spares while DePaulis had 16 spares to go with his 10 strikes.
A pleasant development for Southold, however, has been the play of sophomore James Perry, who is new to bowling. Perry replaced Garret DeFriest for the third game and rolled a 170 with five strikes and a spare.
The third game was Southold’s best of the season and something to build on.
“It was very encouraging,” Palencia said. “By this [third] game, that shows that we have potential. We have to show it more.”