Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Boys Rankings for 1-17-18

We're in a pretty similar spot to last year at this time, though it was girls back then.  Anyone who remembers that won't be surprised by who's #1...


1.  East Brunswick (GA: 216.2  T5: 1066)
Brick Memorial had a fantastic weekend to be sure, but the Bears were great at CJWC (3258 for 2nd), carded a 3331 set on Wednesday, has a better league record at 11-0-1, and, most importantly, still has a massive statistical edge with their 216.2 game average and 1066 T5.  I can't toss all that out on the basis of one head-to-head tournament result. Daniel Lenk and Sam Bortnick continue to be easily the top 1-2 in the state, and there's great talent up & down the lineup; Andrew Mai shot 758 in the GMC individual qualifier on Tuesday.

2.  Brick Memorial (GA: 208.0  T5: 1027)
Not just a fantastic weekend; earlier in the week the Mustangs put up 3143 & 3065 in conference sweeps. That's four straight tournament wins for this group, and they're getting huge numbers from the entire lineup; all five starters are averaging over 200 in both conference matches and in tournaments, where John Boughton has been brilliant, with 3 700 sets and a 223 average over 17 tournament games, and Alec Hehir and Michael Guzman are each right around 210.

3.  Woodbridge (GA: 208.1  T5: 1036)
The Barrons haven't quite put it all together in a tournament yet, but 3164 at CJWC is pretty damn good and their depth is just as scary as it was last year: by my count they have eight bowlers averaging over 190, and Alex Silva has joined the top three (Stoveken, Bilawsky & Drost) with a GMC average over 200.

4.  St. Joseph-Metuchen (GA: 207.1  T5: 1003)
I'm guilty of dismissing St. Joe's excellent GA because they're a 6/5 team with absurd depth, which props up the average of a team without any huge (210+) averages. Third place at the CJWC with a massive 3213 set proves me very wrong: this team is just great, with John Hoban, Brendan Sosinski & company each capable of being the star.  Earlier in the week they posted 3320, 3145 and 3296.  This is the state's top Group II team right now.

5.  Toms River South (GA: 205.0  T5: 1020)
Sixth at each of the weekend tournaments show that the Indians are great even on (relative) off days. Kyle Oliveri, Kevin DiBernardo and Andrew Xiques have each proven capable of being the top gun on a great team, and the depth is definitely good enough to compete with absolutely anyone. The string of just-short tournament finishes may well end with a conference title, a sectional title, or a state title.

6.  Monroe (GA: 204.0  T5: 1013)
An off-day at the CJWC (12th place 2886) doesn't take the shine off this top-flight group; they carded 3167 earlier in the week and continue to trot out a fearsome top three in Folgore, McKiernan and Waynor. When you've got someone like Joe Hoehler down lineup capable of shooting 707 (as he did in GMC individuals), you're gonna contend for titles.

7.  Wayne Hills (GA: 201.8  T5: 1014)
Easily the best team up north, by the stats.  Four-man 2505 in conference action last week. Enough depth to do a lot of mixing and matching; when they put up a pure 5-man squad, Group III better watch out.  Sophomores Tom Luchetta and Dylan Heinhold have had breakout seasons, averaging over 217 & 206 respectively, and the senior leadership from Steve Neri & Nick Kent should serve them well in the postseason.

8.  Brick Township (GA: 197.1  T5: 996)
Bit of a down week before the tournaments: respectable 7th at CJWC and then a very strong 3200 at Snowball. I keep mentioning the Dragons' youth, but they have a very good senior in Nick Gross, whose 734 at the Snowball was huge. Sophomore Kyle Chirichello is averaging over 204 in tournament action and the whole lineup is over 195 overall. More than talented enough to do damage in the postseason.

9.  St. Rose (GA: 194.1  T5: 1014)
Shore Central A leaders shot 3112 and 3062 before a 3rd place finish at the Winter Wave (2959). Four bowlers over 203 in-conference (Chiusano, Toth, Vanderslice & Schuld) and a fifth, Vinny Mastria, paced the team with a 651 at the Wave. At the top of a very short list of state Group I contenders.

10. South Plainfield (GA: 2008  T5: 998)
Had a rough day at Bowlero, but earlier in the week this talented crew hung 3090 & 3177 on their opponents, moving to 10-1/41-3 in GMC action. Tyler & Ryan Berardi as well as Chris Lacasale are all around 190, providing excellent firepower behind a great top three, and setting up this Group II contender for conference & sectional title runs.

11.  Sussex Tech (GA: 196.6  T5: 984)
These Mustangs keep on rollin', posting 3094 and 3082 in NJAC matches last week. Sophomore Matthew Grey has made a huge leap, from 179 last year up to a big 205 average in 2017-18, while Joey Steele is simply one of the very best bowlers in New Jersey right now.

12.  Manasquan (GA: 196.2  T5: 990)
Very busy, very consistent week: 2849, 2959, 2983, 2990 (2nd at Wave), 2978 (8th at CJWC). Kyle Bauter & Dylan Wolfe are a fantastic top two, averaging 219 & 213 in conference action, while Ryan Anderson is over 200 in tournaments.  And they're all juniors.

13.  Hudson Catholic (GA: 199.1  T5: 989)
Gaudy regular season numbers for the top team in the HCIAL, especially from 214-averaging Geoffrey Origenes, Jivan Persaud (205) and Steven Beck (199).  Only thing missing from the resume is a tournament performance.

14.  Morris Knolls (GA: 194.5  T5: 973)
Very strong 9th place in the loaded CJWC field (2928) and currently 59-4 in a good conference. Joey Lamont & Rob Murray have been high on the average lists all year, but watch out also for Chase DiMare, who broke through at the New Year's Eve tournament with a 656 set.

15. Ocean Township (GA: 192.7  T5: 1002)
Huge jump in T5 with Doug Rhoades joining the lineup and averaging 222 through his first 9 games. The results have been impressive: 3039 in a regular match, 1st at the Wave (3003) and a 2872 at CJWC. They already had top-to-bottom ability and a stud in Matt Redbord; now they can compete with anyone on any day.

16. North Brunswick (GA: 197.8  T5: 980)
2917 for a solid 10th place finish at CJWC.  Gavin Lugo has flown under the radar a bit, averaging a remarkably consistent 197 behind star David Burrows.

17.  South Brunswick (GA: 195.9  T5: 964)
Subpar week for the Vikings salvaged with a nice 11th at CJWC (2900). Anthony Fama, Matt Marich and Nick Delacruz each broke 600 at the GMC Individuals, qualifying for the finals.

18.  Edison (GA: 195.2  T5: 974)
Broke 3100 twice last week, including an impressive split with #3 Woodbridge.  A rough day at CJWC was probably an anomaly, as Smith (718), Banwer, Buchany and Raleigh Gough were all back on the plus side by Tuesday.

19.  Seneca (GA: 192.9  T5: 963)
7th at the Snowball is nothing to sneeze at.  Exceptional balance in this starting lineup, with any of the starters (Ludikowski, Malcolm, Tippin, Cashwell & Walters) capable of taking the lead and throwing a number.

20.  Linden (GA: 193.1  T5: 975)
Incredibly young and talented, led by two sophomores (Anthony Golabek & Matt Soto) and a freshman (James Fitz), they have an excellent chance to make states and surprise some people once they get there.


JP Stevens
Toms River East
St. Peter's Prep
Pascack Valley

Some of these are probably a bit disappointed in tournament performances, but there's so much talent in this group, including Cameron LaPlant and Brian McAdams of JPS, Jack Hudson and Tom McCann of Southern, Ryan McIntire and Dennis Carrino at TRE, 225-averaging Jared Ammugauan as well as Zack Oswald and Chris Brody at SPP, and the four outstanding juniors at Pascack (Biml, Morris, Lauber & Tipping).


Fair Lawn
Jackson Liberty
Wall Township

Jackson Liberty and Fair Lawn's tournament showings over the weekend speak for themselves. Wall and Colonia have been solid teams all season and deserved a shout. Neptune has been good too, but now takes a huge leap forward with the addition of one of the very best in the state, Joey Ocello.

Girls tomorrow.

By the way, blogger tells me this is my 100th post.  Thanks to everyone who reads, contributes, emails, or says hi at tournaments.

More Tournaments

Couple more tournaments before we get the rankings. First, the Bergen County boys tournament was held on Saturday.  This is a pretty great event: it's broken into small schools & big schools, with a qualifying set in the morning and an additional set in the afternoon for the top half of the field.  North Arlington took the small schools championship by 57 pins over Mahwah, with Lyndhurst in 3rd.  The big schools title was earned by Fair Lawn with a very impressive 5958 total, which bested the field by over 200 pins.  Ridgewood took 2nd and Demarest 3rd.

Individual awards (based on the A.M. portion only) went to Lyndhurst's Michael Lavell for a 695 set that easily topped the small schools list, and Nick Greco of Fair Lawn, whose 686 series edged past Peter Bondy of Bergenfield (683) and Ridgewood's Brian Skettini (679).  But the performance of the day was owned by Anthony Frangiosa of Fair Lawn.  Despite not getting much action in conference play so far this season, Frangiosa put up a solid 619 in the morning and a tournament-best 288-695 in the afternoon.

Vince has an excellent report here.  Greg Tartaglia's has an article here.

The Snowball Classic at Laurel Lanes pits some of New Jersey's best against some excellent programs from southeastern Pennsylvania.  On Monday, the hot Jersey teams from Saturday continued their streaks through the weekend.

The Brick Memorial boys got big numbers from John Boughton (760) and Michael Guzman (703) to shoot 3221 and take the #2 qualifying spot behind a very talented PA team from Truman.  Just a few sticks behind was Brick Township, whose 3200 took the fourth and final qualifying spot behind good days from Nick Gross (734) and Andrew Masi (689).

Toms River South posted a solid sixth in qualifying (3rd among NJ schools) at 3083, while Seneca, Howell and Warren Hills all managed top 10 finishes.  Boughton took individual honors, with Gross finishing fourth and Kyle Oliveri of Toms River South taking 5th with a 730 set.

Unfortunately, I don't have details about the Baker playoffs, aside from the basics: Brick Township fell to Truman in the semifinals while Brick Memorial defeated Pennsbury. And despite Truman putting together a nine-bagger in the final, the Mustangs prevailed to finish off the weekend double, having won the Central Jersey Winter Classic on Saturday.

The girls' side included the top seven teams in New Jersey, as well as a powerful PA representative in last year's semifinalist Truman.  Toms River North and Warren Hills battled to the very end for the top seed, with TRN squeaking by by just 5 pins on the backs of the Peters sisters (Paige shot 711 and Kamerin 708).  Warren Hills' season-best 2899 was powered by Kelcie Mannon's 707 and Olivia Ostrander's 672. 

After Truman, who qualified 3rd, was a small surprise in Lacey.  The #5 team in NJ, who recently welcomed back Claudia Schreier from injury, raced out to a huge 1056 in game one and stayed hot enough to card 2826 for the final qualifying spot.  Toms River South, Brick Memorial, Brick Township, Manchester and Howell finished 5th through 9th respectively.

TRN survived an extremely close semifinal against Lacey, with both teams bowling very well.  Warren Hills needed a huge comeback in their semifinal, posting a four bagger in game 2 to defeat Truman.  And in the finals, the Blue Streaks were able to throw enough good shots (and carry them) to post a pair of 220+ games and take the only title that eluded them in 2017.

The top individuals were Paige & Kamerin Peters, Mannon, Hannah Dalton of TRS (673) and Ostrander, with additional big numbers coming from Amanda Shelters of Brick Memorial (655), Caylin Ryan of Brick Township (632), Howell's Alexa Scranton (618) and Liz Schreier of Lacey (609).

Full results, as they usually are, available at the Shore Conference site.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

CJWC and Wrapping the Week

Saturday's Central Jersey Winter Classic was, as it is every year, the deepest field in any high school bowling event in New Jersey.  8 of the top 9 boys teams competed, as well as 14 of the top 20 and 18 of the top 25.  The girls numbers, while a bit top-heavy, were equally impressive: 9 of the top 10, 11 of the top 13.

The scores on the boys' side were huge, with #4 Woodbridge's (event-best) 1175 leading a group of 4 teams that broke 1100 in game 1.  Eight more broke 1000.  #8 St. Joseph of Metuchen put up a monster 1132 in game two, their second 1100+ game, to take the lead at 2238, followed by defending CJWC champs #3 Brick Memorial, #1 East Brunswick and Woodbridge, all within 72 pins.

Only the Mustangs could keep up the crazy pace, firing an 1168 in game 3 to post a 3352 set.  The only team with a real chance to catch them was East Brunswick, and the table for drama was set with a lane breakdown that forced the Bears to move 60-odd lanes to the corner of Bowlero's high end in the 10th frame of game 2.  While the defending TOC champs put up the second highest game 3 in the tournament (1081), they ultimately settled for runnerup status and Brick Memorial took the CJWC title again.  The champs were great across the board: John Boughton's 721 led the way, but all five bowlers put up impressive numbers: Alec Hehir (682), Cam Waldheim (666), Michael Guzman (651) and Andrew Varela (632).

St. Joe's held on for a strong 3rd place finish, highlighted by Brendan Sosinski's 299-694, with Woodbridge and their five 600 sets 4th.  Jackson Liberty, who was in my preseason top 10 but had been a little quiet early in the season,  delivered a tremendous performance, finishing 5th with a 3096 set behind freshman star Justin Bohn's 749.

Six through Twelve: #2 Toms River South (3032), #7 Brick Township (2996), #14 Manasquan (2978), #17 Morris Knolls (2928), #15 North Brunswick (2917), #12 South Brunswick (2900), and #5 Monroe (2886).

Several impressive outings from unranked teams should be noted: Outside of Jackson Liberty, the best finish by a team not even mentioned in last week's rankings was Ocean Township's 15th place (2872).  Toms River East (2861 - 16th) finished ahead of several ranked teams, and Howell (2886 - 13th) did even better.  Manalapan put up a season-best 2877 to finish a more-than-respectable 14th, and Colts Neck (2807 - 17th) did pretty much the same thing.  Good day for Shore-Central-B teams.

Kenny Burdge of Manchester Township put up the event's only 300 game right out of the gate, and finished with the 5th highest series (719) as well.  Sophomore Michael Liu of Livingston won his second individual tournament title (he won the Wheeler) of the season with a big 771 series.  East Brunswick's Sam Bortnick (766), Bohn, and Boughton were the rest of the top five.

Other 700s were tossed by Darian LeMay of Franklin (713) and Rob Murray of Morris Knolls (707).

The girls' event started with a surprise, as unranked Eastern took the early lead with an impressive 935 game; only #2 Brick Memorial and #3 Brick Township were able to join Eastern in cracking 900.  Game two saw the state's top four teams take charge, as #4 and defending CJWC champs Warren Hills and #1 Toms River North joined the Brick schools in the over-900 club, and Memorial took a slim 14-pin lead into the final game.

#6 Manchester put up an excellent 1006 in game three to jump up to a fifth-place finish at 2641, while TRN settled in fourth with a 2662 set.  Brick Township shot 943 to pass Brick Memorial by just 17 pins, 2764 to 2747. And defending TOC champs Warren Hills finished with a flurry of strikes, including anchor Katie Winch going out the door in the tenth, to put up the day's best score, 1010, and pass BT by just eleven pins to take the tournament title. Winch (609), Kelcie Mannon (622) and freshman Olivia Ostrander (616) all put up 600s for the Blue Streaks, and senior sub Jackie Nesbeth came through with a career-high 212 game in the clincher.

Eastern held on for a season-best 2550 set, powered by Cloe Lowell's 251-622, and finished 7th, Unranked Carteret turned a lot of heads with a consistent 2430 series to take 8th, and they were followed by  #13 Woodbridge (2385), #10 East Brunswick (2380), #8 Monroe (2365) and #19 Colts Neck (2325).

Eastern and Carteret defied the rankings the most, of course, but a couple more unranked teams that turned in good performances were Howell in 13th (2264) and JP Stevens in 14th (2258).

Brick Memorial's Amanda Shelters continued her phenomenal junior season by taking the girls' individual title by over 100 pins with a blistering 279-246-226=751 set, third highest in the state on the season.  Caylin Ryan of Brick Township fired 650 to take second, followed by Lowell, Mannon and Ostrander in the top five.  Lanasia Neal of South Plainfield (611) and Winch put up the other 600s, with Mackenzie Dudas of TRN (597) just missing.

We also had a smaller tournament on Friday, the Winter Wave Invitational.  On the boys' side, unranked Ocean Township fired a 3003 set to take down #14 Manasquan (2nd place, 2990) and #8 St. Rose (2959).  Middletown North put up a strong 2908 to finish a surprising fourth.  Mark Butler, Doug Rhoades and Matt Redbord each shot between 626 & 632 to carry OT's balanced effort. Between this and the CJWC, I'm guessing OT is getting ranked next week.

Luis Torres of Roselle (Abraham Clark) put up a fantastic 299-734 to finish as the top individual, followed by Mansquan's Dylan Wolfe (681) and Joe Yatsko of Middletown North (663),

Shore Central A teams dominated the girls' side as well, with Ocean Township besting Manasquan by just a single pin and Wall Township slipping past St. John Vianney by just seven pins (2207-2200) to take third.  Alexa Tieto of OT was easily the star attraction for the girls' event, taking high game and high series with a 235-657 effort, and her team needed every bit of it to take the championship.

Full results of both tournaments are available, due to the absolutely unreal dedication of Coach Bryan Vargas of Manchester Township, at the Shore Conference Website.

...and this is what happens when you wait too long to do an honor scores list.  In addition to the tournament scores mentioned above, we have...

645-639  Amanda Shelters, Brick Memorial
711  Veronica Lewis, Brick Memorial
704  Katie Winch, Warren Hills
703  Rhianna Smith, Hopatcong
654  Goldera Surles, Union Catholic
651  Emma Thies, Jefferson
646  Julianna Forbes, Brick Township
631  Alexa Tieto, Ocean Township
631  MacKenzie Weber, Manchester
629  Victoria Smith, Manchester
626  Mackenzie Dudas, Toms River North
625  Lindsay Pepper, Ramsey
625  Jasmine Brodowski, Jackson Liberty
625  Rachel Katz, Brick Memorial
624  Lanasia Neal, South Plainfield
623  Caylin Ryan, Brick Township
620  Hannah Dalton, Toms River South
618  Kamerin Peters, Toms River North
618  Tori Johnson, Edison
615  Marissa Cosentini, Wayne Valley
606  Rachel Duncan, Indian Hills
604  Margaux Lesser, Teaneck
604  Jillian Dambres, Hunterdon Central
604  Elena Rodriguez, Deptford
602  Gabrielle Capalad, Leonia

790  Wyatt Buchany, Edison
771  Daniel Lenk, East Brunswick
757  Dan Kenny, Maple Shade
733  Dylan Gilligan, Sayreville
731  Joey Steele, Sussex Tech
727  Sam Bortnick, East Brunswick
722  Brendan Sosinski, St.Jose-Metuchen
721  Matthew Marletta, Morris Tech
718  Nick Melchionna, Union
717  Conor Quigley, St. Joseph-Metuchen
716  James Stoveken, Woodbridge
716  David Burrows, South Plainfield
714  Kyle Bauter, Manasquan
712  Cameron LaPlant, JP Stevens
707  Joseph Mahoney, Park Ridge
703  Jared Ammugauan, St. Peter's Prep
702  Andrew Varela, Brick Memorial