Cassidy Powers may have finished sixth in the Niagara Frontier League this season, but after Thursday’s Section VI championships, she wasn’t looking up at anybody.
The North Tonawanda junior held off a field that included 341 bowlers from 49 schools to win the Sectional title at Thruway Lanes.
Cassidy tamed the USBC white oil pattern, rolling a school record 1,389 for six games, including a morning session of 674 and an afternoon of 715. The previous school record of 1,371 had been held by Brianna Larson since 2010.
“I think it will sink in later tonight. I don’t think I realized how many girls are actually here,” said Cassidy, who averaged 193 this year in the NFL. “You really have to focus on being consistent because that’s really the key.”
Powers prevailed over a pair of seasoned veterans as senior Bridget Masiello of Lockport was second, 39 pins back, and senior Melanie Hannon of Maryvale was third, 60 pins off the pace.
“I definitely had a better morning,” Hannon said. “I caught a bad pair of lanes in the afternoon, they were a little tougher, but I tried to grind it out. I was happy with that.”
Members of the All-Section team are: Powers, Masiello, Hannon, Haley Carroll of Williamsville South, sophomore Alexis Wade of Lew-Port and Kayla Grey of Cattaraugus/Little Valley. For Hannon, who has signed with Fairleigh Dickinson, this will be her fifth trip to states.
Sweet Home won the Section VI team title, the first in program history. The Panthers were locked in a battle with Lockport before winning by a 46-pin margin. Maryvale was the winner of Class B, Tonawanda defended its Class C crown and Forestville’s title in Class D was its sixth in the last seven years.
Sweet Home, along with the members of the All-Section team, will represent Section VI at the New York State Championships, March 1-3 in Syracuse.
Sweet Home beat Lockport in the first match of the afternoon session by 90 pins to climb within 18 pins of the lead.
“I think the girls got a little momentum from there – we were able to hang onto the lead and sustain it through the sixth game,” said Sweet Home coach Jim Russo, who also owns Manor I and II. “There wasn’t one girl that carried us, everyone bowled extremely well.”
Making the trip to states for Sweet Home will be sophomore Diamond Carter, junior Alyssa Davis, sophomore Nikki Merrifield, sophomore Taylor Falzone, senior Kathryn Rogemoser, junior Maddie Wahl and freshman Brianna Gerner. Carter’s 265 game led Sweet Home’s steady pursuit.