SYRACUSE — The Section VI all-stars took to the lanes Sunday and they looked like just that — all-stars.
The girls all-section team took home first place at the New York State All-Sectional Bowling Championships at Strike N’ Spare Lanes, defeating second place Section III by 54 pins.
After their team finished second last year, seniors Melanie Hannon and Bridget Masiello led the girls to victory, as the team piled up 6,562 pins.
The boys’ all-section team returned to the podium after winning it all a year ago, finishing second behind Section XI (Suffolk County). The Section VI boys ended the day with 6,626 total pins to fall by 178 pins.
“It’s great. It’s fantastic,” said girls head coach Joe Hannon.
“We take a lot of pride in being as competitive as we are down here for Section VI. The goal is always to come home with some gold medals and we’ve been very successful.”
While being the coach, Hannon is also Melanie’s father and he couldn’t have been more excited to see his daughter go out on top.
“Speechless. Totally, speechless,” he said of his reaction.
Melanie’s final bowling experience in high school was oh-so-close to being completely perfect. As in, one pin away.
In the last game of the day, Melanie started to pile up strikes. Front seven. Front eight. Front nine, nearly perfect.
Going into the final frame, the house got almost completely silent. It was like the final green at the Master’s.
Melanie nailed the 10th and 11th shots, each time to booming applause. The 12th shot looked perfect, that is, until the 7-pin stuck in place.
Game — 299.
“I was really nervous, I was shaking really bad,” said Melanie.
“I was trying to tell myself to keep calm and relax but it was so hard. Literally I think everyone was watching. I’m happy with it, I’ll take it.”
Melanie, who has yet to bowl a perfect game, saved her best performance for last.
“We joked about it; save it for states, save it for states and she darn near did save it for states,” said Joe about his daughter’s elusive perfect game.
“It’s amazing. She’s been to states five years in a row and never been able to get a gold. It’s the last game of her high school career, she almost shoots a 300, team wins the gold. It’s a fairy tale, man, it’s crazy.”
Hannon finished with the high single game and finished second overall by two pins. Haley Carroll (Williamsville South) finished fourth overall.
The boys also put up big numbers, as seniors Aaron Broardt (Williamsville South) and Peter Wozniak Jr. (North Tonawanda) opened the second half by taking perfect games into the eight and ninth frames respectively. Broardt finished with a 279, Wozniak a 267. Tyler Roskwitalski (Lew-Port) led Section VI with 1,334 for six games (222.3 average) to finish eighth overall.
After the first three games, they found themselves in third place but thanks to a blistering Game Four performance, in which they totaled 1,196 pins, the boys managed to move up to second.
“I thought we had a great day, I thought the kids bowled great,” said boys coach Bill Rodgers.
“They really grinded it out, it got pretty ugly out there.”