It’s a typical season for the Brick Township and Brick Memorial high school bowling teams with their usual show of strength heading into the holiday break.
Brick Township girls and Brick Memorial boys won the Westfield Tournament as defending state champions two weekends ago and both are leading contenders in Shore Conference A South.
Brick Township girls, who also won the Shore Conference Tournament, are second to Manchester in Shore Conference A South with a 10-2 record. The Green Dragons had one match this week against rival Brick Memorial, which took two of three games when they met in their season opener in early December for their only losses.
“We’re doing very well, I’m very pleased,” Brick Township coach Linda Sarraf said.
She has three of the top five bowlers in A South based on average — senior anchor bowler Katarina Kiseli, who is second with a 204 average, sophomore lead-off bowler Kaitlyn Nardiello, who is fourth with a 202 average, and freshman Sydney Scelfo, who is fifth with a 199 average. Sarraf said freshman Madison Lukosius, whose mother Cara coaches the boys team, also looks promising.
Brick Memorial sophomore Corinne Maher leads the league with a 204.5 average. Her team is in third place behind Brick Township at 14-4 and was a close second to Brick Township in the Westfield Tournament.
“I’m very pleased with how we’re bowling,” said Brick Memorial coach David Thompson, whose team is carrying only six bowlers. “I knew with the girls we have, we’d be battling. We don’t have the depth on the bench we’ve had in previous years, although all six girls we have can bowl on the varsity level.”
Anchor Jordyn DeMont is the lone senior starter and has been struggling.
“But in the last two matches, she looks like she’s getting her roll back,” Thompson said.
Her sister Johna, a junior, has been consistent in the No. 2 spot in the order. Following her is sophomore Amanda Romano, who earned her start in a close showdown with senior Kristen Mazurek.
Kelly Nicosia, a sophomore, throws a powerful ball and “makes things happen,” including a 232 in her opening game in the Westfield Tournament, when the Mustangs shot a 970. And Maher exudes the confidence that the team feeds off, Thompson said.
Both teams were scheduled to bowl Dec. 19 in the Toms River Indians Invitational at Ocean Lanes. But the matches were postponed to Jan. 2 because of the winter storm.
As for the boys, Brick Memorial has been on a tear in A South with a 17-1 start heading into Tuesday’s final match of 2009 against Brick Township, marred only by a loss to Manchester. Like Brick Township girls, Brick Memorial boys dominate A South with all five bowlers rating among the top six in the league. They include junior Dominick Luongo with a 230 average, followed by junior Franklin DiGiacomo and senior Dominick Romano with 225 averages, junior Brandon Barbosa with a 218 and sophomore Matt Clark, with a 213.
DiGiacomo smashed a 297 in his last game of the Westfield Tournament, striking all the way to his final ball. That helped Brick Memorial overtake Old Bridge, which had leapfrogged over early leader Brick Memorial in the second game. Robert Sirks, a senior who coach Mike Russomano calls the team’s “super sub,” came off the bench and smashed a 216 in the final game as the team overcame the absence of Romano, who was ill. Brick Memorial avenged a 2008 runner-up finish to Old Bridge by 10 pins when it finished eight pins ahead of Old Bridge for the title this year.
“I thought we would do well with four returning bowlers from last year’s (Group IV) state championship team, but I did not expect us to do this well,” Russomano said. “Everything is clicking on all eight cylinders. I hope this continues.”
That includes the Toms River Tournament and the Winter Classic on Jan. 9 at Carolier Lanes in East Brunswick, followed by the Brick Tournament on Jan. 16 at Ocean Lanes. Thompson, the tournament secretary, said the applications are starting to come in heavily these days.
Brick Township boys, meanwhile, are having a “rough start,” coach Lukosius said. “We have a talented group but are having a hard time clicking. We’re not bowling as well as last year and are trying to find it.”
Seniors Joe Vecchio leading off and T.J. Contino at anchor are averaging just over 200, and Lukosius hopes that the recent addition of junior Matt Barros to the lineup could provide a spark. The Green Dragons are in third place in A South at 10-5.