One big game propels Fair Lawn to No. 1 in Bergen bowling tournament by Greg Tartaglia of The Record
HACKENSACK – Anthony Frangiosa picked up an ordinary spare to start the fifth game of Saturday’s Bergen County boys bowling championships at Bowler City.
Ten strikes later, the sophomore and his Fair Lawn teammates were on their way to an extraordinary afternoon.
Frangiosa rolled a tournament-best 288 to help the Cutters score 1,158 in Game 5, and they pulled away from the pack to capture their first county title since 1989.
“I didn’t think I’d get three [in a row],” said Frangiosa, whose final throw drifted wide of the pocket and resulted in an eight. “I didn’t even care about that last shot.”
Fair Lawn (5,958) defeated Ridgewood (5,741) and NV/Demarest (5,666) for the overall crown. North Arlington outscored Mahwah, 5,635-5,568, to win Groups 1-2 for the second time in three years.
“It’s awesome, it’s exciting,” Cutters senior Tyler Nappi said. “In the fifth game, everyone bowled well, and I struggled. But these guys picked me right up, and Anthony bowled the best I’ve ever seen him bowl, ever.”
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The individual high series and game awards were given after the three-game morning session. Frangiosa needed no formal recognition for his 288, other than the team trophy it helped bring about.
Junior Nick Greco’s 259 and junior Aaron Manspeizer’s 235 also contributed to the Game 5 outburst.
“This team is as good and as balanced as any I’ve had,” 19th-year Fair Lawn coach Tony Villano said, “especially with their spirit.”
Nappi and brother Jake, a sophomore, were two of the bowlers to carry on winning legacies in county play. Their father, John, was the 1982 Bergen individual champ for Cliffside Park.
Ridgewood sophomore Brian Skettini was another. His morning 269 brought him the high game trophy and made him the third county award-winner in his family – mother Donna (née O’Connell) was the 1984 Bergen girls high series champ, and sister Kelly followed suit in 2012.
“For the 269, I was shooting to beat my sister’s high game ,” Skettini said, “but I’m happy to have the accomplishment.”
Lyndhurst junior Michael Lavell had the choice between accepting the high series trophy for his 695 or high game for his 277 (tournament rules preclude the same individual from winning both).
“Take the high series, of course,” Golden Bears coach Brianna Balkin advised Lavell, which he did.
The two-hander joined Jordan Lopez (2013) and Mike Gingerelli (1979) as Bergen boys champions from Lyndhurst.
Firsts and seconds
In its Groups 1-2 victory, North Arlington got consistency throughout the lineup. Junior Liam Henkel had four 200s with a team high of 226, and senior Kenny Bennett did likewise with a 222 high.
Brandon Barth, Trent Petito and Eric McKenna all added at least one 200 for the Vikings.
“We can battle against anyone in North Jersey,” said Barth, a senior. “And it puts us in a good position going into states.”
Mahwah equaled its best tournament finish, taking home the Groups 1-2 runner-up plaque for the first time since 1997.
The Thunderbirds sat fourth in the bracket at the lunch break but moved up thanks to games of 1,005, 933 and 1,041. Lefty two-hander Eric Grunblatt helped put an exclamation point on the outing with a 277 in the final game.
“When we got into the afternoon, we thought we had a chance,” he said. “All we wanted to do was get spares and strikes, and string them together.”
Skettini did more of that in the afternoon, when an open second frame was all that stood between him and perfection in Game 5. He ended with a 268, while senior Matt Myers anchored Ridgewood to its top county finish ever with series of 626 in the morning and 638 in the afternoon.
“It means a lot,” said Myers, in his fourth season as anchor. “It’s humbling to think that no one’s done this before on our team.”
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Bergen County Boys Bowling Tournament
TEAM RESULTS (A.M. Series-P.M. Series—Total)*
GROUPS 3-4: 1. Fair Lawn 2,856-3,102–5,958; 2. Ridgewood 2,847-2,894–5,741; 3. NV/Demarest 2,811-2,855–5,666; 4. Paramus Catholic 2,765-2,833–5,598; 5. Pascack Valley 2,711-2,723–5,434; 6. Indian Hills 2,666-2,704–5,370; 7. Bergenfield 2,700-2,486–5,186; 8. Tenafly 2,486-2,696–5,182; 9. Teaneck 2,656-2,500–5,156; 10. Hackensack 2,468-2,362–4,830; 11. Northern Highlands 2,458; 12. NV/Old Tappan 2,455; 13. Bergen Tech 2,454; 14. Bergen Catholic 2,440; 15. Ramapo 2,374; 16. St. Joseph 2,313; 17. Paramus 2,309; 18. River Dell 2,299; 19. Don Bosco 2,148; 20. Dwight Morrow 1,782.
GROUPS 1-2: 1. North Arlington 2,741-2,894–5,635; 2. Mahwah 2,589-2,979–5,568; 3. Lyndhurst 2,721-2,669–5,390; 4. Fort Lee 2,603-2,577–5,180; 5. Hasbrouck Heights 2,435-2,419–4,854; 6. Glen Rock 2,457-2,388–4,845; 7. Ridgefield Park 2,365-2329–4,694; 8. Ramsey 2,397-2,215–4,612; 9. Leonia 2,362; 10. Dumont 2,353; 11. Westwood 2,307; 12. Becton 2,295; 13. Pascack Hills 2,256; 14. Bergen Charter 2,137; 15. Rutherford 1,909; 16. Park Ridge 1,705**.
*The top 50 percent in each group advanced to afternoon round
**Team had four bowlers
HIGH SERIES (Three A.M. games): 1. Michael Lavell (Lyndhurst), 695; 2. Nick Greco (Fair Lawn), 686; 3. Peter Bondy (Bergenfield), 683; 4. Brian Skettini (Ridgewood), 679; 5. Jordan Tse (NV/Demarest), 662; 6. Kyle Sandberg (Paramus Catholic), 646; 7. George Ferguson (Bergenfield), 645; 8. Trevor Deliantis (Becton), 633; 9. Ryan McGuire (Indian Hills), 629; 10. Matt Myers (Ridgewood), 626; 11. Brandon Voorhees (Ridgefield Park), 621; 12. Anthony Frangiosa (Fair Lawn), 619; 13. Joseph Mahoney (Park Ridge), 618; 14. Hunter Butkera (Bergen Catholic), 613; 15. Henry Tipping (Pascack Valley), 603.
HIGH GAMES (A.M. only): 1. Lavell, 277^; 2. Skettini, 269; 3. Greco, 261; 4. Bondy, 258; 5. Voorhees, 255.