Barnegat Girls Bowling Squad Finishes Second in State Group II

FIREBALLER: Junior Summer Burkle delivered a 522 series to lead the Barnegat girls bowling team to the runner-up position at the NJSIAA Group II tournament on Feb. 14. (Photo by David Biggy)
Bowlero in North Brunswick, formerly Carolier Lanes, isn’t exactly a first-timer friendly place. The lanes there take some getting used to.
Well, despite it being the first time the Barnegat girls bowling team had ever played there, coach Jon Gordon’s crew didn’t take too long to get acclimated on Feb. 14, as the Bengals culminated their team season by placing second in Group II at the NJSIAA Championships.
“Just to get there is great, and it was really exciting,” Gordon said after his squad rolled a 2,378 three-game set to finish 62 pins behind Ewing, a back-to-back Central Jersey champ that had a clear experience advantage, considering several of its bowlers competed in the state finals two years ago. “Just having the opportunity to experience this tournament on those lanes is unbelievable, and our girls have nothing to be ashamed of. They bowled well, but some pins didn’t fall our way, and Ewing bowled over their heads in two of the games.”
After the first game, in which they were paired with Demarest, the Bengals trailed Ewing by 149 pins. While the Blue Devils registered an 868, Barnegat came in at 719. Madison Kubicz led the way with a 170, followed by Camryn White’s 160 and Summer Burkle’s 159. In the second game alongside River Dell, the Bengals closed the gap entirely, as Tara Charland fired a 209, Burkle recorded a 193, White delivered a 171, Kubicz managed a 160 and Alexis Sugden knocked down 148 pins.
While Ewing ended up with a 732 in its second game, Barnegat’s 881 created a tie for the top position with 1,600 pins. Playing against each other in the third game, the Blue Devils scored an 840 and Barnegat finished with a 778. Burkle and Kubicz each tossed a 170, while Charland contributed a 162 and White threw a 149.
“To make up almost 150 pins in one game is amazing. We didn’t miss too many shots in that second game,” Gordon said. “But being tied with Ewing going into the third game was crazy. We couldn’t have asked for much better of a situation. We were right there.”
Burkle finished with a 522 series to pace the Bengals, who won the South Jersey sectional title on Feb. 5. Charland finished with a 508, while Kubicz concluded with a 500, White ended up with a 480, and Sugden finished with a 368.
“Before the tournament, I looked at where we might fit in with the competition, and I knew Ewing was the team to beat,” Gordon said. “If we bowled around 2,500, we’d win. If we bowled around 2,400, I knew it would be tight. But they bowled really well in that last game. They had a girl who averaged 95 bowl a 140, and their last three girls bowled great in the third game. We had a 778 and still lost, so credit to them.
“But to even be in that position is a big deal for our program, and the girls should be proud. We had a chance to win a state title, but some pins didn’t go down for us. We had a great season, and to finish it by going into the third game at the state finals with a chance to win a Group II championship is awesome.”
Southern Regional’s girls finished eighth in Group IV with 1,968 pins, more than 700 pins behind eventual Tournament of Champions winner Brick Memorial. Olivia Macanka led the Rams with a 401 series following a high game of 146. Clara Signorin rolled a high game of 161, while Miranda Pielhau and Lynsey Rinnier each topped out at 158 in the second game. Stephenie Giberson had a high game of 149.
Southern Boys Track
Takes Second
Led by throwers Fabian Gonzalez and Jaiden Brown, the Southern Regional boys indoor track and field team swiped the second spot during the NJSIAA Group IV competition on Feb. 11, scoring 45 points to finish behind Kingsway.
Gonzalez was the only Ram to capture a sectional title, winning the shot put with a top throw of 56 feet, 1½ inches, while Brown finished second, literally an inch behind his teammate. Meanwhile, Santino D’Amelio also managed a second-place finish, clocking a 9:46.71 in the 3,200-meter run, Atul Sharma ended up third in the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 10 inches, and John Bruther took fourth in the pole vault with a height of 10 feet.
Gavin Lum was fifth in the pole vault, also at 10 feet, while Jake Harrison grabbed fifth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:03.09, Andrew Bowker snagged fifth in the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:35.54, and the 4×400-meter relay crew also took fifth in 3:40.25.
For the girls, who tied for eighth overall with 16 points, Megan Campanile scored a second-place finish in the high jump by clearing 5 feet, Kelly Enterline grabbed fifth in the shot put with a top throw of 34 feet, 10¼ inches, and the 4×400 squad ended up third with a time of 4:11.36.
Three Locals Fare Well
In Bowling Sectional
While their teams didn’t place among the top two of their respective groups, Barnegat’s Joe Spagnola, Pinelands’ Ethan Edwards and Southern’s Andrew Christensen each qualified for the individual state finals during the NJSIAA South Jersey sectional tournament on Feb. 12.
Spagnola fired games of 194, 227 and 232 for a 653 series, good enough for ninth place overall. Edwards, competing as an individual, rolled games of 214, 213 and 190 for a 617 series to place 15th, and Christensen tossed games of 171, 211 and 224 for a 606 series to just make the cut in 19th place.
As a team, Southern finished fourth in SJ Group IV with 2,622 after totaling 846, 872 and 904 pins during its three games. The Rams’ Mike Minardo threw a high game of 237 in the third contest but his 599 series landed him in 21st, five pins behind Camden County Tech’s Connor Brown.
Barnegat, which scored games of 739, 751 and 868 to conclude with 2,358 pins, finished sixth in SJ Group II.
Southern Hockey Team
Falls in SCT
Tied after the first period in their opening contest of the Shore Conference Tournament on Feb. 9, seventh-seeded Jackson Liberty scored twice in each of the next two periods to get by 10th-seeded Southern Regional, 5-2.
After the Lions opened the scoring just 1:14 into the contest, Andrew Buda buried a goal with 8:09 to go in the first, assisted by Anthony Pirrello and Sean Rowland. However, Liberty scored the next four goals to take a commanding 5-1 lead by the midway point of the third period. Matthew Leonard took an assist from Brooks Hradek and scored the Rams’ second goal with 3:54 left. Aidan Rowland made 25 saves for Southern.
— David Biggy

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