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Sewanhaka bowlers aim for big finish

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Following a delayed start due to Covid-19 protocols, Sewanhaka District bowlers are starting to generate some momentum with the Nassau County team and individual championships already just around the corner.

“The kids are bowling, so I’m happy,” coach Jay Hegi said. “We had a couple of obstacles to overcome, but we got past them and made up all of the missed matches. Everyone is having a good time and trying to finish strong.”

The girls team won 5 of its first 7 matches, with seventh-grader Morgan Winchell from Sewanhaka leading the effort. She’s carrying a 193 average after rolling a 671 series, at Sheridan Lanes in Mineola on Feb. 3 to lead a victory over Locust Valley. Her high game so far is 289. “Morgan is an accurate and powerful bowler,” Hegi said. “She’s very competitive and a great teammate.”

Winchell anchors the six-deep lineup and has shown the ability to come through under pressure. Other key contributors so far are seniors Breanna Pullo, Rebecca Hartz and Emma Korszioski, junior Jamie Lauria, junior Sophia Legovich, who’s averaging 150 and rolled a high game of 204, eighth-grader Jayla Phillips (140 avg., 177 high game), and junior Brianna Dunn (135 avg., 171 high game.)

Sewanhaka’s boys’ team split its first six matches. Junior Brandon Hughes, who finished in the top 10 in the county tournament last season and qualified for states, which was canceled due to the pandemic, has picked up where he left off. The southpaw from Carey is among Nassau’s leaders with a 227 average. He has a high game of 267 and a series of 751. Hegi said he also ripped off a 296 game during a recent practice.

“Brandon bowls with both hands and is not only explosive but an excellent spare shooter,” Hegi explained. “He’s our anchor.”

Senior Ben Pickman earned All-Conference honors a season ago and has rolled a 200 in the early going. He and senior newcomer Kyle Dollbaum are setting the tone from the top of the lineup. Dollbaum, a lefty with a powerful style, has a high game of 237.

Junior Brian Morreale came as close to perfect as possible when he rolled a 299 on Jan. 28 as part of a 761 series. A stubborn 6-pin kept him from the ultimate accomplishment, but the performance raised his average to nearly 190 after a so-so start. “Brian will finish stronger than he started,” Hegi said. “He’s starting to find a groove.”

Freshman Vince Guerrero and eighth-graders Thomas Tufano and Peyton Hughes are making solid contributions as well.

The Nassau team championships are scheduled for Feb. 20 at Garden City, with the individual tournament planned at the same site three days later. There is no state tournament this season.