Entering the 10th frame with the CHSAA bowling championship on the line, Molloys Paul Cianciaruso wasnt nervous. He just did what Anthony Cosenfino and Vince Castellano did before him.
He bowled a strike.
Anthony Silva and Chris Rice followed suit as Molloy rallied to win its seventh city title in 10 years, beating Xaverian, 3-2, Jan. 14 at the Whitestone Lanes.
After dropping the opening game by just 16 pins, the Stanners finished strong to walk away with a relatively easy 60-pin victory and avenge a loss to the Clippers in the Brooklyn/Queens title match.
For me, nothing compares to the first one because it happened in the second year I was doing this, Molloy coach Vinny Leonardo said when asked how this title stacks up against the rest. But this year we came back, and that to me shows character.
Cianciaruso was the catalyst. After rolling a 210 in the first game, the junior from Bellerose recorded the highest score of the day, a 248 in the second game.
I was trying to help out my time as much as I can, especially for the seniors. I wanted them to get a championship in their last year, Cianciaruso said. I just did my best and focused as hard as I could.
Just as it did in a semifinal win over Salesian, Molloy (18-2) had to come from behind to defeat Xaverian. And once again, a little tweak to the lineup by Leonardo proved to be the difference.
After James Faro struggled in the opening game, rolling an uncharacteristic 147, Leonardo replaced him with Silva, who bowled a 191 in the second game.
You learn their shots and you learn what their good points and their bad points are, said Leonardo, who has led the Stanners to the championship match in all 10 of his years at the helm. My team is a very close-knit group.
Rice did not have his best match of his career, bowling a 211 in the opening game and a 157 in the second game, but the anchor knew someone else would help pick him up.
He came up big today, Rice said of Cianciaruso. He saved our butts today.
Molloy wins JV title. Just a few lanes down from the varsity team, the Molloy junior varsity squad also won the city title with a 5-0 win over Xaverian. Tom Byllardt bowled a 232, Evan Riccardi added a 202 and Brian Mercatante and Michael Menna were also stellar for the Stanners.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2004 Community News Group
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