Mike Lentini of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School bowling team is heading to the state individual championships.
Lentini bowled a team-high total score of 632 in a three-game series that placed him 20th overall when the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 sectional tournament at the Bowlero Bowl in North Brunswick on Saturday, February 11.
The top 25 individual finishers qualified for the state championships on Friday, February 24.
Meanwhile, as a team, Bridgewater-Raritan concluded a successful season by finishing in fifth place with a pin total of 2492 at the state sectional matches.
Lentini posted scores of 179 in Game 1 and 208 in Game 2, but capped off his team-best score of 245 in Game 3. In this game, he bowled five strikes in a row spanning the third through seventh frames, and he had two spares and six strikes after eight frames to begin this game.
Lentini then bowled a strike in the ninth frame and another strike to begin the final frame, which saw him close out his day with a spare to seal his individual state tournament berth with a three-game series score that was 14 pins over what ended up being the individual cutoff total of 618.
Including three strikes in a row spanning the third through fifth frames of Game 2: one of five turkeys throughout the day for Bridgewater-Raritan, Lentini finished with 19 strikes and nine spares overall on the day to lead the Panthers.
Bridgewater-Raritan senior Matt Ho was honored in a pregame ceremony along with all of his fellow bowlers from the Class of 2023 from all competing schools. He finished with a score of 401, which included a high game of 150 in a Game 1 that saw him bowl a turkey during the fifth, sixth, and seventh frames. In his final match for the Panthers, Ho ended his day with a total of four strikes and 10 spares.
Bridgewater-Raritan’s Joe Barron bowled a 442 in his three-game series, including a high game of 152 in his third and final game. He finished with five strikes and 14 spares on the day: two strikes and five spares alone in his aforementioned final game.
Fellow Panther Joe D’Elia finished with a 502, which included a high game of 203 in a Game 2 that saw him scorch out to a start of five strikes in six frames: four of these strikes in a row spanning the third through sixth frames. Barron finished with 15 strikes and six spares overall.
To round out the day for Bridgewater-Raritan, Zach Leon produced a three-game series of 515, including a team-high 188 in Game 1 that saw him bowl five strikes and four spares alone. He also finished with the remaining turkey for Bridgewater-Raritan that he rolled in between the fourth and sixth frames of his second game as part of 14 strikes and eight spares overall during his day.
Bridgewater-Raritan, coached by Kathie DeBonis, went 8-4 in its 2022-23 regular season and finished second in the Skyland Conference only behind Warren Hills (15-1), which rolled to the top spot in the North Jersey, Group 2 Sectional Championships with a three-game total of 2993 a day before the Panthers competed in their sectional championships.
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