Bowlers in Striking Distance

    The East Hampton High School bowling team by virtue of its 23-10 win over Rocky Point at the Port Jefferson lanes Monday jumped from fourth to second place in league competition.
    “We were flat in the first game — we never bowl well at Port Jeff — but we buckled down and adjusted and came back to win the second and third games,” said Bonac’s coach, Pat Hand. “Besides those games, we got the team high game, and total wood too.”
    In other recent action, the bowlers, who are led by two seniors, Andrew Payne and Ricky Nardo, defeated Southold 29.5-3.5, defeated Southampton 28-5, lost 17-16 to Eastport-South Manor, which was in first place going into Tuesday’s matches, and lost 25.5-7.5 to Westhampton Beach.
    In the match with Southampton, which was contested on lanes in Riverhead, Payne was on his way to a 300 when, in the 10th frame, his ball left the 4, 7, and 10 pins standing. “It’s a makeable split,” said Hand, “but hard to make. Andrew got the 4 and the 7, but left the 10.” As a consequence, he finished with a 265.
    Payne, who was averaging 194 going into Monday’s match, and who also has bowled a 232, said he felt the ball slip out of his hand in the last frame.
    “Nobody has bowled a 300 for us since Ryan Rhodes and Erick Bock the better part of a decade ago,” the coach said. “Not even Mikey [Graham, an all-state bowler with the highest average in Suffolk County when in high school here]. Though he did bowl a 300 in practice.”
    Concerning her lineup, Hand said she has Payne as the anchor, at number-five, Nardo as her number-four, and Chris Duran, a junior, in the number-one slot. “Then,” she said, “I fill in.”
    Among those on the squad she can choose from, and often does, are six girls, the most the team’s ever had. Gaby Green, a junior, who’s averaging 170, and Victoria Nardo, Ricky’s sister, also a junior, who’s averaging 140, often start. Green has bowled a 204 game. Brianna Semb, a junior, bowled a 186 in Monday’s match.
    East Hampton was to have played host to Mount Sinai Tuesday at East Hampton Bowl. Eastport-South Manor and Westhampton Beach were to have vied on Tuesday also.