With five medals from her three previous trips to the New York State Public High School bowling championships, Angela Gabriele walked into her fourth and final high school bowling event on Sunday morning as the most decorated striker – boy or girl – representing Section VI.
Two trips have come when her Niagara Falls teams won sectional titles. The other two appearances came on the All-Section team, including Sunday.
Although she had the second-highest individual score at the lunch break, a lackluster finale kept the Niagara Falls senior from another medal. But Gabriele placed highest among the Western New York competitors in the sectional team portion on the final day of the tournament at AMF Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga. She finished sixth with 1,155 pins for a 192.50 average.
Though it was her final meet, it was easier for the Wolverine to not let that bother her.
“It kind of hit me hard but I wasn’t as nervous as I was in previous years,” said Gabriele, who has earned three gold medals, a silver and a bronze in her run at states. “I was more anxious for it to start.”
Gabriele helped Section VI win it all last winter but it was Section II (Capital District) that won the All-Section girls title this year with a score of 5,778.
Section VI was seventh with a 5,400 at Airport where more than 1,000 attended the two-day spectacle that returned to Western New York for the first time in 10 years.
Gabriele shot 633 on games of 204, 226 and 203 for second place in the morning.
She held on to second with games of 185 and 180 before a 157 dropped her outside the top five.
“The afternoon just tightened up on me,” she explained. “I couldn’t find the right ball at the right time. By the time I found the right ball it was too late.”
Frontier’s Brittany McAndrews was next for Section VI at 1,100 pins after watching her brother, Griffin, compete on Saturday in the team championships. Depew teammates Sarah Godfrey (Sportsmanship Award winner) and Rachel Wagner, Maryvale’s Kayli Christ and Cameron Spring of Allegany-Limestone also competed.
“I know they wanted to do better but they put in their best effort,” said Section VI coach Jessica Mamon, coach at Williamsville South.
After winning silver medals last winter, Nate Maloney of Niagara-Wheatfield and West Seneca West’s Andrew Burckhalter led the boys to an eighth-place total of 5,735.
Section XI (Suffolk County) earned gold at 6,456 over a tough field that featured a perfect game.
Maloney shot 1,179 while Burckhalter posted a 1,115 in a day coach Bill Rodgers thought the team did not perform to its capabilities. South Park’s Thomas Kowal III led the way with 1,183.
“They didn’t have great days but they bowled well,” said Rodgers, who coaches at Niagara Falls.
The Section VI boys were in the lane beside Section I (Westchester) when Brandon Smith shot his 300 right before intermission.
“It’s our biggest stage for high school bowling. To do that here is something special,” Rodgers noted.
Thomas Klenke of Orchard Park, Josh Large of Tonawanda and Sportsmanship Award recipient Joe Scapillato of Depew filled out the Section VI boys lineup.