Freshman Sydney Scelfo has stepped right into a significant role for Brick Township High School’s girls bowling team.
And when she said she had to miss the Brick Tournament on Jan. 16 because of an important commitment to her main pursuit — a dance recital — it raised some concerns.
“She’s been dancing for her entire life, so she was committed to it,” Brick Township coach Linda Sarraf said of Scelfo, who is third on the team in average. “I was not sure how well we would perform, but sometimes you have to make a decision, and the girls understood that.”
Instead, Brick Township rallied around Kaitlyn Nardiello and Katarina Kiseli and won the 24th annual Brick Tournament for only the third time, the first since 2007, at Ocean Lanes. Brick Township finished third last year. Nardiello ended with the highest game and series, a 278 opening game and a 726 series.
“It felt amazing,” Nardiello said. “The team kept cheering me on, and they relaxed me. Playing in my home surroundings made me feel great.”
Kiseli followed with a 629 series off a 237 opening game as Brick Township led from start to finish with a 2,930 series that was 18 pins ahead of Manchester. Brick Memorial was third with 2,837 pins as Johna DeMont led the way with 203 and 235 games in a 610 series, and Kelly Nicosia had a 586 series that started with a 217 game and ended with a 197.
It was the second tournament victory, with the team also winning the Westfield Tournament back in early December.
“I thought they did absolutely fantastic,” Sarraf said. “I’m thrilled. They started off exceptionally well, better than you’d consider with a couple of girls we had with us who had not been on the varsity roster, and they all did well. Considering we were missing one of our very strong bowlers, I can’t be anything but pleased.”
Brick Township has the three top bowlers in Shore Conference A South, which it leads by one game over Manchester coming into this week. Nardiello leads the way at 204, followed by Kiseli at 201 and Scelfo at 200.
“Our team is actually stronger than last year,” Nardiello said. “That includes me, too. I’m more consistent.”
The Green Dragons won the NJSIAA Group III championship last year.
Nardiello praised Bri Krause, a junior who has played a few games, and Emily Robertson, a sophomore who has seen spot action. They contributed to the title with regulars Ashley Lane, who finished off her 589 series with games of 215 and 197, and Madison Lukosius, who saved her best game for last when her 195 picked up her series to a 517.
“Bri and Emily made a lot of spares,” Nardiello said. “They bowled well. And Katarina has that power shot in the pocket. Winning this has helped us get ready for the big tournaments at the end and shows us what we need to work on.”
Kaitlyn Nardiello 278-234-214, 726
Ashley Lane 177-215-197, 589
Madison Lukosius 170-152-195, 517
Briann Krause 132-148-140, 420
Emily Robertson/Jillian Olsen 177-152-
Katarina Kiseli 237-191-201, 629
Team Total 1039-944-947, 2930
Kelly Nicosia 217-172-197, 586
Amanda Romano 137-162-127, 426
Kirsten Mazurek 209-157-178, 544
Johna DeMont 203-235-172, 610
Corinne Maher 170-212-181, 563
Jordyn DeMont 173-169-187, 529
Team Total 972-950-915, 2837
Girls High Game
1. Kaitlyn Nardiello, Brick Township, 278; 2. Nicole Chanin, Sparta, 258; 3. Jackie Martin, Jackson Liberty, 247; and Chloe Krumeich, Manchester, 247.
Girls High Series
1. Kaitlyn Nardiello, Brick Township, 726; 2. Victoria DiGiamo, Freehold Township, 644; 3. Chloe Krumeich, Manchester, 635.
1. Brick Township, 2930; 2. Manchester, 2912; 3. Brick Memorial, 2837; 4. Jackson Liberty, 2731; 5. Howell, 2729; 6. Toms River South, 2544; 7. Jackson Memorial, 2530; 8. Monsignor Donovan, 2514; 9. Pinelands, 2495; 10. Keyport, 2379; 11. Freehold Township, 2344; 12. Toms River East, 2342; 13. Central Regional, 2296; 14. Toms River North, 2288; 15. Southern Regional, 2171.