Mustangs’ coach bowled over by team’s performance


Brick Memorial High School’s bowling team has had some great performances and great seasons, including last year’s NJSIAA Group IV championship squad.

But veteran coach Mike Russomano said he never saw anything like his team’s performance when they repeated as champions in the 24th annual Brick Tournament at Ocean Lanes on Jan. 16 behind Dominick Romano.

Thirty-three boys teams competed.

“They did absolutely incredible, the best I’ve ever seen of my team,” Russomano said.

His team smashed a 3,573 total in the morning session, a number believed to be the highest in the state this season. Brick Township High School finished in second place in the tournament with 3,269 pins bowling in the afternoon session behind a 300 game from Matt Barros. The Green Dragons’ girls team won the team title.

“This year’s scores for my team are higher in league play than ever, averaging about 1,110 pins,” said Russomano, whose team leads Shore Conference A South at 34- 2, eight games ahead of Brick Township and Manchester.

Romano reeled off his highest series of the season, a 751, and rolled a 290 in his final game, both highs for the tournament. His previous highs this season were a 727 series and a 278 game.

“He was awesome all day long,” Russomano said of Romano, who also smacked games of 224 and 237.

“I felt good,” Romano said. “It probably was one of the bigger tournaments of the season, and we really wanted to win, and I tried my best, too. We gave it our all. I just really tried to focus and make sure I made all the spares, which gave our team a chance to win.

“After the first game, I felt I struggled a little, and in the second game I started picking it up, and that’s when I knew it would be a good day,”‘ he added. “That 2004 team was outstanding, and I hope we can do what they did. Just to be on the same [level] with them is great.”‘

Dominick Luongo was just 10 pins off that blistering pace and his 741, which was three pins better than his previous high series this season. Luongo finished it off with a 268 third game. Franklin DiGiacomo, who smashed a 300 game two weeks ago, chipped in a 731 series off a 277 opening game. With six bowlers allowed to compete and the lowest of the six scores dropped, Robert Sirks stepped into the lineup and came up with a 650 series and Brandon Barboza struggled with spares and splits at times, but salvaged a 644 series. Matt Clarke finished his 591 series with a 224.

DiGiacomo leads A South with a 224 average, with three teammates in the next four spots — Barboza at 222, Luongo at 221 and Clarke at 213. DiGiacomo upped that average on Jan. 14, with a sizzling 826 off games of 290, 278 and 258 as Brick Memorial swept Brick Township. Barboza contributed a 668 series.

As for Brick Township in the Brick Tournament, Matt Barros never appeared in danger of losing his bid for a perfecto midway through his 663 series. Joe Vescio was a study of consistency as his team-high 668 series came off games of 215, 255 and 218. T.J. Contino opened his 668 series with a 289 game.

“Every single shot was in the pocket,” coach Cara Lukosius said of Barros, who also rolled a 300 in practice early in the season. “He started his day with a 170, and I just looked at him and said, ‘You know what you need to do.’ He’s serious about his game and puts in a lot of work and has a personal coach. If anyone deserved it, he did. He has been erratic, and this comes at a good time.”

Brick Township has a big week, with a showdown against Manchester slated for Jan. 19 and a return match against Brick Memorial on Wednesday that starts the final third of the season, and a match against Toms River East on Friday.
The scores:
Brick Memorial “A”
Brandon Barboza 222-215-207, 644
Matt Clark 198-169-224, 591
Franklin DiGiacomo 277-238-216, 731
Robert Sirks 247-235-168, 650
Dominick Romano 224-237-290, 751
Domenick Luongo 244-229-268, 741
Team Total 1214-1154-1205, 3573
Brick Township “A”
Joe Vescio 215-255-218, 688

Doug Scelfo 197-204-171, 572
Matt Barros 170-300-193, 663
Nick Salerno 192-171-186, 549
John Boor 205-211-225, 641
T.J. Contino 289-177-202, 668
Team Total 1098-1147-1024, 3269
Brick Township “B”
Will Marcrie 163-258-209, 630
Zack Fernandez 180-167-176, 523
Alex Lam 144-121-202, 467
David Drobny 185-199-156, 540
Matt Fenley 222-187-172, 581
Team Total 894-932-915, 2741

Boys High Game

1. Matt Barros, Brick Township 300; 2. Joe Picone, Monsignor Donovan 296, 3. Dominick Romano, Brick Memorial 290

Boys High Series

1. Dominick Romano, Brick Memorial 751, 2. Domenick Luongo, Brick Memorial 741, 3. Mike Cardella, Manalapan 732


1. Brick Memorial “A,” 3573; 2. Brick Township “A,” 3269; 3. Eastern, 3204; 4. Manalapan, 3185; 5. Howell, 3173; 6. Sparta, 3141; 7. Roselle Catholic, 3121; 8. Jackson Liberty, 3116; 9. Toms River North, 3086; 10. Point Pleasant Borough, 3071; 11. Manchester, 3012; 12. Monsignor Donovan, 2994; 13. Brick Memorial “B,” 2989; 14.Toms River East, 2981; and 15. Keansburg, 2979.