Niagara Gazette — CHEEKTOWAGA — "889." That's was what was quietly spoken among spectators. It was the number of pins the Niagara Falls High School girls bowling team needed to drop in order to win the Section VI championship at Thruway Lanes in Cheektowaga Friday.
The Wolverines reached that number and then some, knocking down 940 pins in their sixth and final game to overtake North Tonawanda and punch their ticket to Long Island for the state championship.
It capped off a long day that began with North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls in first and second place, respectively, after one game. By the time all schools finished their third game and headed into the lunch break, the Lady Jacks remained in first by a slim lead but Niagara Falls had fallen to third.
It was when the afternoon games got rolling that Niagara Falls found itself back in the hunt.
"They were awesome the last game, actually the last two games," said Niagara Falls bowling coach Ed Ventry. "They just don't give up. They know that if they just keep doing their thing, eventually they'll get there."
Angela Gabriele led Niagara Falls bowlers in the opening game with a 234. She surged late in her opening game, rolling a strike in the ninth frame then turning it into a turkey with two more strikes to open her 10th frame, finishing with a final roll that dropped all but one pin.
The sophomore also delivered two big games in the afternoon session, rolling a 214 in the fourth game and a 201 in the sixth and final game.
"We normally don't worry about the morning half because it kind of just determines where we are, standings wise," said Gabriele, who also finished the Niagara Frontier League season with its top average at 206.19. "The second half is when you just buckle down and make sure we get the job done."