The Arthur L. Johnson bowling team clinched their first NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2 Group 1 championship since 2014 on Friday at Jersey Lanes in Linden.
Johnson came out fighting and proved that they were ready to battle for the title. The Crusaders turned up the heat and by the end of the first game the Crusaders moved into first place, 11 pins a head of the pack, thanks to the solid performances by leadoff man “The Opener” Junior, Toan “Tom” Le’s 212 and the teams anchor Andrew Beach’s 224 games. Senior, Brandon Laraway and Junior, Evandro Galli contributed a 180 and a 176 to help pave the way.
During the 2nd game Johnson continued their hot streak when Toan Le’s bowled a 226, Junior, Nick Kelly’s threw a 220, Andrew Beach’s 204 and Evan Galli’s 190 games increased Johnsons 11 pin lead to an 87-pin lead over 2nd place Roselle High School.
Going into the third game the lane conditions worsened as the oil started to break down so Johnson bowlers began to struggle leaving more open frames than usual. The Crusaders saw its 87-pin lead going into the third game whittled down to just 37 pins but Crusaders were able to maintain their composure and refocus to hang onto the lead to win the championship. Tournament stand out Toan Le, once again, led the way with another 226.
“This year’s team has shown a tremendous growth from their averages to their spare shooting and at the state tournament this year all of their hard work and efforts paid off. I’m so proud of them all!” Said, Coach Michele Zaleski.
Johnson bowlers will continue onto the Team Group Finals which will be held Monday, February 12, 2018 @ Bowlero Lanes in North Brunswick.
Toan Le also qualified in sixth place with his 664 series and will compete in the State Individual Finals on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 in North Brunswick as well.