SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Sometimes you need a little help from your friends.
When the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake top bowlers were not at the best their lower average teammates stepped up Monday afternoon at Boulevard Lanes to propel the Spartans past friendly-rival Shenendehowa by more than 300 pins in Suburban Council action.
Two-handed right-hander Steve Peterson stepped up and rolled a 203-253-198 for a 654 series from his No. 4 spot on the squad and Steve Zarub in the No. 5 spot threw a 205-171-269 645 series to highlight the maroon mashing.
“I made a few mistakes I definitely could have worked on,” sophomore Steve Zarub said. “I adjusted throughout the third game, I moved a few boards to the left and it ended up working out. After that I tried to not think about it too much because I was doing relatively well. I was hitting my spares, finished a clean game.”
The 269 is a career-high for the bowler who just took up the sport two years ago.
“I really loved the sport from the beginning and I decided to stick with it,” Zarub said. “Every day is better than the other.”
His afternoon continued to help the Spartans improve to a near unblemished record.
“Throughout the season the team has been doing great, we're 6-1 and it's been amazing throughout the season,” Zarub said. “To help the team like that I'm really happy to play that role even though I'm No. 5, I'm really happy to have helped the team out.”
Peterson rolled the high for the match against the Plainsmen, sending pins scattering with his high rotation impact ball each time.
“I started bowling two years ago and for the first two years I did bowl one-handed but as my career went I just kept going down so I switched to two-handed over the summer,” Steve Peterson said. “For some reason I have better control and I just like the rotation more as it comes into the pocket.”
His first attempts over the summer were not as attractive as his consistency on Monday afternoon.
“The first couple times it went in the gutter, that's always a good place to start,” Peterson joked. “Eventually I just kept working on the technique and being able to get it straight off the flow and making sure I kept my hand behind it, making sure I keep my arm straight to know exactly where it is going every time.”
There is little doubt that Peterson’s ball is going to be in or near the pocket, utilizing a tight line over the third arrow each time Monday afternoon leading to a trio of four-baggers for the senior.
“I think it really helps because no one else has my line, so I know that the oil is going to do every single time,” Peterson said. “I can just keep hitting that mark and know how it's going to react every time.”
Burnt Hills racked up 3,563 pins against the young Shenendehowa squad with 3,234 and led by J.J. Bauer’s 182-195-224 601 series.
Braeden Mochrie kicked off the Plainsmen with the team-high 239 high game in the first before cooling down for a 589 series, but still managed three out of four individual points for his squad.
“We’re young, I don’t have a senior on this team with a lot of freshman, eighth-graders,” Shenendehowa coach Dan Cafarelli said. “Give us a year or two and we’ll be right in it.”
Peterson’s decision to switch to the two-finger, two-handed approach may have come out of pride, but it continues to help out the Spartans.
“At the time when I first switched I was not content with how I was bowling, I knew I could to better so it was more of a selfish choice,” Peterson said. “But as I've helped the team I've kind of realized it was a better choice for the team as well.”
The Spartans will take on another Saratoga County rival on Thursday, Saratoga Springs and continue to look at improving and bowling on their home lanes, the site of the Section II championships.
“It really helps to bowl on these lanes every day,” Peterson said. “Sometimes the oil patterns are off, so we practice on a lot of different oil patterns here. It just helps to cover all the grounds, between dry and really oily.”