Striking season for Malverne bowlers


The Malverne boys’ bowling team made history this winter.
The Mules won their fifth straight conference title last month and became the first boys’ bowling team in school history to qualify for the county tournament as it will battle Seaford, Wheatley and Clarke for the small schools championship at Garden City Lanes this Saturday.
Malverne compiled a 129-3 mark this season after going 110-22 a year ago. In high school bowling, instead of won-loss records, three points are awarded to the winner for each individual game and whichever team has the highest pin count during that day’s three-game set earns another two.
But the top four small schools qualify for the postseason tourney based on team average instead of record, and the vast improvement of some of the Mules this season finally put them in the field ahead of Island Trees, which always seemed to get by Malverne in recent years.
“[It was more] consistency,” Bacardi said. “Last year, we had one bowler that was around that 160 [average] mark and then the supporting cast was like 120 averages. We just didn’t have the talent to get that average to a high enough spot.”

The battle between the Mules and Island Trees again came to the final games, and Malverne came up clutch when it mattered most with a season-high team series of 2,240 in the finale against Hempstead on Jan. 17 to clinch the berth. Senior Cameron Lewis led with a 618 series, followed by senior Javier Fuentes (553) and juniors Gavin Huertas (535) and Gennaro Izzo (534).
That gave Malverne a 672.6 final team average, while Island Trees finished at 669.8.
The Mules’ best game of the season was 816, which also came against Hempstead on Dec. 19. Fuentes shot a season-high 247 in that game.
Huertas, who clung to a roster spot last season, paced the team with a 176 average on the season. Rookie Izzo was second at 165, three better than Fuentes, and Lewis (160) and junior John Karam (155) rounded out the top five.
Those numbers even surprised coach Andrew Biscardi.
“Yeah, definitely a surprise,” he said. “Two of my players started bowling last year. They went from a 110 last year average to a 160 this year. And they’re my lacrosse guys, so they’re really not bowlers, but they just wanted to be around the team and ended up catching on to it.”
One of them is Lewis, who Biscardi described as one of the most consistent performers on the team. Lewis recorded the highest score of any Mule at 248 and the best individual series with 618. The other, Huertas, was constantly practicing last offseason and his hard work paid off and greatly benefited the team.
Karam had a hot start to the season and his numbers each game were almost always good enough to give the Mules the deciding points. Junior Jalen Miles-Bethea was another solid contributor to the team and Biscardi believes he can make an impact again next season.