Maryvale’s division title made sweeter by beating Cheektowaga
The Lady Flyers and Cheektowaga Lady Warriors both came into Airport Lanes 10-1 on Feb. 4 with the ECIC North Small Schools division title on the line.
After a close Game One from the “A” and “B” teams, Maryvale took the remaining matches decisively, beating Cheektowaga 6-1 to earn its third straight division championship.
“It was phenomenal to have everything on the line between us and Central,” said coach Joe Hannon. “I know they’ve really been after us the last couple years to try to knock us off.”
Their mid-season loss to Tonawanda is their only division loss in the three regular seasons Joe Hannon has been at Maryvale.
“Going undefeated this season was our goal, but it’s still nice to win the division,” said senior Melanie Hannon. “That loss to Tonawanda made us work that much harder.”
“Going into the year, I thought there was a possibility that we could lose a match,” said Joe Hannon. “It didn’t shock me when we got upset by Tonawanda. But I was still confident that we could win out down the stretch.”
In the biggest game of the year, Melanie put on a clutch performance, shooting 719 for a 239 average, bringing her season average up to 223.
“She’s just been incredible all year,” said her coach. “What a way to go out; her senior year in her last division match against her division rivals with the division on the line. Her bowling great and us winning the match and the division is an incredible way to go out.”
The “B” Team had arguably their best performance of the year against Cheektowaga. Senior Rachel Hermanski beat her career high twice, shooting a 501 for the match.
“We were neck-and-neck with them until we started cheering more, being loud and obnoxious,” said Hermanski, who is bowling for the first time this season because basically she was bored in the winter. “We got under their skin and took that to our advantage.”
Another first time kegler is senior Kalina Rumph, who had no idea that she was joining a team full of talented and friendly competitors.
“They’re really good,” said Rumph. “I didn’t really know any of the girls, but when I started to open up they were really nice.”
Admitting that it is an emotional ride from here on out, Melanie Hannon, a four-time All-Section VI Team honoree, said she would trade in a fifth for one final shot at the state championship.
“Since it’s my senior year, I really want to go with my team as opposed to being on the All-Section team,” said Melanie. “But I’ll probably be crying no matter what happens, since this is my last time anyway.”
The Section VI Tournament will take place on Feb. 14 at Thruway Lanes, where Maryvale looks to avenge a loss to Niagara Falls last season and advance to the State Tournament for the second time in three years.
“That’s the goal from this point on,” Joe Hannon said. “I definitely feel the team is stronger and has worked harder this year. Because of last year‘s failure, I think we’re in a better position to make a run and get to states this year.”