BOWLING: Lions of the lanes! Lessard defends CIAC crown

NEWINGTON — A team of local high school bowlers from Plainville’s Lessard Lanes are King Pins again.

Nathaniel Lund, Joey Stango, Stone Bouchard, Sean Buck and Jeff Wasieleueski combined to win the 2022 CIAC state bowling championship at Newington’s Callahan’s Bowl-O-Rama over the weekend. 

The team sponsored by Lessard Lanes won its second straight state title, repeating as champions after winning the 2020 title. The CIAC didn’t hold a state tournament in 2021 due to COVID.

In 2020, Lessard Lanes captured the CIAC title with five different bowlers who have since graduated from high school.

This year’s team is poised to make it three in a row next year. Three members of the winning team will be back next year.

The 2022 group features Sean Buck, who at age 15 was among the youngest bowlers in Saturday’s competition. Buck is a freshman at Southington High School.

Wasieleueski is just a sophomore at Plainville High School, while Stango is a junior at Waterbury’s Career Magnet.

Bouchard and Lund are seniors who will graduate this spring from Newington High and Bristol Central.

“Just a great job by these five boys today,” said Lessard Lanes coach Tony Provenzano. “They calmed their nerves, threw some clutch shots and walked away with a state championship.”

It was Provenzano’s second straight title, as he coached the 2020 title team. His father-in-law, Mike Potoski, also coached this year’s Lessard Lanes team.

Bowling in a Baker format, with each of the five bowlers alternating frames, the team averaged 188 after 10 games to qualify as the top seed among 22 other teams from around the state.

Lessard amassed 1,882 pins in qualifying — 137 better than No. 2 seed Norwich.

In the title game, Lessard Lanes beat Norwich 213-164. Norwich had defeated Fairfield Prep in the semifinals. The top three teams advanced to a stepladder match-play after 10 games. 

Without a sanctioned high school bowling team in the area, boys and girls from area high schools teamed up on three separate Lessard Lanes teams.

Lessard Lanes’ other two teams finished seventh and 11th.

Also participating on teams from Lessard Lanes were Southington High junior Chace Krenke, Cyanne Markum, Antonio Melnin Kaitis, Briana Provenzano, Skyler Scott, Noah Cyr, MaryKate Stango, Matt Riccio, Dylan Mange and Kole Kareliussen.


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