The Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials have been perhaps the hottest Suburban One League Continental/American team since returning from winter break. It’s a shame the conference season is based on 14 matches, not half the slate. If the second half counted instead of the first, PW would be in position to contend for a conference title.
PW’s second-half surge continued with a 4-0 (2,608-2,384) victory against host Upper Moreland on Jan. 28 at Thunderbird Lanes in Willow Grove. The Colonials had come off a hard-fought 3.5-0.5 home triumph against Pennridge the day before at Facenda Whitaker Lanes in East Norriton.
By sweeping the Bears, PW improves to 38.5-17.5 overall and 33.5-14.5 in the conference. Three hole Jake Newell led the Colonials with a 554 series, including a 266 game. Upper Moreland four hole Vince Isabella paced the Bears with a 210 game and 550 series.
Sean Stone, Upper Moreland’s two hole, didn’t hit the head pin on approximately 60 percent of his first rolls. Throwing the ball onto the lanes at close to 30 feet in the air probably explains the 136, 100, and 108 he contributed (344 series).
You most likely wouldn’t have believed the Colonials could keep the ball rolling from their performances in the first two games. The first game, an 833-807 PW win, came down to the final frame for both anchors- PW’s Dom Procaccino and Upper Moreland’s John Searles. Game two looked like a struggle to recognize the oil pattern as the Colonials pulled out a 797-735 triumph.
Searles would be expected to post 200 a game, but he rolled uncharacteristic sets of 149 and 175 before the third. Procaccino, who entered the match with three straight 600-plus series, mustered 168 and 192 in games one and two. Upper Moreland three hole AJ Borell had the highest score in game one (181), but he didn’t get into a groove the next game and rolled 132.
As for the third game, life returned to the Colonials, resulting in a 972-842 victory. PW two-handed leadoff Matt Amadio tallied 197 and teammate Sean Diorio notched 189.
But the third-game spotlight completely belonged to Newell. After compiling 150 and 138 in the first two games, he looked like the bowler who led all participants at the Dec. 2015 Snowroller Showdown with a 745 series. The first nine franes in this final set were all strikes.
Thanks to a ricochet after not initially hitting the head pin in the eighth frame, Newell entered the 10th needing three strikes from PW’s first perfect game since Jan. 31, 2012 (Julius Selfinger) and third overall. However, the 10th roll left the four and seven pins, resulting in an arousing applause from the spectators, which included Newell’s father. Newell was unable to knock down both pins to finish with 266, 23 short of his personal best (289).
It’s hard to believe PW currently holds the second spot in Continental/American. During the first six conference battles, the Colonials were 12-12 and averaged 885.22 a game. Since then, PW has been 21.5-2.5 while averaging close to 920 a set.
Two Continental/American matches remain for PW, and it’s important to finish strong in order for the Colonials to potentially qualify for the March 5 Eastern Pa. regional tournament. The Colonials are slated to host conference leader North Penn at Facenda Whitaker on Feb. 1 for Senior Day. PW then heads back to Willow Grove on Feb. 3 to face Upper Dublin.
This match was originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 25, but both schools were closed due to the aftermath from the Blizzard of 2016. Winners of six consecutive matches, the Colonials won the season series against the Bears, 5-3. Upper Moreland defeated PW, 3-1 (2,787-2,657), on Dec. 16 at Facenda Whitaker.
PW 833 797 972= 2,608 
UM 807 735 842= 2,384 
Matt Amadio 175-150-197= 522
Sean Diorio 167-148-189= 504
Jake Newell 150-138-266= 554
John Hansel 179-169-150= 498
Dom Procaccino 168-192-170= 530
Shane Leister 170-159-129= 458
Sean Stone 136-100-108=344
AJ Borell 181-132-202= 515
Vince Isabella 171-169-210= 550
John Searles 149-175-193= 517