CHEEKTOWAGA — Quinton Jones isn’t ready to end his high school bowling season just yet.
The Salamanca junior, MVP of the CCAA Div. III boys’ league, earned a spot on the Section 6 All-Star team and a trip to the state championships with his sectional performance on Wednesday at Airport Lanes.
Jones was ninth overall among 239 bowlers who hit the lanes on Wednesday for six rounds, but fifth among Section 6 All-Stars.
The first three all-stars come from the top three overall players, not counting those on Frontier and Maryvale, who won their divisions and will compete as a team at states. The next three all-stars needed to be “pool bowlers,” previously qualified for sectionals as an individual.
“It means so much to get to states and especially to make it individually,” Jones said. “I get to represent my hometown and I have come a long way from when I started for Salamanca back in my seventh grade year. Coach (Gene) Jankowski helped me along the way and has showed me what succeeding in bowling is all about.”
Finishing with a pin total of 1,329, Jones started strong on Wednesday with rounds of 236, 191 and 257 in the morning session, then finished with three solid games in the afternoon: 217, 212 and 216.
“Just for me to be consistent, stay positive and don’t overthink,” Jones said of his thinking during the sectional games. “I did exactly what I told myself and I succeeded. After every shot I analyzed my mark and the breaking point of the ball. I made adjustments from there.”
As a team, Salamanca finished second among 10 teams in Class D with a six-game total of 5,606, just 35 behind Class D winner JFK (5,641). Corey Gebauer was 35th overall (1,229).
Hinsdale finished sixth in Class D, led by Jamie Jimerson, who took 40th overall (1,208).
For Class C Pioneer, Gavin Haley was 61st overall (1,162).
“I have been to Sectionals 20 times, and today was a lot of fun to be a coach, and even more fun to be a Salamanca bowler,” Salamanca coach Gene Jankowski said. “The team got off to a great start in the first game with a 1000 game (200 average per bowler). The boys were making good shots and picking up their spares.”
Salamanca built a lead in Class D in the third game thanks to Jones (257), Wiltsie (230) and Gebauer (255)
“The WNY Athletics was broadcasting the updates right behind us, so I was hearing the play-by-play updates after each game,” Jankowski noted. “JFK finished strong with big games in games five and six, to catch us. The boys were very happy with the second place finish in Class D.”
Jankowski said he heard from the tournament director that Jones needed a 210 in his final game to make the sectional all-stars.
“With an open frame in the middle of the game, he needed a big finish to make it,” Jankowski said. “Quinton threw four in a row to end the game, and then we played the waiting game. It was pretty exciting when his name was announced. His teammates were just as excited for him as he was. It was nice to hear the cheers and the congrats from the other (CCAA) Div. 3 teams that waited around to see if he made it. Quinton and I have had multiple conversations about getting to states this year. It has been a goal of his (for) several years, so I know how much this means to him. The conversations have already shifted to states. We are not done yet.”
Section 6 championships continue today with the girls championships, also in two three-game sessions at Airport Lanes.
The NYSPHSAA bowling championships are set for March 11-13 at AMF Strike ‘N Spare Lanes in Syracuse.
“I want to make my hometown proud,” Jones noted. “Knowing that they are all behind me supporting me has been so helpful.”
Salamanca: Quinton Jones 236-191-257, 684, 217-212-216, 645; Jonathan Wiltsie 193-230, 569; Cole Urbanski 191-233, 547; Dekkyn Krantz 202,531; Corey Gebauer 210-202-255, 667, 193-190, 562.
Hinsdale: Austin Pinney 209-213, 584; Jon White 192-201; Jamie Jimerson 288, 629, 243-194, 579.