South Brunswick NJ boys bowling wins NJSIAA Tournament of Champions

NORTH BRUNSWICK — Winning the last Tournament of Champions capped a season of firsts for Mattox Lim and South Brunswick.

The Vikings earned the Group 4 championship and went on to defeat Jackson Memorial to win the Baker-format TOC final, 3 games to 1, at Wednesday’s NJSIAA boys bowling team finals.

South Brunswick claimed its first TOC title after losing to Jackson Liberty in the 2019 final. Lim bowled leadoff for the 211-181 victory that ended the day – a far cry from where the senior started as a varsity newcomer.

“I normally don’t take first-year seniors,” Vikings coach Kelly Forthun said. “But he came every day in the summer, and he worked, and he wanted to be part of the team. And he’s my only qualifier for the individual finals on Friday.”

South Brunswick coach Kelly Forthun accepts the Tournament of Champions trophy as bowlers (from left) Rivan Parikh, Om Mody and Julian Vazquez join the celebration.  The Vikings defeated Jackson Memorial in the TOC final, 3-1, at the NJSIAA boys bowling team tournament on Wednesday, Feb.  16, 2022 at Bowlero North Brunswick.

Lim took a liking to the lanes because of the similarities to his other sport.

“I play baseball, and like bowling, you just have to be able to repeat [motions],” he said. “It’s just, clear your head and move on from whatever problems you’re facing.”

What it means

Each group champion captured a second state title in the past decade: South Brunswick (2019), Group 3 Jackson Memorial (2013), Group 2 Montville (2014) and Group 1 Roselle Park (2016).

Montville led wire-to-wire, scoring a 2,828 thanks in part to a 604 series by senior Evan Spitzberg.

“Our programs are relatively young,” Mustangs coach Rick Crescente said. “We started in 2013, and here we are less than 10 years later, and it’s our second group championship. So, I couldn’t be prouder for our guys or for the program.”

Montville bowlers prepare to hoist the trophy with coach Rick Crescente after winning the program's first state championship since 2014. NJSIAA boys bowling team tournament on Wednesday, Feb.  16, 2022 at Bowlero North Brunswick.

The Morris County runners-up bowed to Jackson Memorial in one TOC semifinal, 3-1, while South Brunswick held off Roselle Park in the other, 3-2 – with a 161-160 win in Game 2 of the series.

The NJSIAA has announced it will scrap the Tournament of Champions for all sports after this school year – although boys bowling has enjoyed plenty of recent parity in the event, with 10 different champs in 15 tries.

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