TELFORD — With only one league loss this season, the North Penn team has solidified its place at the top of the Suburban One League standings. Behind the senior leadership of Steven Gerhart, who leads the league in average, and the continually impressive performance by the freshman Tyler Sharpe, the Knights are ready to don the crown.
Against Norristown on Monday afternoon, the Knights, who haven't trailed too often this season, found themselves behind twice and both times rallied to victory in a clean sweep of the visiting Eagles.
"We have one senior leader and a bunch of young talent on this team,' said Knights' coach Don "Saddle' Stadnycki. "We faced some real pressure in the 10th frame, but we played well enough to win.'
The Eagles, who have three players in the top-15 in average in the SOL — Dylan Copestick, Brandon Bonamico and Justin Carneavale — were hungry for the upset. However, the slim leads held by the Eagles were quickly eviscerated by the Knights, who Eagles left open frames and threw strikes in the ninth and 10th frames.
"(They) are great competitors,' said Gerhart, who rolled a series of 686. "We needed to work hard for the win today.'
Norristown simply fumbled late in the first game while the Knights surged behind Gerhart, who struck in five-straight frames to end the game. North Penn was the clear victor in the second game, but the Eagles took the opportunity to relax and play their game.
Save for anchor Bonamico, who started with the best game of the day with a 264 — which will place him in the top five in the area for high game — every player on the team had their best game of the day during the third try. It could have been a combination of the oil on the lanes wearing down, as the Eagles have become accustomed to bowling at Facenda Whitaker, or simply a more relaxed spirit, but the Eagles bowled far and away their best game to end the day.
However, Gerhart again stymied the Eagles' late surge with four straight strikes to defeat Norristown 968 to 960.
"Steven really grew into his game this year, he's fully blossomed into the anchor for our team,' Saddle said.
Gerhart expressed his joy of working in the anchor spot. With a cool head and a smooth release, his is both the skilled bowler and calm-minded athlete that the team needs in that spots, and it has both helped him roll the best game of his career as well as put North Penn in the forefront of SOL bowling.
"I'm just thankful for the help from my coach,' Gerhart said. "I'm having a great season and I'm proud of my guys.'
On the girls side, the Eagles took game one in a 802-731 victory, but fell in the next two and trailed in total pins to go down 3-1 in the series. Emily Kinsey led the Eagles with a three-game total of 562, about four pins below her average.
Norristown will return to action on Wednesday against Upper Dublin, while the Knights will travel to Abington.