By Tim Leonard – Staff Writer The Record

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Jake Rollins said he was happy, but his facial expression and body language betrayed his words. The Glen Rock junior helped his team to a second-place finish in Group 2 at the state boys bowling team finals Friday at Carolier Lanes, but Rollins and all of the Panthers were left feeling like they could have done more.

Glen Rock finished with a 3,166 series, but that spectacular three-game total left the Panthers just 29 pins behind group champion Ewing. Glen Rock needed to make up a 71-pin deficit in the final game, but Ewing managed to hang on to a lead that was built on the strength of a 1,161 in the first game.

“We bowled good. They just bowled better,” Rollins said of Ewing. “I’m happy about it, but it’s tough to lose by that much. I’m happy about fifth [in Wednesday’s individual final] and second, but winning is always nice, too.”

Lyndhurst was decidedly more pleased with its second-place finish in Group 1. After graduating three starters from the team that was third here last season, the Golden Bears managed to improve on that with a revamped lineup.

Sophomore Jordan Lopez led Lyndhurst with a 665 series. Senior Lexus Lopez, who will bowl for national power Fairleigh Dickinson next season, had a 638, which included a 234 in the final game of her high school career. Massimo Sarracino chipped in with a 563.

“Coming in second place is outstanding down here,” said Lyndhurst coach Michael Rizzo. “The kids all bowled well. I told them that if we bowl our best and lose, there’s nothing we can do about that.”