Winning combination for women’s champs; two share open crown

Published Jul 17, 2017 at 4:06pm

A new combination proved to be a winning combination Sunday at the 44th annual World Series of Bocce.

The Vescio’s Franklin Hotel team clinched the women’s division championship narrowly over the Liquor Express team, in a match which ended 16-12 at the Toccolana Club.

Coming out of the winners bracket, Franklin Hotel needed only one win over Liquor Express, who came out of the losers bracket, to claim the championship. Franklin Hotel scored the last four points of the match for the win.

Cheryl Iacone secured the team’s winning point, remarking “it was intense.” Teammate Anne Marie Zakala agreed — “It was incredible.”  

Zakala said tensions were high at the finish. “She (Iacone) went to shoot and told me to get off the court. She said she knew what she was going to do,” Zakala recalled.

“I felt it,” Iacone confirmed.

This year was the first for the team’s new lineup, which in addition to Iacone and Zakala, featured Dianna Cianfrocco and Irene Panara.

The group had played together in the past, but this year’s World Series lineup proved to be a winning combination.

Franklin Hotel won $2,200 for placing first.

The Liquor Express team, which garnered $1,000, was proud to place second, and also thanked sponsors and organizers.

“We did very well,” said team member Kim Luczak.  

The Liquor Express team is made up of sisters Luczak, Tammy DiMezzo, Robin Lanzi and Kristin Ciotti, for whom the World Series of Bocce is an annual event.

“This weekend is a great family tradition for us,” Luczak said. “It’s a nice chance to celebrate our Italian traditions. We had a lot of fun this year.”

Liquor Express advanced to the championship by beating Mike’s Detail Shop, which finished third. Mike’s Detail Shop consisted of Christina Emmanuele, Brooke Kopek, Danielle Pauba and Jenna Zakala.

Rouding out the top 10 in the women’s division were NYE Automotive, fourth; Mich Ultra, fifth; CA Kaplan Real Estate, sixth; SMS, seventh; Vacca Financial, eighth; Kirch Hardware, ninth and Team Elly No. 1 General Lumber, 10th.

The final match for the open division took an unexpected turn when teams Pontelandolfo and East Haven No. 10, another Connecticut team, opted to share the championship prize money and head back home early. First place received $7,000 and second place was $3,500.

Pontelandolfo came out the winners bracket undefeated and received first-place trophies, while East Haven No. 10 came out of the losers bracket and received second-place trophies.

World Series organizer Mike Ferlo accepted the decision and thanked the teams for their participation.

“They’re both from Connecticut, and they want to get back on the road,” Ferlo explained. “I don’t blame them.”

​The open division tournament semifinals came to a close with the Jet Cleaners team losing to Connecticut’s East Haven No. 10. Jet Cleaners, which consisted of Roberto Botticelli, Aaron Breault, Scot Ceravolo and Justin Cortese, placed third and won $2,000.

“We didn’t have a great final game, but we played a very competitive series,” Cortese said. “We’re happy to be the final Rome team.”

The loss late in the tournament represented an evolution for the team, according to Cortese. “It’s our first time making it all the way to Sunday.”

Breault was also happy with his team’s finish.

“I want to thank my teammates. It was a great tournament,” he said.

“The Toccolana Club did an outstanding job, and congrats to the winners.”

Rounding out the top 10 in the open division were ABV Contractors, fourth; NEO Bocce, fifth; May Field No. 1, sixth; New York Sash, seventh; Utica’s Finest Barbershop No. 2, eighth; DCI, ninth and Turin Technologies, 10th.

Guy Ferlo, Alfred “Pops” Magnanti, Edward Marsh Jr. and Edward Marsh III teamed up to win the “Best of the Rest” tournament on Sunday. Ferlo, 91, and Magnanti, 93, are two of the oldest members of the Toccolana Club.

Ferlo and fellow organizer Russell Johnson praised the weekend’s high turnout, which they estimated at about 10,000 spectators.

“This year was a great success. Thanks as always to all of our sponsors,” Johnson added.