LINDEN, NJ -- Isabella Fuentes came up with the greatest performance of her career and made history when she became the first girl from Union Catholic to win the individual bowling title at the Union County Championships on Wednesday at Jersey Lanes.
Fuentes, a senior who placed third last year, rolled a career high series of 666 in the opening round to advance to the final. In the final, Fuentes rolled a 201 to defeat defending champion Ashley Noel of Elizabeth (178).
Fuentes, who was in fourth place after Monday's first round, made a big comeback on Wednesday when she rolled games of 245, 194 and 227 for her career high 666.
"I was really nervous at first because I knew I was behind by 60-70 pins, but I also knew that I really wanted to win it this year after being third last year,'' said Fuentes. "Winning the title was something I've wanted really bad and felt like I just needed to win. So I was very motivated to bowl my best.''
Fuentes had to overcome a strong start by Noel in the final.
"In the final, she started off with a strike and spare before I even went, so that made me nervous,'' said Fuentes. "I started off with a strike, but then my next frame had I had a split and didn't get the spare. You need to start off well usually to finish well, so I was worried that it was over already. But then I kept getting spare after spare and didn't leave anything open the rest of the game. She missed spares in the fourth and the ninth frames, so that's when I started to build a lead and get more confident.''
Fuentes said to bowl the best series of her life when it mattered most means everything to her.
"Winning this county title is the biggest thing that's happened to me, so to come through in the clutch the way I did is what I'm most proud of,'' said Fuentes.