ROARING BROOK TWP. — Two, too good.
Scranton Prep and Abington Heights left no doubt in the team golf championships Oct. 3, keeping their impressive Lackawanna League unbeaten streaks intact.
Scranton Prep roared past Carbondale Area, 8-1, at Elmhurst Country Club to win its third straight Division II title and its 51st consecutive match, while the Comets handled Wallenpaupack, 6½-2½, to win their second straight Division I title and extend their streak to 32 straight.
The team event offered an opportunity for atonement for Abington Heights standout Troy Kelleher, whose individual season came to an end Oct. 1 in a gut-wrenching playoff loss to two of his teammates.
So, Kelleher was out practicing shortly after 7 a.m. to try to make sure his team’s season didn’t end too soon.
“I didn’t play my best on Monday,” Kelleher said. “Again, the putting was pretty bad. I wanted to spend more time on the putting green this morning and again, help the team out as much as I can.
“It was tough but I knew I had to get the job done for the team. I’m glad Nick (Sebastianelli) and Will (Brown) got to advance, but I just have to play good for the team and help the team win now.”
He certainly did that.
Kelleher was 2-under and won every hole of his match in a 10-and-8 win that got the Comets rolling.
“I was making more putts today than I did on Monday, so that definitely helped my score a lot,” Kelleher said.
While Kelleher was helping to secure three points in the first foursome, Will Brown survived a seesaw battle with Jack Mowatt to post a 3-and-1 win, and with partner Andrew Kirtley, overcame a hole-in-one by Nick Hamek to sweep all three in the final foursome.
“I said it was going to go in because it was going straight at the hole,” Brown said of Hamek’s 5-iron shot from 190 yards on the fifth hole. “He said there was no way it was going in, and then it just did.”
It was the fourth ace the junior has witnessed, so it didn’t rattle him, even after he went 3-down after the sixth hole.
In fact, Brown charged back and won seven straight holes.
“I was not expecting that to happen,” Brown said. “I was just trying to do the best I could and win as many holes as I could, and it turned out well.
“I’m just excited to see what’s next and play Dallas on Monday,” Brown said. “Then we’ll see what happens.”
Those two teams will meet in Class 3A, as will Prep and Wyoming Seminary in Class 2A, on Monday.
The Cavaliers, who have not lost a match since dropping to the small-school classification in 2016, got strong contributions from a pair of underclassmen in the final pairing.
Coach Ed Cimoch paired sophomore Matt Tressler and freshman Michael Sewack together three weeks ago. They clicked almost immediately, and their chemistry provided wins of 4 and 3 for Tressler, 6 and 5 for Sewack, and 8 and 7 in the better ball.
“(Cimoch) put us together about three weeks ago after a couple of our kids were kind of struggling,” Sewack said. “We help each other with putts, club selection and how to play better together.”
Sewack made pars and Tressler dropped the birdies as they played 14 holes at 3-under par.
“I put it close on a couple holes and made the birdies,” said Tressler, who shot a 2-under 34 on the front nine. “He kept it going with the pars.
“We both played consistent. He struggled on a couple holes and I picked him up. And when I struggled, he picked me up.”
There wasn’t much struggling for either player after Sewack won the opening hole with par and Tressler bounced back from an early 1-down deficit to Marino DePalma.
“We started off pretty quick and we pretty much held the lead throughout the whole course,” Sewack said. “That kind of sets the tone of the match.”
It could be the start of a lasting on-course partnership.
“We got used to each other after about two matches and started playing good together,” Tressler said. “And we got it going together today.”
Abington Heights 6½
Individual: Troy Kelleher (AH) over Evan Regenski, 10 and 8; Nick Sebastianelli (AH) over Alex Davies, 2-up; Connor Kelleher (AH) split with Trevor Regenski; Alex Pillar (W) over Daniel Flickinger, 1-up; Will Brown (AH) over Jack Mowatt, 3 and 1; Andrew Kirtley (AH) over Nick Hamer, 6 and 4.
Better ball: T. Kelleher-Sebastianelli (AH) over E. Regenski-Davies, 8 and 7; Pillar-T. Regenski (W) over C. Kelleher-Flickinger, 1-up; Brown-Kirtley (AH) over Mowatt-Hamer, 3 and 2.
Records: AH 16-0, WAL 12-4.
Scranton Prep 8, Carbondale 1
Individuals: Ian Fedorchak (C) over Pat Burke, 5 and 4; M.J. Stivala (SP) over Steve Wormuth, 7 and 5; Collin Ennis (SP) over Colin Virkitis, 2-up; Andrew Mariotti (SP) over Pat Durkin, 6 and 4; Matt Tressler (SP) over Marino DePalma, 4 and 3; Michael Sewack (SP) over Noah Newcomb, 6 and 5.
Better ball: Burke-Stivala (SP) over Fedorchak-Wormuth, 1-up; Ennis-Mariotti (SP) over Virkitis-Durkin, 3 and 1; Tressler-Sewack (SP) over DePalma-Newcomb, 8 and 7.
Records: SP 17-0, CAR 15-2.