District 2 Golf: Lugiano, McClellan, Williams Lead 9 Regional Qualifiers
ROARING BROOK TWP. — Wyoming Valley Conference golf is on the rise.
Or, maybe, Monday’s District 2 Individual Golf Championships signaled the WVC has already risen — peaked — at a level that could be difficult to sustain.
Either way, the league had plenty to celebrate at Elmhurst Country Club, where three WVC golfers — Lake-Lehman junior Bobby Lugiano in Class 2A boys, MMI Prep senior Jessica McClellan in 2A girls, Crestwood senior Evie Williams in 3A girls — won gold medals.
Plus, Dallas freshman Logan Paczewski earned a silver medal in Class 3A boys. Paczewski’s 2-under-par 70 was the second best score of any player.
All four players earned a trip to regionals Oct. 15 at Golden Oaks Golf Club in Fleetwood, as did Grace Babinchak of Hazleton Area (Class 3A girls); Kyleen McCance of Hanover Area (2A girls); and Jeremy Callahan and Bobby Wilson of Wyoming Seminary and Derek Answini of Holy Redeemer (2A boys).
In all, the WVC outperformed the Lackawanna League, nine medalists to six; that’s a drastic change from the last time Elmhurst hosted the tournament, in 2016, when Lackawanna League golfers won 15 of 18 medals.
“It’s definitely getting better,” said Callahan, now a two-time regional qualifier. “It used to be all Lackawanna League ... and it just shows we’re getting better and we’re definitely becoming a powerhouse. And we’re doing it together, too, which is a good thing.”
Practice makes perfect
In a practice round for Monday, Lugiano, Callahan and Wilson hit the links Sunday at Huntsville Golf Club in Dallas.
But what was supposed to be a quick, nine-hole tune-up turned into a full 18 holes of golf.
“Didn’t feel too comfortable with my swing (on the front), so I played the back and played better there,” Callahan said. “I definitely felt comfortable after 18. Bobby, he had an eagle on the back, so he was hitting it really well. I think he ended up shooting 77 at Huntsville, which is a really hard course.”
Lugiano carried that momentum from Sunday into Monday, as he led the Class 2A field with a 3-over 75.
“It’s awesome; all the hard work paying off,” Lugiano said.
Lugiano suffered from a pair of bad holes on the front-nine, but recovered nicely by shooting a 1-under 35 on the back-nine and winning the championship.
Lugiano was hardly surprised by the fact that he and three other WVC golfers — Callahan and Wilson of Sem, Answini of Redeemer — all qualified for regionals.
“In the regular season, we were always within a few strokes,” Lugiano said. “So I knew it’d be tight today. I knew I’d have to put a pretty decent score out there to make it.”
Best one yet
No longer satisfied with merely earning a medal, MMI Prep’s McClellan went all out for gold this year.
“Honestly,” she said, “I worked a ton on my game. Spent a lot of hours.”
The end result: McClellan shot 81, which earned her the District 2 Class 2A girls championship and booked her third straight trip to regionals. She finished second at districts in 2017 and 2016 with scores of 95 and 90, respectively.
“I think I have everything where it needs to be and there’s just little tweaks that I have to make to make things even better than an 81,” McClellan said. “Because it could have been a lot lower, so it’s a little frustrating. I mean, you always want to keep getting better. And I think I’m going in the right direction.”
McClellan’s offseason work includes spending at least a day or two each week playing on simulators; she’ll hit golf balls outside as early as she can in the winter; this December, she’s scheduled to play in Florida for the Faldo Series’ International Junior Golf Tour Grand Final.
But first, the MMI Prep senior hopes to make a deep playoff run in her last high school season. Meanwhile, Hanover Area’s McCance is also headed to regionals as a freshman.
“It’s awesome,” McClellan said of winning the D2 title. “Obviously, I have bigger goals for the end of the year, for my high school career. But this is definitely one of the stepping stones to get there.”
Williams repeats in 3A
Making par is fine; birdies are even better.
But what better way to begin a round of golf than making eagle?
That’s exactly what Crestwood’s Williams did on the par-five No. 7 en route to edging Hazleton Area’s Babinchak, 83 to 84, for the top spot among District 2 Class 3A girls.
“That really boosted my confidence,” Williams said of the first hole, which was the first eagle she’s ever made in tournament play.
It is Williams’ second consecutive D2 Class 3A championship. Last season, she shot 91 and then won a playoff for the title.
“I feel better about this one, shooting eight strokes lower from a 91,” Williams said. “So that makes me feel a little better going into regionals. And I have more experience now, so I’m excited.”
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DISTRICT 2 INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Elmhurst Country Club
CLASS 3A BOYS
Alex Pillar, Wallenpaupack 69
Logan Paczewski, Dallas 70
x-Will Brown, Abington Heights 71
y-Nick Sebastianelli, Abington Hts. 71
z-Troy Kelleher, Abington Heights 71
Billy Pabst, North Pocono 73
Franco Pazzaglia, Valley View 73
Bobby Lugiano, Lake-Lehman 75
Brady Antolick, Hazleton 76
Luke Flederbach, Honesdale 76
Ethan Zawatski, Dallas 77
Colin Bowanko, Dallas 78
Jack Mowatt, Wallenpaupack 78
Tyler Faux, Tunkhannock 79
Daniel Flickinger, Abington Heights 79
Jeremy Harper, Crestwood 79
Brett Ostrowski, Dallas 80
Daniel Becker, Honesdale 81
Dylan Mislevy, Tunkhannock 81
Jordan Pick, Hazleton 82
Freddie Lombardo, Dallas 83
Matt Hamel, Coughlin 84
Connor Kelleher, Abington Heights 84
Matt Dolan, Dallas 86
Jake Millan, North Pocono 86
Joey Rebarchick, Hazleton 86
Nick Scavo, Pittston Area 86
Kyle McAndrew, Dallas 87
Ben Williams, Honesdale 87
Andrew Kirtley, Abington Heights 89
Dom Verrastro, Valley View 90
Cole Bannan, Honesdale 93
Coby Gilpin, Tunkhannock 94
CLASS 2A BOYS
Bobby Lugiano, Lake-Lehman 75
Jeremy Callahan, Wyoming Sem 77
Derek Answini, Holy Redeemer 77
M.J. Stivala, Scranton Prep 78
Bobby Wilson, Wyoming Sem 79
Frank Ruggiero, Dunmore 79
Marty Cryan, Holy Redeemer 80
Evan Tremback, Lakeland 81
Michael Sholtis, Lake-Lehman 82
Marino DePalma, Carbondale 83
Ian Fedorchak, Carbondale 83
Owen Haggerty, Dunmore 83
Declan Tokash, Holy Cross 84
Kip Miller, Holy Redeemer 85
Jason Mowry, Elk Lake 86
Cole Coolbaugh, Wyoming Area 86
Sergei Scaramastro, Holy Redeemer 86
Michael Sewack, Scranton Prep 86
Matt Williams, Holy Redeemer 86
Matt Tressler, Scranton Prep 87
Sean Boland, Holy Redeemer 88
Collin Ennis, Scranton Prep 88
Landon Firmstone, Western Wayne 88
Andrew Kazmierczak, Lack. Trail 88
Colin Virkitis, Carbondale 88
Zach Evans, Berwick 90
Tanner Harry, Lake-Lehman 90
Andrew Maddock, Wyoming Sem 90
Jacob McCormick, Western Wayne 90
Andrew Mariotti, Scranton Prep 92
Noah Newcomb, Carbondale 92
Adam Rogers, Wyoming Sem 92
Riley Brown, Montrose 94
Greg Godlewski, Wyoming Sem. 94
Johnny Barcarola, Western Wayne 95
Noah Long, MMI 97
Jake McNeff, Dunmore 105
Christian Homnack, MMI 110
Isaac Walker, Montrose WD
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Evie Williams, Crestwood 83
Grace Babinchak, Hazleton 84
Olivia Donnini, Crestwood 85
Sara Hall, Crestwood 89
Marin Dremock, Hazleton 90
Rachel Wall, North Pocono 99
Elizabeth Franchetti, Abington Hts. 100
Kayla Taninies, Honesdale 106
Michelle Bernetski, Crestwood 107
Madyson Pendolphi, Dallas, 107
Mary Kate Yatsonsky, North Pocono 116
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Jessica McClellan, MMI 81
Kyleen McCance, Hanover Area 89
Chloe Sipe, Elk Lake 92
Mariah Minter, Mid Valley 94
Taegan Mills, Elk Lake 103