Central Catholic golfers said coach Corey O'Connor was running around the Cedarbrook Golf Course's Gold Course trying to determine if his team had what it took to win the boys Class AAA WPIAL golf championship.
All of that exercise paid off as O'Connor's Vikings got a solid effort from No. 5 and No. 6 players Hogan Cuny and Collin Haag to win the title by eight strokes over second-place Peters Township and secure a spot in the PIAA Class AAA team championship Oct. 24 at Heritage Hills Golf Course in York.
Both seniors, Cuny and Haag shot rounds of 76 and 77 to round out the solid rounds by junior Brent Rodgers (79), senior Kris Wright (74) and sophomore Nick Cuny (81).
"We always play [Hogan Cuny and Haag] at the end because they are seniors and they like to anchor," said O'Connor, a Pittsburgh City Councilman. "I was pretty confident with them coming in that they were going to stay strong."
In Class AA, Burgettstown won by four strokes over Sewickley Academy.
Burgettstown senior Owen Miller shot a 2-over 74 to pace the Blue Devils to a winning total of 411. Led by junior Keenan Hickton's round of 77, the Panthers finished with a total of 415.
Blue Devils' coach Jon Vallina was able to breathe a little easier when sophomore Hunter Lecker, playing in the No. 6 position, posted a round of 82 to secure the team title for Burgettstown.
"Our Nos. 2, 3 and 4 players didn't play up to their potential," Vallina said. "But Hunter Lecker came through with that 82, so his score was the difference."
In the girls competition, Penn-Trafford took top honors with a 338 total on Cedarbrook's Red Course, defeating North Allegheny by 18 strokes. Members of Division II a year ago, the Warriors moved up to Class AAA this season.
Central Valley, which won the WPIAL Division II championship a year ago, was just as successful in the first year of Class AA competition. The Warriors were the only team to break 400 in the four-team field, finishing at 341. Sewickley Academy was a distant second at 419.
"This is three [WPIAL championships] in a row for us," Central Valley coach Larry Milosh said. "The girls played good enough to win. It wasn't their best of the year, but we're pleased and proud of them."
Central Valley junior Macky Fouse had the low round with a 9-over 80 and teammates Madison McDanel (83) and Jocelyn Sudar (87) also broke 90.
Penn-Trafford was second to Central Valley a year ago in the WPIAL Division II championship. But its first venture in Class AAA was a very successful one.
Senior Haley Borkovich led all Class AAA competitors with a 7-over 79. Teammates Rose Bachtel (83), Morgan Rector (87) and Casey Doran (89) all broke 90, and that was significant for coach Ed Herbst.
"We wanted to enjoy the day and play well," Herbst said. "I'm sure everyone had a blast, but I didn't know anything [until seeing the scores posted]. I was hearing that we were up by one or two, but I wanted to see it on the board. I didn't want to take anything for granted."
First Published October 12, 2012 5:15 AM