For the second consecutive year, there was a silver lining to the PIAA golf championships for Peters Township's Tommy Nettles.
Nettles, a senior, won a silver medal at the PIAA Class AAA championships Tuesday, finishing the two-day tournament in second place with a 2-over-par score of 144 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York. Nettles finished one stroke behind Manheim Township senior Craig Homberger.
A year ago, Nettles also finished second and was again one stroke behind the winner. Of course, Nettles was hoping for gold this time, but didn't show much disappointment.
"It's a little tough, but to be honest with you, I'm not affected by it that much," Nettles said. "I'm really happy how it played out this week, last year and throughout my entire career. It's been a great ride. I really can't be much happier. There is nothing to be mad about."
Another WPIAL golfer was in the same position as Nettles. Leechburg junior Matt Barto placed second in Class AA at 147, two strokes behind champion Isaiah Logue of Fairfield.
"I feel fine," Barto said. "I told myself that I just wanted to stay in it all day, and I felt like I did that. I lost to one amazing player. I'll take that."
In the Class AAA tournament, Nettles shot a 74 Monday and was tied for eighth place. He came back strong Tuesday with a 70. Homberger shot 73 Monday and 70 Tuesday. Nettles and Homberger had identical scores on the final three holes Tuesday, although Nettles had a chance for birdie on the par-4 17th.
"I knew I was right around the lead, but the last five holes is a really tough finishing stretch," Nettle said.
"I didn't play them as well as I would have liked, but I think everyone could say that. I had a chance at birdie on 17. I had about a 15-foot putt uphill. I barely missed it on the low side."
The WPIAL had two girls finish in third place. In Class AAA, Canon-McMillan sophomore Lauren Waller finished with a two-day total of 149 (5 over). She shot 75 Tuesday and 74 Monday.
In Class AA, Central Valley junior Mackey Fouse shot 161 to place third. She shot 81 and 80.
Erica Herr, a junior at Council Rock North, ran away with the Class AAA title, shooting a 4-under 140. WPIAL champion Janista Numpho-Frank of Hempfield finished fifth at 153.
In Class AA, Villa Maria sophomore Cara Basso finished first with 150, 10 strokes ahead of second-place finisher Franca Hurtado of Allentown Central Catholic. Finishing right behind Fouse in Class AA was Central Valley teammate Maddy McDaniel, who shot 163 to finish fourth.