Jonathan O'Hora and Alex Howe paced the Wildcats to a decisive victory in Round One of the Lackawanna League golf play-offs. The two veteran linksters tore up Red Maples' front nine en route to a 61/2 -21/2 win. Next up for Coach Rich Weinberger's squad is a battle with Abington Heights, the #2 seed from the Southern Division.
Western Wayne’s varsity golf team continued its stellar season Mon-day with a victory in the opening round of the Lackawanna League play-offs.
To a man, the Wildcats played outstanding golf against Delaware Valley. Five of Western Wayne’s six starters shot in the 30s, leading the ‘Cats to a 61/2 - 21/2 victory over the visiting Warriors.
Alex Howe and Jonathan O’Hora led the charge. Howe scorched Red Maples’ front nine for an even-par 33. O’Hora wasn’t far back, shooting 35 to secure two team points in his group.
“We knew we’d be in for a tough match today,” Coach Weinberger told TWI Sports. “Delaware Valley’s program is really coming. But, our kids rose to the occasion. It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to win a play-off match at home...and now we’ve accomplished that. I’m very proud of this team.”
Next up on Western Wayne’s list of goals is a quarterfinal match against Abington Heights. The Comets earned an opening round bye and the Southern Division’s #2 seed with a sterling 10-1 record. Weather permitting, the Wildcats will travel to Stone Hedge this afternoon for a 4:15 p.m. tee time.
Meanwhile at Cricket Hill, Wallenpaupack Area also took care of business in its first round play-off encounter with Riverside. The Buckhorns took 2-of-3 better ball matches to seal the deal on a 6-3 win over the Vikings.
Tyler Ferratti and Corey Capone paced Paupack’s attack. Ferratti was a study in consistency, carding seven pars en route to a round of 37. Capone posted three birdies on his way to a 37.
“This is the best golf we’ve played all season,” said Coach Bob Simons. “If we keep getting this kind of leadership from the top of our line-up, we can compete with anybody.”
Paupack must now face undefeated Scranton Prep in today’s quarterfinal. The Cavaliers are the Southern Division’s top seed and drew an opening round bye. These two teams will tee it up at 4:15 p.m. on Scranton Muni’s back nine.
Alex Howe smiled a bit sheepishly when asked to break down his eagle Monday afternoon at Red Maples.
“I don’t want to brag or anything,” he said. “There was definitely a little bit of luck involved.”
A little bit of luck, but also plenty of golfing skill.
Howe used a five iron off the second tee, making sure to avoid the water which looms on the left side of the fairway. His ball ran through the putting surface and careened into some heavy rough behind the green.
Alex pulled a sand wedge from his bag and assessed the situation. Things looked bleak because the ball was barely visible amid a nasty tangle of high, wet grass.
“I just swung as hard as I could and got really lucky,” Howe said. “I took a big chunk, but the ball went in the hole. I was very happy...and pretty surprised.”
Alex is a junior at Western Wayne. He’s a multi-faceted young man who also plays alto sax in the band and outfield on the baseball team. Howe takes his golf seriously, making the trek to Red Maples at least four times per week.
All that practice paid huge dividends Monday. Alex added a birdie at the seventh hole, then cruised home with a 33. That score earned him medalist honors for the match, along with a 4&3 win over DV’s Tyler Dippel.
Jonathan O’Hora was equally impressive on this day. A senior who’s also captained the boys tennis team in each of the past two seasons, O’Hora’s leadership skills were on display for all to see against DV.
Despite several ugly swings that could easily have doomed his round, Jonathan persevered and ended the day with a 35.
“I kept the damage to a minimum,” O’Hora said. “I play-ed tennis for the first time in a long while this week and that messed with my golf swing a little bit. I lifted up on three shots and that caused me some trouble. I had to scramble a little bit.”
O’Hora’s patience led to a pair of points for Western Wayne in his group. He defeated DV’s Dustyn Hines by a score of 2&1, then paired up with teammate Kevin Karabin to take the better ball match, 1-up.
Jonathan is an impressive all-round student/athlete. In addition to tennis and golf, he’s also president of the National Honor Society. O’Hora hopes to continue his links career at either Bucknell or Penn State, where he wants to pursue an engineering degree.
“I honestly don’t know how we’ll ever replace Jonathan O’Hora,” said Coach Weinberger. “He’s an ace of a kid. It doesn’t surprise me a bit that he stepped up like this in a big match. That’s his style. He’s as good a player...and as good a person...as I’ve ever coached here.”
Corey Teeple and Casey Hobbs also contributed key points to the Wildcats’ cause. Teeple fired a 37 in posting a 2&1 decision over DV’s Drew Kohinke. Hobbs battled right down to the final green before earning a split with Bryan Hunt. Casey shot 39 and Hunt 40.
Evan Decker and Kevin Karabin each played well, but suffered losses in individual match play. Decker carded a 38 and Karabin posted a 41.
Paupack used solid performances from its veteran players in hanging a 6-3 loss on Riverside.
Tyler Ferratti and Corey Capone shared medalist honors with identical 37s. Ferratti defeated the Vikings’ Sean Bennie by a score of 5&4, while Capone hung a 4&3 setback on Matt Plishka.
Dave Moore and Schawn Rotella also recorded big wins for the Bucks. Moore checked in with a round of 39, good for a 3&1 victory over Riverside’s Mike Osterstrom (46). Rotella came home in 41, enough to seal the deal on a 2&1 win against Mike King (45).
Ferratti teamed up with Brad Harsche to capture a better ball point (2&1). Capone & Rotella closed out the scoring with a 4&3 better ball decision.