North Allegheny, GCC girls, Central Catholic boys all win PIAA golf titles
YORK -- What would provoke girls golfers from Greensburg Central Catholic and the Central Catholic boys to jump in a lake on a blustery Wednesday at Heritage Hills Golf Resort?
They were celebrating PIAA golf titles.
WPIAL teams won three of the four titles at the state tournament. The North Allegheny girls, who opted not to take a dive into the frigid water, won their third championship in the past four years. The North East boys (District 10) won the Class AA title.
Greensburg Central Catholic seniors Abby Zambruno and Hanna Norton had enough with finishing just short at the PIAA event.
The Centurions had finished second the past three seasons, twice finishing behind WPIAL teams they defeated in the WPIAL tournament: Central Valley (2016) and Sewickley Academy (2017).
On Wednesday, they held off another strong challenge from Sewickley Academy to win 250-252.
The seniors, along with freshmen Meghan Zambruno and Ella Zambruno and sophomore Angelika Dewicki, finally got to celebrate.
This year in girls’ competition, the top three girls scores counted. Meghan Zambruno led the way with a 9-over par 81, Abby Zambruno followed with an 84 and Norton had an 85. Ella Zambruno shot an 86 and Dewicki a 96.
“We just worked harder this season, and with Ella and Meghan joining the team, we knew we had a good chance at winning,” Abby Zambruno said. “But everyone worked so well.
“Hanna and I did well. We just tried to pass down our experiences to the young players. It helped them.”
Norton said a birdie on No. 9 got her going.
“Winning this really feels good,” Norton said. “Abby and I have really worked hard to become champions. It was a back-and-forth all day, and it was great that we pulled through at the end.”
North Allegheny was four stokes better District 1 Downingtown East, 243-247. The Tigers also won in 2015 and 2017.
“This was a little tougher than expected,” North Allegheny coach Mike Hambrick said. “We didn’t play as well as we’re capable, but we still won, and that’s all the counts.”
PIAA champion Caroline Wrigley led the Tigers by shooting a 2-under 70. The other scores that counted were juniors Esha Vaidya with an 86 and Isabella Walter with an 87. Senior Christina Lewis shot 88 and junior Christina Zhou had a 91.
Central Catholic, which won in 2016, squeezed out a 300-305 victory against District 1 Unionville.
The boys’ event counted four of five scores.
Neal Shipley, who placed second at the WPIAL tournament but missed advancing to the state tournament, led the way for the Vikings with a 1-over 72.
Senior Jimmy Meyers, the WPIAL champion and PIAA runner-up, followed Shipley with a 2-over 73. The other scores that counted were senior Shane Kelley’s 76 and junior Palmer Cuny’s 79. Senior Tyler Blake shot an 86.
“It’s pretty special winning again,” Shipley said. “This is awesome. We had a great team, and winning twice is something we’ll never forget.”
The boys Class AA champion was District 10 North East with 314.
The Sewickley Academy boys finished third after shooting 333.