Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Neshannock High’s Mike Maciarello rose to the top among Lawrence County golfers yesterday.
Maciarello carded a 72 to finish first in the WPIAL Section 5 Class AA qualifier at Rolling Hills Golf Course in Pulaski. The top five golfers advanced to the WPIAL championship at 9 a.m. Monday at Youghiogheny Country Club in McKeesport. Golfers who shot under the target score of 78 also advanced, but only five moved on from yesterday’s group at Rolling Hills.
Maciarello shot a 36 on both the front and back nines.
“I was talking to him afterward and he felt like he didn’t hit the ball great,” Lancers coach Mike Kirkwood said. “He thought he could shoot a lot lower; most of the kids knew they had to shoot the target score of 78 and they were trying to stay away from big scores.”
Maciarello’s teammate Matt Cioffi tied for fourth with Shenango’s Lucas Villani, each with a 77. Cioffi scored a 38-39 and Villani fired a 39-38.
“I thought we’d get those two in for sure,” Kirkwood said of Maciarello and Cioffi. “On any given day, our three through eight players can turn in a score to qualify. It just didn’t happen.
“The course played tough. Rolling Hills isn’t the longest course around. But the course played tough, even though it’s not.”
The Wildcats’ Darren Carone joined Villani in qualifying. Carone fired a 39-37—76, placing third.
“I would have thought we’d get more guys in,” Shenango coach John Dado said. “The course played tough and I’m not sure why. Surprisingly only five players made it.
“Carone and Villani have played well all year. I wasn’t surprised with what they shot.”
Laurel’s Nick Peluso took second with a 39-36—75.
“Nick told me he made an eagle on No. 11 that really solidified his round and had him cruising coming down the stretch,” Spartans coach Steve Skerbetz said. “Bottom line, Nick is a very good high school golfer.
“He worked very hard on his game this summer and the improvements have shown in his play.”
The Class AA championship round will consist of qualifiers from each of the Class AA sectional tournaments. The top three finishers will be awarded a gold, silver and bronze medal. The top 16 scorers from the WPIAL Class AA championship round will qualify for the PIAA Western Regional round. In addition to the top three qualifiers, each qualifier to the PIAA Western regional will be awarded a copper medal.
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