Pictured above: Lake-Lehman’s Michael Lugiano studies a putt at the District 2 Individual Golf Championships. (Tony Callaio Photo)
By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
Crestwood, Lake-Lehman, Scranton Prep and Abington Heights have all gone unbeaten while proving to be the top team in each of their divisions throughout the golf regular season.
Each needs one more win Thursday over its top competition to advance to Tuesday’s District 2 Boys Team Golf Championships.
The Wyoming Valley Conference and Lackawanna League are completing their seasons with a playoff match in each division to decide those participants.
In the WVC, the top two teams from the regular season square off.
In the Lackawanna League, two teams each have emerged from playoff brackets of eight teams in Class 2A and four teams in Class A.
Abington Heights, the only one of the four champions without a perfect division record, gets it started at 8 a.m. at Elkview Country Club against North Pocono.
The Comets went 13-0-1 in the Lackawanna Class 3A Division, tying with North Pocono (11-2-1) when the Trojans hosted a match at Elmhurst Country Club, but winning when it hosted a match at Glen Oak Country Club. Now, they settle the division on a neutral course.
A year ago, Abington Heights was the top seed, but lost the playoff final to North Pocono.
Scranton Prep is two wins away from its seventh straight District 2 Class 2A title. The Cavaliers went 14-0 and added two more playoff wins. Lackawanna Trail was the third-place team at 12-2, but knocked off second-seeded Riverside in the semifinals.
Lackawanna Trail was one of three teams to share the distinction of giving Scranton Prep its closest divisional matches, 5½-3½, when they met in August.
The Cavaliers and Lions are scheduled to start at 8:30 at Elkview.
The division title matches are all 18-hole matches.
The WVC matches are scheduled for 11 a.m. at Fox Hill Country Club, site of Tuesday’s District 2 team championships.
Crestwood plays second-place Hazleton Area while Lake-Lehman takes on second-place Holy Redeemer.
During the regular season, Crestwood beat Hazleton Area in a tiebreaker on the road and by 13 strokes at home in nine-hole matches. Lake-Lehman beat Holy Redeemer by 13 and 27 strokes.
In 18-hole competition at Fox Hill in the Tom Tryba Memorial Tournament, Crestwood was 11 strokes better than Hazleton Area and Lake-Lehman was 39 strokes better than Holy Redeemer.
Seven players enter the team league finals two steps away from spending three days at Penn State for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Golf Championships.
Lake-Lehman’s combination of Michael Lugiano, Cael Ropietski, Charlie Weidner and Eli Ropietski has qualified as individuals in Class 2A along with Lackawanna Trail’s Gavin June. Derek Johnson and Owen Blazick from Crestwood made the Class 3A individual tournament when all qualifying was conducted Monday at Elkview.
Lugiano and both Ropietski brothers have each posted multiple under-par scores throughout the season.
“They deserve everything,” Lake-Lehman coach Tom Yoniski said. “ … They are so smart when it comes to this game. They are unbelievable.
“They help the younger kids. They are not that kid who thinks ‘hey, I’m so good’. When we have practices, they’ll be on the range and they will be videotaping their teammates and then going over it with them like, ‘OK, try this here’. That’s how good of teammates they all are.
“They’re so unselfish it’s ridiculous.”
While golf continues its postseason, the team playoffs get started in girls tennis with six of the eight district quarterfinals.
League champions Wyoming Seminary and Scranton Prep begin a process that is likely to result in a battle of unbeatens Tuesday at Kirby Park.
Top-seeded Wyoming Seminary, the defending district and state champion, hosts Holy Redeemer.
Scranton Prep is home against MMI Prep.
All of Thursday’s winners advance to Tuesday when the semifinals and finals will be held in succession at Kirby Park, beginning with the Class 2A semifinals at 11 a.m.
Tunkhannock is at Wyoming Area and North Pocono is at Dallas in Thursday’s other Class 2A quarterfinals.
Two matches, Valley View at West Scranton and Delaware Valley at Crestwood, get the Class 3A tournament started.
Other sports continue their regular season.
First-place Montrose (7-1 league, 8-1 overall) is at second-place Lakeland (6-1, 8-3) in Lackawanna League Division 2 girls soccer.
Division 1 co-leader Blue Ridge (10-1, 14-1) is at third-place Dunmore (8-2) in Lackawanna League girls volleyball.
Wyoming Area (6-0 in division, 13-0 overall) is at Honesdale (3-2, 10-2) in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 field hockey.
The Lackawanna League cross country cluster meet schedule features the Scranton girls (12-2) scheduled to face Honesdale (13-1), Wallenpaupack (12-2) and Delaware Valley (10-4) in a meet hosted by West Scranton.
The schedule also includes boys soccer games and the final girls tennis match of the regular season for six teams that did not make the playoffs.