The Highlands boys golf team’s Section 1-AA match against Freeport on Wednesday was historic.
Highlands, winless in 2012 and ’13, clinched a WPIAL team playoff berth with a 215-221 victory over section leader Freeport at Saxon Golf Course. The Golden Rams (11-4, 9-2) qualified for the postseason for the first time since at least 1979, coach Joe Novak said.
“It shows you how much work they put into it and how much they wanted it,” he said. “They’re so happy. Everybody basically shouted as soon as we got the final score tallied. It was very tough for them to control their emotions because I know how much it means to them. It means a lot to me as a coach and the assistant coaches, as well.”
For the Golden Rams, who shot a season-low score, Andrew McCoy tied his career best with 1-over-par 37, and Tristian Kelly carded 39. Justin Hildebrand shot a team-low 39 for Freeport (14-3, 10-1).
Armstrong 197, Mars 197 — Armstrong won the nonsection match in a playoff when Adam Cippel birdied and Nick Long parred the par-4 first hole at Kittanning Country Club. Cippel finished the match with a 36 for the River Hawks (8-6), and Long had a 38. Jace Rearic shot 39, Nick Benvenuti 41 and Tyler Johnson 43 for Armstrong.
Burrell 233, Valley 308 — Tiger Hubbard shot a match-low 41 to lead Burrell (9-5, 8-4) in Section 1-AA. Jonathan Schueler shot 45, Mike Dauer 48 and Cade Hochbein 49.
Deer Lakes 1, Burrell 0 — Emma Gozzard scored on a free kick in the first half to lead the Lancers (2-7, 1-6) to their first Section 2-AA win. Maggie Nowakowski had six saves for the Lancers. Ally Klemm made five saves for Burrell (4-7, 3-5).
Freeport 4, Valley 3 — Victoria Delk scored the winning goal with 12 minutes left to propel Freeport (7-3, 6-2) past Valley (2-8, 1-8) in Section 2-AA. Cameron Lindsay had two goals and Piper Claypool one for the Yellowjackets. Olivia Gaspersic had two assists. Alyssa Rufinni, Heaven Butler and Alexa Sorch scored for Valley.
Mars 7, Highlands 1 — Kara Bowser scored in the second half, but second-place Highlands (7-3, 6-2) fell to Section 2-AA leader Mars (9-1, 8-0).
Plum 4, Franklin Reg. 1 — Ashley Amato had a hat trick for Plum (9-1, 8-1), and Chelsea Hubner made seven saves in a Section 3-AAA win over Franklin Regional (6-3-1, 6-3). Jordan Huemme also scored for the Mustangs.
Kiski Area 13, McKeesport 0 — Erin Antoniono scored four goals, and Taylor Morlacci had a hat trick to help Kiski Area (6-5, 6-4) ease past McKeesport (0-8, 0-8) in Section 3-AAA.