State College’s Ben Gelenberg tied for top honors as the Little Lions defended their District 6 Class AAA team title on Wednesday at Scotch Valley Country Club.
The Little Lions shot a team score of 320 on Wednesday and finished with a total of 639 in the two-day event. Hollidaysburg was second at 651 and Altoona was a distant third at 720.
The Little Lions advance to the regional team championship on Friday at Treasure Lake Country Club in DuBois. The winner there will advance to the PIAA Championships. Last year, State College and Meadville tied for the team crown with the Little Lions falling in a playoff.
By sharing the individual crown, Gelenberg advanced to the individual regionals set for Wednesday at Tom’s Run Country Club in Blairsville.
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Gelenberg carded a 7-over 79 on Wednesday and finished the event with a 156 total. Hollidaysburg’s Hunter Shields (74-82) tied Gelenberg and the Little Lions’ Tyrus Gates (78-80) was third at 158.
Other State College scores in the event were: Christian Friberg (82-79), Alex Stover (82-82) and Kevin Zuercher (89-84). The top four scores counted each day.
“Alex Stover (had his) steadiest two rounds he’s played for us this year,” State College coach Keith Bless said. “Ben had a tumultuous tournamant. He made several large numbers and made a lot of birdies as well. Tyrus Gates had a tremendous tournament. He did not have anything larger than a bogey on his card and we got a good contribution from Christian.”
In Class AA, St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy’s Garrett Bastardi qualified for the six individual regional spots at Tom’s Run with a third-place finish. Bastardi fired a 77 Wednesday and finished with a 157 total. He finished four strokes back of Central Cambria’s Jeremy Eckenrode.
“He’s played great all summer and all year,” St. Joseph’s coach John Muto said. “It was very difficult to putt on the greens there. He had five three-putts and putting is the strongest part of his game. He was sort of frustrated (Tuesday) and to come back and shoot three strokes better was quite an achievement.”