Bombers eliminated in subregional
Palmerton’s Connor Reinhard watches a shot during Thursday’s PIAA Subregional playoff. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Derek Rea of Palmerton follows though after hitting a tee shot on Thursday. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
HELLERTOWN — The Palmerton golf team was the best Class 2A team in District 11 this season. On Thursday, the Blue Bombers got take on one of the best 2A teams in the state.
District 12 champ Devon Prep beat Palmerton and District 1 champ New Hope-Solebury in a PIAA Subregional team playoff at the Steel Club in Hellertown to advance to next week’s PIAA East Regional Championships.
Led by 2018 state silver medalist Ryan McCabe’s even-par 72, the Tide shot a four-player team score of 336 to Palmerton’s 347 and New Hope-Solebury’s 371.
“The kids did fine,” said Palmerton co-head coach Alex Knoll. “Today was a tough course. The setting was probably a little too high for us. It was the first time the school has ever been in a PIAA Regional.
“We played two great teams from the Philadelphia area. I thought our kids handled it well. They played hard. When they had some bad holes, they always came back from them.”
Devon Prep had four players shoot 92 or less, with Graham White (86), Tyler Kennesson (87) and Pat McCann (91) all contributing to the team score.
Freshman Tyler Hager led Palmerton with an 82. Senior Logan Kresge, playing in his final high school team event, shot 85. Junior Derek Rea (87) and freshman Connor Reinhard (93) rounded out the Bombers’ team score. Josh Suto shot a 99 for Palmerton.
“I think our freshman, Tyler, learned a lot from playing in the first group today,” said Knoll. “That’s going to pay dividends as he gets older.”
The match marks the last team event for Palmerton this year after an undefeated Colonial League regular season, a second-place finish at the Colonial League tournament and a district title.
Knoll suspected before the season that his team would perform well. He knew it for certain after the Bombers beat one of the league’s perennial top teams by four strokes on Aug. 21, their second league match of the season.
“I personally believed we could win districts,” Knoll said. “I didn’t publicly believe that until we beat Southern Lehigh early in the season. That kind of gave us the confidence to believe in ourselves. The kids played one match at a time. But what I’m most proud of is how they practiced and they seemed to fall in love with the game. They practiced together as a team throughout the season.”
With just one senior in the top five, the Bombers could be lined up for success for a few years to come.
“This is going to be huge experience for the future,” said Knoll. “If we get back to this level, they’ll know what to expect, and the level of competition we will face.”
And if the team keeps progressing the way it has over the course of the past season, it could be back in a state playoff event next fall.
“What I’ve been saying all year, and I know (co-head coach Mike Brennan) has too,” said Knoll. “They’ve been developing. They’ve been practicing. In the game of golf, if you get better from start to end, that’s most important. They definitely did that.”
GETTING BETTER ...The Bombers shot two strokes lower Thursday than the team score they posted at Monday’s district championships, which were held on the same course.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN ...The season will continue for Kresge and Hager who both qualified individually for the PIAA East Regional tournament, which will be held Monday at Golden Oaks Golf Course in Fleetwood.
DEVON PREP (336)
Ryan McCabe 72, Graham White 86, Tyler Kennesson 87, Pat McCann 91.
Tyler Hager 82, Logan Kresge 85, Derek Rea 87, Connor Reinhard 93.
NEW HOPE-SOLEBURY (371)
Evan Menz 82, Liam Griffith 88, Kyle Sullivan 92, Will Kelly 109.