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??Heartbreaker:?? Redeemer just misses out on state title


February 19. 2013 1:42PM
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YORK — One shot went into the gallery.


Another wound up in a sand trap.


The playoff hole of the PIAA Class 2A boys team golf championship Wednesday wasn't very kind to the Holy Redeemer Royals.


It was much more favorable to their opponent.


Especially when Wyomissing senior Sam Gallen skied a 130-yard shot off the fairway and into the cup on No. 18, the most electrifying shot of his team's two-stroke playoff victory over Redeemer at Heritage Hills Golf Resort.


The shot of a lifetime, Redeemer coach Art Brunn said. He holed that shot and his team won a state championship.


He'll remember that forever.


So will Redeemer, although the Royals won't view the feat so fondly.


This one's going to sting a little bit for us, Brunn said. It's exciting to come in second in the state. (But) to get that close and come into a playoff and lose it, it's a bitter pill for us to swallow.


It soured an outstanding day by Redeemer's District 2 Class 2A champion Mariano Medico, who shot a 3-under 68 to lead the entire field of 105 golfers who made up the Class 3A and 2A boys and girls state tournament.


To shoot under par here, you definitely have to make some putts, said Medico, who came off a fifth-place state finish in the Class 2A boys individual state tourney held Monday and Tuesday. This showed, if I'm playing well, I can play golf.


If he played this well Tuesday – three birdies, no bogeys and five strokes better than the 73 he used to attain a fifth-place individual finish – Medico would have forced a playoff with Fairfield's Isaiah Logue for the Class 2A state championship. Nobody from the Class 2A field shot lower than 71 during the individual and team state championship rounds.


To have the low score just shows how polished and how good a golfer he is, Brunn said, and how competitive he is.


The rest of Redeemer's team was ready for the challenge, too.


Chase Makowski shot and 81, Matt Slavoski carded an 83 and Mike Boland finished with an 89 as Redeemer pulled in with a 321 after the top four golfer's scores of each team were calculated. It left the Royals ahead of Burgettstown (325), Central Cambria (328), Notre Dame of Green Pond (346) and Harbor Creek (349) in the six-team Class 2A state championship.


But Wyomissing also finished with a 321 among its top four, and the fifth golfer on each team put up identical scores of 101.


That forced the one-hole playoff, where the team's top four players squared off.


We were so excited, Medico said. We thought we had a good four.


Then strange things started to happen on the playoff hole.


Medico's opening tee shot skipped off the cart path and hit a slowly reacting spectator – putting the ball behind a bushy, long-limbed tree and forcing Redeemer's top golfer to lay up to get back onto the fairway. He wound up double-bogeying the hole.


I just got a bad break, Medico said.


And Boland blasted his second shot into a sand trap. He dug out in good shape with his approach shot, but ended up taking a bogey on the par-4 hole.


But Gallen pretty much sealed the championship fate.


He pulled a sand wedge out of his bag and blasted home his miracle shot – a birdie from more than a football field away. Wyomissing fans erupted in delight.


It's awesome. That was my last high school event, said Gallen, who finished tied for 17th in the state individual competition this week. I was not expecting it. I was really nervous. I just wanted to put in on the green.


Instead, he put away Redeemer's state championship dreams.


A kid dunks it from more than 120 yards, it just wasn't our day, Medico sighed.


It's a heartbreaker, Brunn said. Who knows? Maybe next year one of our guys will be the hero.




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