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Clemente finishes second at districts

Hoban golfer and Tunkhannock’s Brown lone regional qualifiers from WVC at Fox Hill Country Club.

Wyoming Area’s Jessica Rydzewski lines up her putt at the District 2 Tournament at Fox Hill Country Club on Tuesday. The senior shot a 90 to take second place.

FOR THE TIMES LEADER/CHARLOTTE BARTIZEK

EXETER – Jeff Clemente and Dakota Brown found themselves in an elite category after Tuesday’s District 2 golf tournament at Fox Hill Country Club.

Clemente, who placed second, and Brown, who placed ninth, will be the lone representatives of the WVC at the upcoming PIAA East Regional, while the Lackawanna League will send 10.

Abington Heights’ Matt Baker took top honors in the 27-hole stroke-play tournament. Baker shot the lowest high school tournament round of the year at Fox Hill after the morning round with a 2-under 69 through 18 holes. Baker stayed even par on his afternoon nine, maintaining an eight-stroke lead throughout the day.

Baker made a statement on the 142-yard par-3 seventh, when he left the ball well short of the pin. He lined up a winding 60-foot putt and sunk it for his first birdie of the day.

“I knew I couldn’t catch (Baker), so I was just trying to get in the best round I could.” said Clemente. “I thought I stayed pretty consistent all day long.”

Clemente’s morning wasn’t nearly as clean as his afternoon, bogeying several holes to go plus-5 on the front and come off plus-3 on the back for a 79.

The Bishop Hoban senior pulled it together in the afternoon, though, cleaning up a bogey on the second hole with three consecutive birdies on holes four, five and six.

“I bogeyed two, but I came out with a good shot on the next hole.” said Clemente. “Those birdies really set the tone for the rest of the round.”

Clemente shot an 82 at the district tournament in 2005, missing the cut for the state tournament.

Brown found himself in a similar spot after carding a 9-over 80 in his morning round.

“There’s a lot of good players here,” said Brown. “I was happy to put two solid rounds together and happy to have made the cut.”

Brown had some trouble closing out his morning round on the 298-yard par-4 16th when he sunk a difficult 8-foot putt for par.

“This course is quite a bit harder than (Scranton Municipal Golf Course),” said Brown. “The greens here are a lot quicker and you can get in trouble a lot easier.”

Also advancing to the Regional tournament will be Sean Hirschler of Abington Heights, Bob Crofton, Peter Nelson Alex Pompey and Rick Gross of Scranton Prep, Vick Kochs and J.J. Blumer of North Pocono, Devlin Conrad of Montrose and Matt Van Gorder of Wallenpaupack.

Pat Ross of Dunmore was excluded after losing a two-hole playoff for the remaining two spots to Nelson and Pompey.

The inaugural PIAA East Regional Tournament will be held Oct. 16 at Golden Oaks Golf Club in Fleetwood with a 9 a.m. starting time. The top 12 finishers from each district qualify for the regional tournament, with the top 26 finishers from the regional advancing to the state tournament.

On the girls side, Katie Scarpetta of Scranton Prep carded a 2-over 75 to win her third consecutive district championship.

Behind Scarpetta, Wyoming Area senior Jessica Rydzewski shot a 90 to take second place.

Scarpetta and Rydzewski have finished one-two at the district tournament for the past three years. In 2004, Scarpetta shot an 86, three ahead of Rydzewski (89). In 2005, Scarpetta shot a 77, again three ahead of Rydzewski (80).

Scarpetta and Rydzewski’s closest competition came from Ellen Ceresko of North Pocono, who shot a 94 to place third. Ceresko was followed by Shelby Hart of Scranton Prep in fourth, Stephanie Pisko of North Pocono in fifth and Stephanie Breslin of Scranton Prep finished sixth with a 112.

All six placewinners advanced to the regional tournament. The top 13 placewinners from the regional tournament will advance to PIAA Tournament, Oct. 23 at Heritage Hills Golf Course in York.

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