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Gateway ends season short of playoffs

| Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Michael Love | The Times Express
Senior Stephen Reber battled through an injury the second half of the 2013 season and played in every match for the Gators boys golf team.

The Gateway varsity boys golf team wrapped up its Section 4-AAA slate last week, and a 207-212 loss to Plum at Murrysville Golf Course capped a tough campaign for the Gators.

Gateway finished 4-8 in section play with a pair of wins against both Penn Hills and Woodland Hills.

“We got off to a good start, but we just weren't able to pull off an upset we needed,” Tyska said.

“We lost a lot of really close matches.”

Those losses included a four-stroke defeat against Kiski Area at Murrysville Golf Course on Aug. 30 and a seven-stroke setback to Franklin Regional on Sept. 9.

Gateway suffered another seven-stroke loss to Kiski Area, 211-218, on Sept. 30.

Fox Chapel went undefeated in section at 12-0, while Plum, Kiski Area and Franklin Regional all tied for second with 8-4 records.

The top two teams from each AAA section advanced to the WPIAL team semifinals.

Plum beat Franklin Regional twice, while Franklin Regional swept Kiski Area, and the Cavaliers took both matches against the Mustangs. The tie for second couldn't be broken, and Kiski, Plum and Franklin Regional all advanced to the playoffs.

“There were pretty much four or five teams, including us, within about 10 shots, and that is competitive in terms of high school boys golf,” Tyska said.

“It was disappointing we weren't able to make the playoffs. They tried their hardest, and that's all I can ask.”

Seniors Ian Kirkpatrick, Stephen Reber, Bobby Guiliani, Adam Salandro and Jack Washington will move on from the team, but freshman Collin McCune and sophomore Ryan Skladany will return to form the core of next year's varsity squad.

Guiliani led Gateway in scoring average with a 38.85 for nine holes, followed by Reber at 41.54.

Kirkpatrick (42.92), McCune (45.92) and Skladany (47.00) rounded out the top five.

Guiliani, who shot a school-record 31 at Murrysville Golf Course on Sept. 19, competed at the WPIAL AAA boys golf championships last week at Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley.

He placed 31st with a score of 17-over-par 87.

“He just never really got into a rhythm,” Tyska said. “He made a couple bogeys in a row, and then he started to press. Before you knew it, it was spinning out of control. He wasn't able to turn it around quickly enough. I know he was definitely disappointed, but he had a great season and he hopes to continue to play in college.”

Reber played the last several matches this season with a chipped patella bone in his knee suffered against Franklin Regional on Sept. 19.

He finished the match against the Panthers and shot a 42. He dealt with pain while playing the final four section matches.

“I was very impressed with Stephen's toughness and wasn't surprised,” Tyska said.

“He didn't want to let his team down. He's a great role model for the younger golfers.”

Tyska said Reber should be good to go for basketball season.

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412- 388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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