Taking down an eight-time defending district champion just sweetened the pot for the North Catholic boys golf team.
The Trojans, one of six teams competing for the WPIAL Class 2A team championship Thursday at Cedarbrook Golf Course, came away with the title after tallying 405 strokes.
It's the first time since 2013 that Sewickley Academy was denied the crown. The Panthers finished tied for third (428) Thursday and Quaker Valley (409) was runner-up.
“We showed up today to win,” said sophomore Justin Kontul. “We've been talking about it all year. Sewickley is a great team, but we knew we were capable of winning.”
Kontul and Zach Kozza led North with 78. Ethan Ellis carded an 80, Tommy Burke an 84 and Erik Schneider 85.
Teagan McTighe added an 86. The top five scores were used to determine the final team standings.
“The best part of today was seeing how happy the kids were,” said North coach Billy Burke. “Our guys didn't all have their best day individually, but as a team, it was a great effort.”
Kontul's performance in the last nine holes spurred the run to a championship. After carding a 42, he fired an even-par 36 after the turn.
“The team needed that,” Coach Burke said. “Justin was a rock star today.”
“It felt great to lower my score for the team,” Kontul said. “I just stayed in the moment and tried to value each shot.”
Though their play yielded the championship, it was a moment off the course that won't soon be forgotten by the Trojans.
“It was really fun receiving the trophy,” Kontul said. “It felt good to bring it home for the seniors.”
The Trojans had qualified for the WPIAL final by placing second in Tuesday's 10-team semifinal at Meadowink Golf Course.
North finished second in the WPIAL in 2019 and tied for second in 2018. Now the Trojans are headed to the state championship round as district champions.
“I think we've got a great chance out there,” said Kontul.
The PIAA final will be held Oct. 25 at Heritage Hills Golf Resort in York.
In Class 3A, Seneca Valley and Mars boys and Seneca Valley and Butler girls competed for a team title at Cedarbrook. Butler's Paige Scott fired the best round in the girls event with a 72.
Following are Class 3A results.
Class 3A Boys
Champion: Fox Chapel (376)
4th place-tie: Seneca Valley (402): Nolan Nicklas 78, Nolan Kummer 79, Luke Robertson 80, Joel Goodzinski 81, Lucas Bruns 84
6th place: Mars (404): Blake Bertolo 74, Ryan Steigerwald 76, Will Campbell 84, Lucas Kuremsky 85, Raghav Kalbhor 85
Champion: Fox Chapel (327)
6th place: Seneca Valley (362): Lihini Ranaweera 76, Madison Sharek 93, Katherine Listwak 95, Ainsley McLane
9th place: Butler (401): Paige Scott 72, Ainsley Plant 104, Paige Ponteous 107, Autumn Gall 118