More ahead for quartet of Sewickley Academy golfers

Monday, October 9, 2017 | 11:00 PM

Sewickley Academy junior Tatum McKelvey had just won the WPIAL Class AA girls individual golf title, but she was not taking it easy.

“She is already dissecting her round to see where she can improve and where her focus should be during practice,” Panthers coach Nancy Means said. “It wouldn't surprise me if she was back at the range.”

McKelvey shot an 81, a stroke ahead of Central Valley junior Kiara Porter, at the WPIAL championships Oct. 4 at Diamond Run Golf Club in Sewickley. Porter, last year's WPIAL champion, was runner-up to McKelvey in the Section 2-AA championship.

The top eight finishers advanced to the PIAA West Region tournament Oct. 16 at Tom's Run Golf Club in Blairsville. Top players there advance to the PIAA championship Oct. 23-24 in York.

“I can definitely improve my mindset when having a lead,” said McKelvey, who struggled on the last three holes. “I hope to improve my course management and sand shots.”

Means would like to see McKelvey — the first WPIAL champion she has guided — take the PIAA crown.

“However, we have another qualifier to get through before we can look forward to a return appearance in the state finals,” Means said.

In 2016, McKelvey was a fourth-place finisher at the WPIAL championship, the regional runner-up and 11th-place finisher at the PIAA championship.

Sophomore Zoe Luther (93) came in ninth in the WPIAL championship and made states as an alternate.

“I was pretty confident she would make the cut,” Means said. “However, she too struggled with the last three holes.”

A Sewickley Academy player almost won the WPIAL Class AA boys individual championship Sept. 28 at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley Heights.

Senior Cole Luther, Zoe's brother, placed second after dropping a playoff to Riverside sophomore Skyler Fox.

Both shot 74 in regulation.

“I was surprised to be in a playoff with the defending champion,” Cole Luther said. “It is comforting to be rewarded for all the hard work I put into my game over the summer.”

Luther expects to chase Fox in PIAA competition as well.

“(He) is certainly the person to beat,” Luther said.

Sewickley Academy senior Will Nocito (77) placed fifth in the WPIAL championship and qualified for regionals.

Nocito said his goal is to make it to the next round.

“The key is to have some fun and play my game,” Nocito said.

Panthers coach Win Palmer was not surprised the two advanced.

“As seniors, Cole and Will have led our team throughout the year and have improved their games from last year,” said Palmer, whose Panthers went undefeated in Section 9-AA and were seeking their fifth straight WPIAL title in the team playoffs this week.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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