Lusk propels Lions to second place at Mt. Valley

Mark Lusk finishes off an approach shot.
Mark Lusk finishes off an approach shot.

Barnsville, Pa. - Freshman Mark Lusk tackled the difficult dry conditions at Mt. Valley Golf Course on Wednesday afternoon for a third place individual finish, vaulting the Hazleton squad to second overall in the team contest. A clutch score to be sure, Lusk's one over par, 73 came up just shy of Penn State Lehigh Valley's Brian Zinman (72) and six back of Wednesday's individual medalist, Harrisburg Area Community College's Logan Snyder who dominated the field with a five under par round of 67. 

Lusk got off to a steady start but ran into trouble on the uphill par four, fourth hole, registering double-bogey after hitting a shot in the hazard. The freshman quickly got the round back on track with a par at the fifth, followed by three straight birdies. After a birdie at the sixth hole, Lusk got out of position on the par five seventh hole but still managed to reach the green in a regulation and drop a 30 foot uphill putt for his second straight circle on the card. Lusk finished the front nine at even par and rattled off six pars on the back nine to maintain the stellar effort. 

Following Lusk with another solid outing was freshman Jeremy Harper who despite some early struggles, still managed to card a round in the 70's. Harper began the round four over par after four holes played but completed his final 14 holes of the day at just two over to finish the day in eighth place with a 78. 

Finishing off the top efforts for the Lions were freshman Colin Hoy and senior Joshua Provost. Hoy ran into a tough stretch on the back nine but counter-punched with three birdies on the day to post a score of 80, good for 12th place individually. Provost would share Harpers early struggles but made par or better on seven of his final 12 holes to notch the 16th best score on the day with an 83. 

Hazleton's combined efforts put a team total of 314 on the board, falling short of Penn State Lehigh Valley by just three strokes in the team event. Harrisburg Area Community College came in third place with a total of 319. 

Next up: Hazleton is back on the links next Thursday when they compete in the University of Scranton Invitational at Glenmaura National Golf Club in Moosic, Pa. on September 18.