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WDHS Sports Week in Review/Preview: Playoffs Come And Go

Track and field athletes are the only ones who remain in competition after three programs saw their year come to an end in the playoffs.

The spring season wound down last week, leaving just the boys’ and girls’ track teams remaining to finish out the postseason at West Deptford High School. Last week brought with it the playoff exits of the boys’ lacrosse, baseball and softball teams, but also saw some great achievements on the track. 

Below is a look back at the week that was in local athletics.

GIRLS' TRACK

Samantha Budd and Megan Kirschling have been winning events all season, and an increased talent pool did nothing to slow that trend down this past weekend. Both girls were dominant in the Group 2 sectional championships, .

Budd had little competition in the distance events, winning the 800 and 1600. Meanwhile, Kirschling won the high jump and took second in the 100 hurdles. Both girls will be among the favorites in their respective events at states this weekend.

Kirschling also placed fourth in the triple jump.

Megan Knoblock also advanced to states with a sixth-place finish in the 3200, Claudia Theriault was fourth in the pole vault, and the 4x400 team finished fourth. As a team, West Deptford took third.

BOYS' TRACK

are heading to states after finishing in the top-six at sectionals. Pulli qualified in the shot put where he launched the rock 51-7.75, for a fourth-place result. Meanwhile, Perry placed sixth in the 400. The 4x400 relay team will also get a shot at the overall Group 2 title, after running fourth.

BASEBALL

After struggling for much of the regular season, the Eagles were hoping to get things together in the playoffs and make a run. The defending South Jersey Group 2 champions never got going, though, as No. 15 West Deptford got single runs in the first and second inning but was unable to keep pace with No. 2 Buena, falling 5-2 in the playoff opener.

West Deptford got RBI hits from Zach Moran and Ed Essig and found itself in a 2-2 tie entering the bottom of the fourth inning. However Buena’s Justin Geri—who pitched a complete game, striking out six—helped his own cause with a two-run single that put the Chiefs up for good.

The Eagles finished 9-16.

SOFTBALL

The No. 6 Eagles opened the playoffs with a dominating 11-1 win over No. 11 Willingboro. Freshman Destiny Thurston led a , connecting on a pair of doubles and finishing with three RBIs to back Marissa Linquist.

Unfortunately, the offense could not repeat the performance a few days later, as West Deptford exited the playoffs after a 1-0 loss to No. 3 Haddon Heights. Eagles’ pitcher Sydney Ponto , entering the seventh inning with a no-hitter while striking out 10.  Mariah Hans delivered the only run of the game when she blasted a triple to left that plated Candice Smith for the walk-off for win.

It was Haddon Heights’ sixth-straight victory over West Deptford in the past two seasons, including a pair in the playoffs.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

The Eagles second-round contest against No. 4 Rumson was a tale of two halves, and Rumson’s second half was a lot better than West Deptford’s first. The Eagles held a 4-1 lead at the half, but Rumson stormed back with 10 second-half goals to pull away for an 11-5 win.

The Eagles were led by a three-goal effort from Mike Reardon, while Marc Laspino added a goal and Zach Kaestner logged a goal and an assist.

GOLF

West Deptford closed out the regular season with a landslide victory over Deptford, winning 173-199 at RiverWinds Monday.

The Eagles came in bunched together—Kevin Brockway fired a 42 to lead the team, while Ryan Henry and Matt Santarelli each shot 43, and Zach Vorndran added a 45 to finish off the Spartans. Deptford's John Maslanik (45) was the only Spartan golfer to crack 50 on the links course.

Later in the week, Brockway earned first-team All-Colonial Conference status by in the Colonial Conference Championships, shooting a 77.

Also last week, freshman Ritchie Stolz fired a 75 to help the Eagles to their at the Gloucester County Championships.

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