Sectional Golf: Mounties claim first sectional title since 2001, Athenians take 3rd

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ATTICA — Southmont boys golf coach Bill Whalen always holds his teams to a high standard because he knows what they’re capable of. After a second place finish where South shot a 347 Crawfordsville at the county meet, the Mounties used that as motivation as they teed off at the sectional on Thursday at Harrison Hills in Attica. The Mounties had been in their fair share of close matches all season and once again the sectional would be no different. Greencastle shot a 346 and Southmont was keeping the same pace for the Tiger Cubs as it would come down to junior Nolan Allen on the last hole. Allen needed a bogey or better to give the Mounties the sectional title. Calmly stepping up for his bogey put, the junior made it look easy to give Southmont their first sectional title since 2001 as the Mounties edged out the Tiger Cubs 345-346.

“This is just a really special feeling,” Whalen said of the sectional title. “We had two great practice rounds after our disappointing showing at the county meet and these kids came out and responded about as well as they could have. Harrison (Haddock) struggled on the front but really stepped up on the back, Nolan was just as consistent as ever today, Luke (Tesmer) played great and so did our two seniors. It finally worked out to where we win a close one which is a nice feeling.”

Allen ended the sectional with a 78 to lead the Mounties as he tied for the second lowest overall score. Haddock was second for the Mounties with an 86 while Luke Tesmer was right behind Haddock with an 87. Carson McKinney and Ty Elles both carded 94’s to round out the scoring for sectional champions.

Southmont will have experience when competing at the Regional as the Mounties also qualified last season by placing second. Whalen hopes that experience will pay off and benefit his team this time around as they will know the competition and know what to expect.

“We know what we’re going to run into down there so this is just going to be a reward for all of the hard work they’ve put in,” Whalen said. “At this point we don’t care about who we’ll be up against. They get to continue their season another week and that’s all you can ask for at this point.”

Crawfordsville will be joining the Mounties at the Regional as CHS took home a third place finish with a score of 352. Luke Ranard led the way by shooting a 79 for the Athenians. Tanner Gilland recorded an 85. Landon Hurt shot a 93 with Landon Timmons carding a 95 in his return from injury. Hayden Jeffries rounded out the scoring for Crawfordsville with an even 100.

The goal the Athenian coach Tom Perkins and Crawfordsville set at the beginning of the season was to make it to the Regional as a team. Last season Ranard qualified as an individual, This time around CHS will be going as a team as the Athenians like the Mounties extend their season another week.

“I’m really pleased with how we played today,” Perkins said. “Timmons will be back to his normal self next week, Luke and Tanner played solid all day. I expect Tanner to be a factor in this thing the next three years with him only being a freshman. We’re thrilled as a team to be able to go down to Washington next week as a team. You have to earn your way in this sport and today we certainly did that. We didn’t play our best golf today but they righted the ship. Also I’m thrilled for Southmont to come out on top. They work hard and play well and deserve it. We’re looking for one more final battle with them next week.”

North Montgomery ended the sectional tied for fifth with a 373. Junior Drew Norman led the way with an 86. Norman’s score put him in a playoff with Parke Heritage’s Brayden Luce for the third and final individual spot that would advance to the Regional. Luce and Norman tied the first hole and moved to a second playoff hole where Luce would defeat Norman. Other scores for the Chargers included Hayden Turner’s 94, Haze Kashon’s 96, Neal Jeffrey’s 97, and Alex Chapman’s 102.

First-year Charger coach Bob Ryker was pleased that Norman got the chance to play for a Regional spot.

“I’m super happy with the way that Drew played today,” Ryker said. “For a kid who couldn’t break 100 last year to now be tied for a playoff spot to go to the Regional, I can’t be more proud of him. He got off to a rough start but then really turned it around on the back. It’s awesome for North Montgomery golf to have a kid in contention like we did today. Overall with the team, I was a little disappointed with how we played. There’s a lot of build off from this season as we’re going to have everyone back. We’re going to put a lot of time and effort into preparing for next season and I think they’ll be ready.”

Fountain Central as a team shot a 401 and saw their season come to an end as well.

Next week’s Regional will take place at Country Oaks Golf Course in Washington. The top three teams and top five lowest scores from non-advancing teams will qualify for the State Finals at Prairie View Golf Club on Tuesday June 14.

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