KENTON — Defiance won the Western Buckeye League boys golf tournament but Shawnee did enough to win the overall league championship on Thursday at Memorial Park Golf Course.
The WBL championship is determined by combining the outcome of league dual matches and the league tournament.
Shawnee was fourth on Thursday with a team score of 330. Defiance shot a 321, St. Marys had a 326 and Elida also had a 326 but the Roughriders got second place on a tie-breaker.
The Indians had the best record in WBL matches at 8-1. Elida tied for second in the matches with Ottawa-Glandorf and Defiance and St. Marys were tied for fourth.
Add it all up and Shawnee had 17 points, a half point ahead of Elida and Defiance. The Indians got 10 points for ranking first in the dual matches and seven points for their fourth-place tournament finish.
“It was a wild day of ups and downs but that’s why you win the matches. We put ourselves in the position where everybody had to chase us down. Luckily, while we didn’t play our greatest, it worked out that we were in a position to have that advantage,” Shawnee coach Andy McGreevy said.
Justin Altenbach and Colin Pasion both shot 81 to lead Shawnee. Solomon Smith and Jack Shivley shot 84.
“I knew we had a good group coming in this year and everybody improved so it’s a good outcome for sure,” Altenbach said.
Smith said, “We grinded it out, that’s all we really could do. We squeezed by and won the title.”
Elida was the only team to beat Shawnee in a WBL dual match, but the Indians knew the Bulldogs weren’t their only concern on Thursday.
“There are six good teams in our league, there are six teams I think you will see qualify for districts from sectionals. There is lot of depth in this league. We knew it was going to be tough today because you could finish first or you could finish sixth in this league,” McGreevy said.
“We’ve got two seniors and a handful of juniors who have played together as younger kids. They’ve taken their lumps the last couple years and have really come together this year and it worked out well today,” he said.
Elida had the medalist in Hunter Jolliff, who birdied three of his last six holes, including No. 17 and No. 18, to finish with a 73. Teammate Carson Harmon was one shot behind him with a 74.
Both Elida golfers handled the fourth hole, where a wicked pin placement tormented many of the golfers in the field. Harmon birdied the hole and Jolliff parred it.
“There was one hole everybody was struggling on. A kid in my group probably six putted it. I birdied that but ended up three-putting three other holes. I just stuck it close (on No. 4). It was about two feet but it had about three inches of break in it,” Harmon said.
Jolliff said, “I started off two over on the back and ended up turning around and having three birdies on my closing six holes. That really turned my back nine around for me. My last two holes, I couldn’t ask for a better finish.”
St. Marys’ Andrew Moore shot a 75, Bath’s Britton Hall had a 79 and Defiance’s Jayden Jerger also shot 79.
Harmon was the WBL Player of the Year. The other first-team players were: Zach Stechschulte (Ottawa-Glandorf), Carter Schimmoeller (Ottawa-Glandorf), Cole Koenig (St. Marys), Clay Wilsey (Wapakoneta), Lucas Hites (Kenton), Hall, Jerger, Moore, Altenbach, Smith and Jolliff.
Honorable mention went to: Charlie Schneider (Bath), David Kramer (Celina), Jack Mortier (Defiance), Cameron Collins (Elida), Ethan Wirbel (Kenton), Dylan Meyer (Ottawa-Glandorf), Calvin Caywood (St. Marys), Colin Pasion (Shawnee), Evan Knittle (Van Wert), and Jon Hefner (Wapakoneta).
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