LAPORTE | When Nick Tilling came to the tee at No. 18, LaPorte coach Bill Hart knew his team needed a birdie from its No. 5 golfer to win the sectional title.
“He walks up to me on the tee and he goes, ‘Coach, I’m not sure what to hit. I’m between clubs.’ I said, ‘Hit whatever is going to get you to the green. Don’t be short.'" Hart said. "He hits the green, sinks the putt and we win.”
Tilling’s birdie gave him a round of 82 and the host Slicers their second straight sectional title Friday afternoon at Beechwood.
LaPorte and Hanover Central finished with identical 335s. The Slicers won the title on a fifth-score tiebreaker with Tilling's 82.
Christopher Gaines led LaPorte with a round of 81, and David Lehman added an 84. All five Slicers shot lower than 90.
“We don’t try to play to a score; we just do the best we can and handle the adversity to the best of our ability,” Hart said. “Handling the adversity is the key for our team.”
Austin Umlauf fired a round of 80 to lead Hanover Central. Josh Jackowski and Payton Smith each added rounds of 81 for the Wildcats.
“We won (the Greater South Shore Conference title) last week, so we had a good week prior to this," Hanover Central coach Jerry Kienzle. said. "I think that set us up for this."
Michigan City’s Aaron Skibinski shot a 78 to win medalist honors. He bogeyed three of his first four holes and played the final 14 holes in 3-over par, including an even par 36 on the back nine.
“I scrambled much better and made some pretty good pars,” he said. “I really scrambled on the back (nine) and made some putts.”
The Wolves posted a 342 to finish third and advance to Thursday’s Lafayette Jeff Regional at Battleground.
Tyler Paholski of Marquette Catholic shot a round of 80 to advance as an individual.
“I was able to get up and down a lot,” he said. “I had four consecutive one-putts for par.”
South Central’s Austin Howell also qualified as an individual with a round of 82. He hit his third shot on No. 5 from 140 yards out to a foot from the pin and tapped in for a par.
“I just kept hitting greens in regulation and gave myself a chance to make pars,” Howell said.