LAPORTE | Leading up to the sectional at his team’s home course, LaPorte coach Bill Hart made sure his team focused on playing the back nine at Beechwood, and that focus carried the Slicers to the championship.
The Slicers shot a combined 8-over-par on the back in totaling their best team score of the season at 316 to edge Michigan City by a shot in Friday’s sectional.
Michigan City (317) and Marquette (339) finished second and third, respectively, to also qualify for next week’s regional at Lafayette Jefferson. New Prairie (344) was fourth, and Hanover Central (373) was fifth.
“Our goal was to manage the front nine with a 162 or better and we shot 164, and we took care of business on the back,” Hart said. “We played really well on the back.”
Michigan City’s Ryan Brinckman carded a round of 74 to win medalist honors. Brinckman shot 36 on the front nine and 38 on the back nine.
“I didn’t play great, I just stayed out of trouble and made some putts,” Brinckman said.
The Slicers bested their previous best team score of the season by nine shots thanks to season-best rounds from Austin Wells (75) and Zach Perschke (76). Perschke’s score of 35 on the back nine was the only nine-hole score that was under par in the field.
“They both played their best rounds of the year on the same day, and that’s what every coach hopes for,” Hart said. “You hope your kids peak at the right time.”
Wells finished second individually, and Marquette’s Jack Clancy was third. Each shot matching rounds of 75, with Wells winning a playoff.
“I made a birdie, which was nice, but it was a bunch of pars and some up-and-downs that made for a good round,” Wells said.
The Slicers also got rounds of 82 from Tyler and 83 from Zach Libertore.
Aaron Skibinski posted a round of 78, and Joshua Palmer added fired an 80 for the Wolves.
Clancy bogeyed the first two holes of each nine, but he battled back with three birdies on his card.
“Last year I think I would have let this round get the best of me and come in with an 80 or 82, but I fought back,” Clancy said.
New Prairie’s Collin Kowalski (79), Jacob Chadderdton (86) and Mitchell Newport (88) all qualified for the regional as individuals.