ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Marion dominated the Hillsboro Invitational Golf Tournament Thursday, winning the four-man and six-man competitions and placing third in two-man.
Hillsboro finished fourth in all three divisions in the 10-school tournament.
Marion’s four-man team of Nickolas Hett (77), Travis Hett (78), Nick Carlson (78) and Joe Svitak (88) combined for an 18-hole score of 321, for a 28-stroke win over runnerup Bennington.
Adding the two-man scores of Trevor Jones (85) and John Whitwell (88), the Warriors’ six-man score totaled 494, which gave them a 14-stroke margin over Bennington, who won the two-man competition.
Nickolas Hett was the runnerup for medalist honors, finishing five strokes behind the winner, Blake Walker of St. John, who carded a 72. Travis Hett and Carlson placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
Hillsboro, meanwhile, struggled a bit on its home course and settled for fourth across the board. The Trojans’ Andrew Bina (85) and Ricky Johnson (89) combined a 174 in the two-man race.
Randy Klassen (83) shot the best Hillsboro score of the day, winning the last medal for 12th place. Combining with Lance Bartel (86), Derek Hamm (96) and Jordan Allen (98), the four-man team totaled 363, which left them 12 strokes from third place.
The Trojans’ six man score of 537 was only four strokes behind third-place Chapman.
“I can’t say that I am disappointed in how they played; however, I do know that these guys can play much better,” Hillsboro coach Scott O’Hare said.
“Obviously, being on our home course, I would like them to shoot scores up to their capabilities, but it’s still early. These guys have been working hard on their golf games, and they are in the process of evaluating their swings. Consistency will come with time and experience.”
Peabody and Goessel also participated in the tournament:
n Goessel: Chris Voth 97, Zach Frey 98 (two-man 195, ninth); Alex Drake (119), Nick Cooper 119, Evan Janzen 104, Evan Esau 123 (four-man 465, ninth); six-man total 660, ninth.
n Peabody: Brandon Crabtree 91, Chad Litton 98 (two-man 189, eighth); Derek Bensen 104, Tyler Litton 99, Zach Dameron 124, Jason Carroll 114 (four-man 441, eighth); six-man 630, eighth.
The golf teams from Hillsboro and Marion finished among the upper echelon at the 14-school Herington Invitational Golf Tournament April 6.
The Trojan two-man team placed third while the four-man and six-man teams each placed fourth.
Marion’s four-man team, meanwhile, took top honors and its six-man team placed third. The Warriors placed three golfers among the top 10 medalists.
Andrew Bina (82) and Ricky Johnson (90) combined for a 172 in two-man competition to finish 21 strokes behind No. 1 Council Grove and 18 strokes behind runnerup Wichita Trinity.
The four-man combination of Lance Bartel (94), Derek Hamm (94), Jordan Allen (92) and Randy Klassen (91) combined for a 371, which put the Trojans 51 strokes behind Marion’s first-place score of 320 and 29 strokes from a top-three medal.
Hillsboro’s combined six-man score of 543 placed the Trojans 64 strokes off Council Grove’s winning score and only 10 strokes from a third-place medal.
Bina’s 82 was one stroke away from tying for an individual medal and eight strokes off the winning score of 74 carded by Trent Siegle of Council Grove.
“We didn’t shoot as well as we are capable of,” Hillsboro coach Scott O’Hare said. “Being the first tournament of the season and playing on a much different course than our own, I was not really upset by our performance.
“However, I do believe we have the ability to shoot much better. Consistency is a major issue for these guys. We also have to work very hard on the mental aspect of the game.
“Right now, some of these guys are too worried about what they are doing wrong, and they lose focus. They need to just learn to take the good with the bad and move on instead of trying to fix something after a bad shot.”
Marion’s winning four-man team was led by Travis Hett (77), who was the fourth-place medalist, with Nick Carlson (80), Joe Svitak (81) and Nickolas Hett close behind. Carlson was ninth in the medalist competition and Svitak 10th.
The Warriors’ two-man team of John Whitwell (95) and Kevin Costello (118) finished ninth among 11 entries at 213. Marion’s six-man total of 533 placed the Warriors 54 strokes behind the winning Council Grove squad.
Three other area schools also competed at Herington:
n Centre: Josh Ryff 102, Joseph Stroda (disqualified), Andrew Donahue 126, Teaira Turner 129 (no four-man total); Steve Hageburg 108, Nathan Bruner 102 (two-man 210, eighth); no six-man total.
n Goessel: Jeremy Voth 117, Alex Drake (disqualified), Aaron Stehman 109, Evan Janzen 107 (no four-man total); Chris Voth 110, Zach Frey 96 (two-man 206, sixth); no six-man total.
n Peabody: Chad Litton 93, Derek Bensen 93, Tyler Litton 107, Zach Dameron 109 (four-man 402, sixth); Brandon Crabtree 92, Jason Carroll 116 (two-man 208, seventh); six-man 610, seventh out of eight.