GREENFIELD — Disappointment was a given for the Mt. Vernon Marauders on Monday afternoon.
Aiming for a repeat sectional championship at Hawk’s Tail of Greenfield, the Marauders boys golf team instead had to settle for a runner-up finish despite posting a season-best 310.
New Castle scored the upset to win it’s ninth sectional team title all time and fourth in five years with a one-stroke victory at 309. The Trojans also claimed medalist honors behind Brady Wheeler’s 1-under par 71. Spencer Stewart was second at 72.
“It’s tough because it’s one stroke. In hindsight, one isn’t a lot, but it’s tough to swallow. But New Castle played great, so kudos to them,” Mt. Vernon’s Oliver Mast said. “They had two guys around 72. We’ll take second place humbly because they deserved that one.”
New Palestine finished third with a 341 and will join Mt. Vernon at Thursday’s Muncie Central Regional at The Players Club in Yorktown. The top-three teams at sectional and the top-three individuals on a non-advancing team move on to the regional tournament.
Greenfield-Central was seventh at 369 led by Noah Mohler’s 85. Eastern Hancock was 10th with a 414. Cody Young paced the Royals at 89.
The Dragons’ top golfer was Quinn Dobbins at 6-over par 78. Senior Blake Barnette chipped in an 83, and Matt Kelley came in at 87 to position New Palestine six strokes better than fourth-place Shelbyville (347).
The Marauders’ senior tandem of Mast and Will Dant, both former individual state qualifiers the past two years, tied for third overall at 3-over par 75.
Xavier Dunham followed with a 78, while Max Heitman fired an 82 and John Husar contributed an 85.
“I think there was an expectation for us to win today, but we just fell short of that similar to conference earlier this year,” Mast said. “But at the end of the day, you still move on to regional. You have another round to play, and more importantly, we’ll try to advance to state through there.”
Mt. Vernon carded a 313 last year to win its first-ever sectional championship. At the Hoosier Heritage Conference on May 13, the team posted a 312 but lost the title to Delta (311) by one stroke. New Castle scored a 321, which made Monday’s performance significant.
“We came in here with high hopes of winning, but New Castle sort of came in out of nowhere, but good for them,” Dant said. “We’ll need to take five or 10 strokes off our score today to have a good chance of going to state as a team.”
“I know that’s our goal, and I don’t think it’s too far fetched. We’re all peaking at the right time.”
Prior to sectional, Mt. Vernon posted an 18-hole score of 316 at The Players Club on April 8 during the Yorktown Invitational. They turned in a 309 at regional in 2016, just missing the team state cut by two strokes.
Greenfield-Central Golf Sectional
Team Scores: New Castle 309, Mt. Vernon 310, New Palestine 341, Shelbyville 347, Triton Central 352, Shenandoah 365, Greenfield-Central 369, Morristown 374, Blue River Valley 387, Eastern Hancock 414, Knightstown 441, Southwestern (Shelbyville) 451
* Top-three teams advance to regional, top-three individuals on a non-advancing team move on to regional.
Medalist: Brady Wheeler, New Castle (71)
Regional Qualifiers (non-advancing team): Toby Sanders, Shenandoah (77), Bryce Kirstein, Morristown (81), Jackson Seagrave, Triton Central (83).
Eastern Hancock: Cody Young 89, K.C. Smoak 95, Loren Matlock 110, Nick Pelger 120, Clayton Cochard 141.
Greenfield-Central: Kyle Arrowood 86, Noah Mohler 85, Jordan Wray 92, Nolan Hemminger-Jones 106, Isaac Baker 122.
New Palestine: Blake Barnette 83, Quinn Dobbins 78, Elijah Demogola 93, Matt Kelley 87, Nick Lyon 94.
Mt. Vernon: Oliver Mast 75, Will Dant 75, Xavier Dunham 78, Max Heitman 82, John Husar 85.