High school roundup: Union Grove golfers scratch 36-year-old itch with WIAA regional title | Preparation sports
In the Union Grove High School gymnasium, there are banners for each sport, listing that sport’s conference, regional and sectional championships, and appearances or state championships.
The boys’ golf banner is almost devoid of such honors, but the Broncos added a major honor to that banner on Tuesday by winning their first regional championship since 1986.
Union Grove’s top three players shot 80 or better and the Broncos shot 327 to win the St. Catherine’s/Racine Lutheran Regional at Ives Grove Golf Links in Yorkville.
Union Grove edged second place Muskego (329) by two strokes and third place Waterford (332) by five. Case was the fourth qualified team (339). Park and Horlick had incomplete teams and St. Catherine’s/Lutheran did not field a team.
The top four teams and the top four players not on those teams will advance to Division 1 Brookfield Central next Tuesday at Wanaki Golf Course in Menomonee Falls.
Waterford freshman Robbie Meyers was the medalist with a 74 of 2 over par, one shot ahead of Union Grove senior Simon Graham (75) on the white and blue courses of ‘Ives Grove.
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Seniors Sam Nolan and Jack Boscher of Case tied for third with senior Joseph Drana of Muskego, and Boscher needed the third tiebreaker to claim third place. Nolan was fourth and Drana fifth in the tiebreaker.
The four individual players to advance were from Racine County schools – senior Horlick Mike Cerny, senior Park Alex Hutchinson, and senior Ryan Gonzalez and sophomore Benjamin Graham of Burlington.
After Graham, junior Jacob Brown shot a 78 (sixth place) and fellow junior Nathan Beutel shot an 80 (seventh) for the Broncos. Freshman No. 5 Caden Eichner completed his top four scorers with a record 94 as Union Grove celebrated being added to that banner after 36 years.
“At the beginning of the year, I sent a photo of the almost empty boys’ golf board to the boys and said that our goal should be to add a number to that board,” the coach said. ‘Union Grove, Eric Swanson. “We didn’t play well enough to win the conference, but today we did just enough to win our regional and earn a number on this board.”
Swanson said a few players struggled off the tee but landed good shots to recover good scores. He cited a fling for Graham on the last hole, the 515-yard, par-5 ninth hole of the blue course.
Simon hung up his drive in a danger zone, hit a mediocre second shot, then dropped 60 yards from the flag after his third shot, Swanson said.
Simon was up to the challenge, sticking a wedge within six feet of the pin and making the par putt to secure the victory for the team.
“It wasn’t pretty at times today,” Swanson said. “Simon and Jacob struggled off the tee at times, but they managed to hold their own pretty well and get respectable scores.
“Jacob played big on the final stretch, playing the final five holes evenly, and Nathan played a solid round, overcoming a few misfires to shoot an 80.”
Swanson said next week’s Brookfield Central will be a tough test as the Broncos try to earn their first-ever state men’s team spot in school history.
“I’m very happy for this team because they’ve worked really hard over the last year on their games,” Swanson said. “Beating a very good Muskego team and a much improved Waterford team is important to us.”
Meyers’ 74 was his best round in high school and it helped the Wolverines shoot their best team score of the season at the right time. He shot 1 of 37 on every nine and finished with four birdies and six birdies.
“Robbie came out very strong with two birdies in the first four holes and continued to hit hard all day,” Waterford coach Joe Rydzewski said. “He showed great composure under pressure after turning in first place and was able to finish the round strong.”
Junior Mason Roanhouse continues to play well, Rydzewski said. Roanhouse shot a 1 of 37 on the white course, including consecutive birdies on the seventh and eighth holes, then struggled on the blue course for a 45 to finish with an 82.
Freshman Jackson Heath had a regular round 84, shooting 42 on both nines, and second-rounder Adam Chart shot a 92.
“The boys have worked very hard all season in training and put in a lot of extra work and the results of that hard work are starting to show,” Rydzewski said.
Nolan and Boscher shot nearly identical balls in their 76s. In fact, they had the same scores on the first seven holes before Boscher finished 3-5 and Nolan finished 4-4. On the back nine (Blue), each had a birdie, a bogey and seven pars for 36s.
In the tiebreaker, the two were tied on the first two tiebreakers, scored on the last nine holes and last six holes, and the third tiebreaker, scored on the last three holes, decided from their seats. Boscher was 2-4-5 and Nolan was 3-4-5.
Dalton Gain senior had an 87 and Parker Zigas senior had a 100 to complete the Eagles score.
Benjamin Graham shot an 81 and Gonzalez shot an 85 for Burlington to advance to the section. Cerny shot an 86, which included two birdies, and Hutchinson had a 93.
Burlington elder Reid Rainer also shot a 93 and he and Hutchinson needed a playoff for the final berth in the section. After the two made 7s on the first playoff hole, Hutchinson made a par on the second playoff hole and Rainer missed his par putt.
DIVISION 3 REGIONAL WILLIAMS BAY: Prairie didn’t have its best day Tuesday at the Division 3 Williams Bay Sectional at Delbrook Golf Club in Delavan, but the Hawks comfortably qualified for next week’s Abundant Life Christian Sectional at Cottage Grove.
Prairie totaled 345 shots to finish third behind champion Cambridge (309) and Abundant Life Christian Co-op (328). Williams Bay finished fourth (371).
Senior No. 1 player Ben Reynolds had one of his best scores of the season, shooting an 80 despite shooting an 8 on the 13th hole. He only had one more hole with a score over 5 and shot all 4s and 5s on the front nine for a 39.
Reynolds tied for fourth with four other players, including Catholic Central’s Nick Delimat, who qualified for the section as an individual.
Senior No. 3 Andrew Schaefer also had one of his best rounds of the season, an 84, to finish alone in 13th place. Freshman No. 5 William Schaefer shot a 90 and senior No. 2 Cam McPhee had a 91 to complete the Hawks’ four scoring.
Delimat, a junior, shot 38 on the front nine and 42 on the back for his 80.
Cambridge junior Nick Buckman was the medalist with a 73 and freshman teammate Kiani Bystol-Flores was second with a 74.
The section is Wednesday, June 1 at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove.
UNION GROVE 11, WESTOSHA CENTRAL 2: The Broncos clinched the all-time Southern Lakes Conference title in emphatic fashion on Tuesday night.
Westosha Central (18-4, 10-4 SLC) entered the game one game behind Union Grove (18-5, 12-2 SLC), with the game being the last SLC game for both teams. Thirteen days earlier, the Falcons had handed the Broncos a 15-14 loss.
Tuesday evening, the outcome was hardly in doubt. Union Grove hit first with three runs late in the first, then added four more late in the second after Westosha Central scored a run early in the second. The Broncos added two more runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Sophomore Hayden Jamison went 2 for 3 with two RBIs to lead Union Grove. Juniors Owen Nowak and Nathan Williams also went 2-for-3 with an RBI apiece, with Nowak hitting two doubles and Williams hitting a triple. Senior Josh DeGroot went 2 for 2 and reached base in all four at bats.
Landon Dessart pitched 4⅔ innings and allowed two earned runs and struck out three. Nowak pitched the final inning 2⅓ and allowed a hit while striking out two.
The Broncos have won at least a share of the SLC baseball title for the third consecutive season and have won the conference two years in a row. Union Grove will host Kenosha Indian Trail (4-18) next Tuesday in the WIAA Division 1 Regional Semifinals.
RACINE LUTHERAN-PRAIRIE 8, SHORELAND LUTHERAN 0: Riley Gavigan threw a complete shutout for LP in a Metro Classic Conference game at Carthage College on Tuesday.
The LPs (12-9, 6-8 MCC) scored six of their eight runs in the first three innings. That was more than enough running support for Gavigan on the mound. The sophomore pitched seven scoreless innings while scattering seven hits, walking one and striking out two against the Pacers (7-12, 7-7 MCC).
Matthew Hoeft led the LPs at the plate going 3-for-4 with a brace, a walk, a stolen base and a run scored. Ben Tietyen went 2 for 3 with a walk, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Camdin Jansen went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a stolen base. Seth Hultman went 1 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
KENOSHA BRADFORD/REUTHER 2, HORLICK 1 (11 ROUNDS): Despite a strong pitching effort, the Rebels lost a Southeastern Conference game in heartbreaking fashion Tuesday at Kenosha.
Horlick (11-12, 11-8 SEC) broke a scoreless tie in the top of the ninth inning with an RBI from Caden Burbey, but Bradford/Reuther (10-14, 10-9 SEC) tied the game with a RBI bachelor at the end of ninth. Late in the 11th, the Red Devils finished the game with a one-out compression bunt.
JJ Bardega pitched nine innings and allowed four hits and an unearned run while walking one.
“JJ threw a gem again tonight,” Horlick’s trainer Tyler Funk said. “He certainly didn’t deserve a non-decision tonight. They just made one more game to get the start.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Rebels. Horlick has won nine of his last 12 games after losing seven in a row before.
TJ Williams, Dom LaCanne and Bardega had Horlick’s only three hits in the game, all in singles. There were no extra base hits for either team in the game.
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