CENTRALIA — In a season of highs and lows, the Belleville West Maroons once again are on the rise after winning the Centralia Orphan Invitational on Saturday at Greenview Golf Course.
The combination of Michael Len and David Crosby shot a 71 and two other West duos had rounds of 75 or better as the Maroons claimed the team title of the 16-team two-man best-ball event.
In winning its third tournament of the year, West also received rounds of 72 from the duo of Trevor Brown and Cade Dibadj and a 75 from Parker Beine and Austin Cleveland, as they finished with a score of 218.
Host Centralia --getting a 70 from Tylor McDaniel and Brandon Middleton -- also finished at 218. But West won the tiebreaker by posting the lower total on the back nine.
The Maroons had a 108 score on the back nine at Greenview, while the Orphans compiled a 111.
(Centralia) Christ our Rock, Alton and Mascoutah all tied for third place with scores of 222.
Individual champions Joe Schwartz and Clint Cress led Alton with a 66, while Mascoutah was paced by Nate Welch and Matt Hatley, who finished third with a 68.
Len, one of four seniors in the Maroons' lineup, combined with Crosby for three birdies as the twosome played steady golf throughout a windy day to lead West to another title.
West also recorded wins this season at the St. Clair County Tournament and the O'Fallon Panthers Invitational.
"This was a different format and more of a fun tournament. I just wanted the kids to play well and enjoy themselves today,'' West coach Clayton Fisher said. "It's been a great season and hopefully we can build on this finish today and continue to play well in the postseason.
"I thought Michael (Len) played very well today.''
Len said he enjoyed playing in the tournament with Crosby.
"I thought we played well today. David hit some great shots and I was able to hit a few good iron shots. We hit it pretty close all day. All three of the birdies were on short putts,'' Len said. "Our goal now is to play well, as we have all year long, and have a great postseason run.''
A long postseason run also is the goal for Fisher, whose team will compete in the Southwestern Conference Tournament on Tuesday at Belk Park Golf Course in Wood River.
"We started the season very well, then about halfway through it seemed like we had a little bit of a lull,'' Fisher said. "I'm hoping we're out of that now and that we'll start to play our best. This is the time of year when you want to be able to do that.''