The Highland High School boys golf team did not have its A-game at the IHSA Class 2A Roxana Regional at Belk Park Golf Course in Wood River, but the Bulldogs played just well enough to nab third place and grab the final qualifying spot for Monday’s Salem Sectional.
Quincy Notre Dame ran away with the regional’s team title with an outstanding four-player score of 297, which was 22 shots in the clear of second place Alton Marquette’s solid score of 319. Highland finished third with a 338, which still was 16 shots ahead of Triad’s fourth-place score of 354.
QND, Marquette and Highland all advance as a team to the Salem Sectional to be played Monday at Salem Country Club.
“For the third year in a row, we advanced out of the regional,” Highland coach Brent James said. “Belk was playing tough today with high winds most of the round and rain in the middle of our back nine. The boys struggled under these conditions but didn’t give up. They held on to get the third spot and move on to Salem. The boys were not at their best, like when they won the conference (Sept. 21 at Belk Park), but the important thing is they get to advance to the sectional for the third year in a row.”
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Showing the way for Highland were senior Brandon Munie and junior Dylan Bargetzi, who turned in matching rounds of 83.
Senior Ben Brauns was third on the Bulldogs’ scoring pylon with an 85.
Highland’s team score was rounded out by one of two 87s shot by senior Stephen Schniers and freshman Evan Sutton.
In addition, senior Connor Pinsker finished with an 88.
Triad missed making it as a team by one spot, but the Knights still qualified four as individuals: senior Cameron Lambert (82), junior Tyler Flescher (89), freshman Garrett Wood (90) and junior Matt Weis (93).
All four of QND’s counting scorers fired sub-80 rounds, led by freshman Alex McCulla, who was the individual regional champion with a sizzling round of 2-under-par 70.
Also scoring for the Raiders were senior Reis Dreyer (73), sophomore David Hutson (75) and sophomore Jackson Leffers (79).
Marquette was paced by junior Kolten Bauer’s 74 and senior Jack Patterson’s 79. The Explorers also got an 81 from junior Sam Cogan and an 88 from junior Jack Warren.
Other area qualifiers
At the Class 2A Centralia Regional, Mater Dei made the cut as a team after finishing third with a final team score of 336, which was only behind regional champion Althoff (317) and host Centralia (335).
Sophomore Grant Goebel led the Knights with a 77. Also posting rounds toward Mater Dei’s team score were sophomore Tanner Gerdes (81), senior Will Clossen (87) and senior Matt Garnier (88).
In addition, Breese Central sophomore Jackson Haag (87) advanced as an individual to the sectional.
At the Class 1A Okawville Regional, Wesclin junior twins Parker Durgin (77) and Brandon Durgin (81) survived and the Warriors will next play host to the Wesclin Sectional Monday at Governors Run Golf Course in Carlyle.