The Manhattan High boys’ golf team was just five shots from challenging Washburn Rural for the Centennial League title on Monday at Village Greens in Topeka.
MHS coach Brad Ficke said if a couple players picked up a few putts here and there, it could have been closer to the Junior Blues tournament-winning score of 307, rather than their second-place score of 312.
“We were five strokes off of Washburn Rural and if you think between four guys on 18 holes, that’s a missed putt here and there,” he said. “So we are just focusing on not missing shots, it’s basically moving to that next level, that’s our challenge now.”
The Indians finished tied with Shawnee Heights, which had the individual champion in Ronnie McHenry at 68, but their fifth player score of 84 from freshman Pierson McAtee helped the Indians gain the edge.
Senior Joe Ballard was the top shooter for the Indians, finishing in third place with a 3-over par 75. Sophomore David Woods was one shot behind him in fourth with a 76.
Freshman Cole Dollion finished at 80 to take 14th and Sophomore Scott Woods was in 16th with an 81. Freshman Drew Casper shot 87.
Ficke said the difference between the courses and conditions of the last two meets have been very different, but he thought the team improved on Monday.
“It was a good day, hardly any wind, there were ideal conditions,” he said. “Really different courses and much better conditions. I told the guys I thought we were back to where we should be, I really felt like the guys played well.”
The Indians are scheduled to play at Rolling Meadows on Thursday and Alva Mar in Lawrence next Wednesday. The regional tournament will be at Sim Park in Wichita on May 14. The state tournament is the following week at Buffalo Dunes in Garden City.