Vikings top tight field in first MSL-Buckeye match

If the first Mid-State League Buckeye Division match on Tuesday is an indication of the season ahead, then it is going to be a photo finish to determine who claims the league championship this fall.

Four schools were separated by just seven strokes after 18 holes on the Crown Hill Golf Club course. Teays Valley won the match with a team scorecard of 334, followed by Fairfield Union (335), Logan Elm (340) and Bloom-Carroll (341) in the seven-school field.

“I was pleased with today’s rounds of golf by the players,” Teays Valley coach Brian Barnett said. “I thought that we remained really consistent from start to finish. We did not panic when we made a big number and did not celebrate too much when we made some birdies.”

The league schools will meet in three additional matches, with the next encounter scheduled for Aug. 19 at Turnberry Golf Club.

James Bush paced the Vikings with an 81, Caden Sherman shot 82, Noah Hilgenberg fired an 84 and Vance Hanger turned in a score of 87. Also playing for the Vikings were Damon Bakenhaster (91) and Carter Hutchison (92).

“I was happy with the way James played today, his 81 was really good. He was six-over-par on his first five holes and could have mailed it in. However, being a senior and being in situations like this before, he knew how to grind it out and made the most of the rest of his round,” Barnett praised. “Junior Caden Sherman played really well today, He had stretches where he made several pars in a row. Anytime you can string pars together you will have a solid round of golf.

“Freshman Noah Hilgenberg continued his solid play today, he has had a great start to the season, because of the work he put in during the off season. Junior Vance Hanger remains solid for us, he has been very consistent in his scoring and that is what we are going to need from him this season. I really believe that first two events we played in this year help prepare us for today’s round. it was difficult out on the course today, windy and firm conditions.”

Logan Elm’s Will Higginbotham shared medalist honors with a round of 80 with Fairfield Union’s Isaiah DeLong.

Grant Cline followed Higginbotham with an 84, Graham Williams tallied 88 and Cole Smith also shot an 88. Also playing for the Braves were Parker Calder (93) and Judson Pollock (96).

Circleville finished fifth with 354.

Reid Seimetz turned in a tally of 81, Brady Reuter had 85, Michael Fernandez shot 91 and Liam McConnell contributed a 97. Also playing for the Tigers were Jude Blair (99) and Andrew Soembida (111).

Amanda-Clearcreek came in sixth with 430.

Caiden Riddle led the way with 99, Ashden Vanscoy has 102, AJ Moyer shot 106 and Breece Stone tallied 123. Also playing for the Aces was Will Francis with 148.

The Vikings travel to Cumberland Golf Club on Thursday for the Watkins Memorial Invitational, while the Braves and Tigers travel down U.S. 23 to play at the Portsmouth Elks Golf Course.

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