By MICHAEL BURWELL
KALIDA — Area boys golf teams made it a clean sweep in the Division II sectional tournament at Moose Landing Country Club on Thursday.
Liberty-Benton, Upper Sandusky and Ottawa-Glandorf finished first, second and third, respectively, to advance to next week’s district tournament.
The Eagles fired a 329 to win the sectional title on a cool and windy day at Moose Landing. Upper Sandusky, behind medalist Brett Montgomery’s 3-over 75, finished second with a 345 while O-G was third at 349.
The top three teams and top four individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to Thursday’s district tournament at Sycamore Springs Golf Course in Arlington.
Balance was key for L-B. The Eagles’ No. 4 player, Patrick Streacker, had a team-best 80. Seth Lasiter fired an 81, while Brice McDaniel (82) and Noah Brand (86) rounded out L-B’s score.
“I was pleased with how our kids played today,” L-B coach Steve Williman said. “Anytime you play, there’s always some strokes that you leave out on the course, but overall, I was pleased with how we played.
“The course, when the wind picked up, scores started to go a little bit higher and the course was a little more demanding at that time. They have some holes that if you get above the hole, it’s difficult to be able to score.”
Meanwhile, Montgomery battled a back injury and other obstacles to post the best round of the day.
The Rams’ senior, a four-time Northern 10 Conference player of the year and two-time Division II state qualifier, admitted he didn’t have his best stuff Thursday.
It didn’t matter. He was one of only two players to break 80, with Lima Bath’s Britton Hall shooting a 78.
“The goal is always to play the best you can play with what you have for that day, and I feel like I did that today,” Montgomery said. “I didn’t have a lot working for me, but at this point in the season, it’s not so much about who wins.
“It’s more about just getting to the next stage, and once you get to the final stage, which is hopefully state, then it comes down to winning. But at this point, it’s just do what you got to do to move on and just take it one step at a time.”
After Montgomery had a three-putt bogey on the par-3 No. 11 hole, he had to receive treatment on his back from Upper Sandusky coach Graham Treadway. After about five minutes, he made his way to the next tee.
On his next shot, he ripped his drive on the par-4, 350-yard No. 12 hole into the front greenside bunker.
“(Treadway) kind of did what he had to do to be able to keep me going because at that point, I was kind of limping around and it was hard to maneuver my body,” Montgomery said. “But yeah it was a grind out there and I just got the ball in the hole when I needed to.”
Montgomery had a couple key birdies during his round, including one on No. 8, a par-5, 500-yard hole that was playing straight into the wind. He also birdied the par-4, 336-yard 15th after nearly driving the green.
Owen Knapp, a sophomore for Upper Sandusky, shot an 80 while Evan Young and Benjamin Latham both shot 95 to help the Rams reach districts for the second straight season.
“It’s tough to get a team out of sectionals, so we’re grateful that we did it,” Treadway said. “We really didn’t play great, our 3-4-5 didn’t play that great so hopefully next week, we can play a little better and maybe give ourselves a shot (at state).”
Balance was key for the Titans as well, who are also district bound for the second consecutive year after not reaching the level since 2001.
Alex Ellerbrock and Carter Schimmoeller shot an 86 and 87, respectively, for O-G. Parker Schomaeker and Brayden Buckland both had 88.
The Titans, who were among the first groups to finish, anxiously played the waiting game as more team scores came in. O-G edged fourth-place Bryan by four strokes, fifth-place Coldwater by seven and sixth-place Van Wert by nine.
“It was close. It was right down to the wire,” O-G coach Tom Von Sossan said with a laugh. “What saved us, we didn’t have that one or two really good scores today that we typically get, but we had great balance, like three strokes separated 1-5, and it was that balance that was just enough at the end.”
Elmwood finished 11th with a 487, while Fostoria had two individuals compete but did not field a complete team.
Hall, Coldwater’s Carson Muhlenkamp (83), Bryan’s Case Hartman (84) and Van Wert’s Gavin Flickinger (85) qualified for districts as individuals.
Division II Sectional
AT MOOSE LANDING COUNTRY CLUB
1, Liberty-Benton (Patrick Streacker 80, Seth Lasiter 81, Brice McDaniel 82, Noah Brand 86) 329. 2, Upper Sandusky (Brett Montgomery 75, Owen Knapp 80, Evan Young & Benjamin Latham 95) 345. 3, Ottawa-Glandorf (Alex Ellerbrock 86, Carter Schimmoeller 87, Parker Schomaeker & Brayden Buckland 88) 349. 4, Bryan 353. 5, Coldwater 356. 6, Van Wert 358. 7, Paulding 366. 8, Lima Bath 369. 9, Napoleon 391. 10, Kenton 394. 11, Elmwood (Jonah Houtz 116, Tegan Tyson 118, Tommy Curtis 122, Oliver Smith 131) 487.
OTHER SCORES — Libby Welly (Fostoria) 132; Noah Damschroder (Fostoria) 136.
MEDALIST & INDIVIDUAL QUALIFIERS
MEDALIST — Brett Montgomery (Upper Sandusky) 75. DISTRICT QUALIFIERS — Britton Hall (Lima Bath) 78; Carson Muhlenkamp (Coldwater) 83; Case Hartman (Bryan) 84; Gavin Flickinger (Van Wert) 85.