Rob Prentiss has been an eyewitness to the evolving landscape of boys prep golf.
"One-sixty-320 used to be the benchmark (in a nine-hole and 18-hole tournament, respectively) of a good golf team," the St. Charles North coach said after his squad fired a 150 against Geneva at Mill Creek on Thursday in Upstate Eight Conference River Division play only to lose by 5 shots against the host Vikings. "Now it's 150-300."
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The 145-150 Geneva victory helped the Vikings (7-1, 4-1) stay within a half-match of undefeated Batavia for conference supremacy; St. Charles North (5-1, 2-1) had its season-long winning streak halted with the loss in Geneva.
Geneva coach Bill Koehn has also seen the evolution of the sport, and his squad made his retirement from the classroom all the more enjoyable on Thursday as Alex Schreiber and Nate Desens fired 39s -- and their scores were not even needed.
Pat Cuscaden, with teammates Colin Lillibridge and Dan Cisco already offering twin anchor scores with their 1-over-par 36 performances, authored his first medalist round of the fall with a level-par 35.
The senior had nothing but pars on his round.
"It was pretty much hit it straight (off the tee), hit it on (the green) and 2-putt," said Cuscaden, who had up and downs on the seventh and ninth holes to mitigate his only missed greens in regulation. "I'm glad we got the win, especially against a tough team like North. We have to win the (conference matches) at home."
"We have been waiting for (Cuscaden) to kind of step it up," Koehn said. "In high school golf you have to take care of business at home."
Cisco had a much more unusual day in carding his 1-over 36 round as the junior hit every green in regulation but recorded 20 putts on the day.
But Brett Hassels' 38 was the sixth Geneva score under 40, and the North Stars' late surge only made the final score closer.
St. Charles North had five players in the 30s, but it was not enough to overtake the Vikings' superlative consistency.
Raghav Cherala, the reigning conference MVP, had a continuation of a season-long theme.
"In the nine-hole matches I have been pretty solid," the North Stars' junior said after a 1-over 36 paced his team. "I was playing really well (in the shotgun start) with the double (bogey on the par-4 seventh)."
The North Stars' second-rated player snaked home a 20-footer for birdie on the third hole.
"That added a lot of confidence to my round," Cherala said.
Dan Shepherd, the North Stars' No. 1 player, had a 37 to complement the 1-over performance of his playing companion Cherala; senior classmates Ryan DalDegan and John McAleese rounded out the North Stars' collective scorecard with a 38 and 39.
Eighth-man Anthony Butir also shot a 39 for St. Charles North.
"Mill Creek does such a great job with its junior program," Prentiss said. "We have nothing to hang our head about. (The Geneva) guys grew up on this golf course."