The 303 Wheaton North's boys golf team shot Tuesday at the Class 3A York regional would have won several other regionals.
"Not here, not today," Falcons coach Mike Pribaz said.
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Not with two of the state's top teams, Hinsdale Central and Lyons Twp., locking down the top two spots at Maple Meadows Golf Course in Wood Dale, leaving just one spot for another team qualifier to Monday's Naperville Central sectional. That third spot went to the Falcons' cross-town rival, Wheaton Warrenville South, which earned the full ride to the sectional with a 293.
"In a very tough, competitive regional we're very happy and proud to have played so well and advance as a team," Tigers coach Jimmy Selleck said. "We had a plan today and we executed it, so hats off to the boys for playing as a team and working so well together and finishing so well."
Will Denman led the Tigers with a 68, shooting 34s on the front and back nines, saying he "was firing on all cylinders."
"He's a real steady golfer," Selleck said of his senior. "He works incredibly hard at his game. This was bound to happen sooner or later. We've seen signs along the way, and he's a great teammate. Today he put it together well. He played super well."
"I just hit a bunch of fairways and I was finding pins all day," Denman added. "I was making putts. That's about it."
It was a strong turnaround for the Tigers, who placed third at last week's DuPage Valley Conference tournament.
"We analyzed our performance and we found out that we came up short with respect to our checklist, so we had to focus on our growth areas, and today we did that," Selleck said. "It's a result of the guys working together, working for their team and working for something for their team and school. Yeah, we're really happy today."
Wheaton North, which won the DVC tournament last week for the first time in 30 years, didn't have as much to celebrate at Maple Meadows.
"We knew coming in we had to be under 300 with the teams here," Pribaz said. "This is arguably the toughest regional in the state, and those numbers show it.
"All of our guys will tell you they could have done a little better ... but we did not get it done together as a team. We've been successful as a team this year, and as a team it's not the fault of one guy. It's all of us together. We needed to do better, and we just didn't get it done today."
Still, five Falcons, all juniors, are moving on as individuals: Caleb Weise and Michael Suazo each shot a 75, Ben Shadid shot a 76, Connor Morency added a 77 and Charlie Vasbinder a 78.
"They'll root for each other all the way down" to state," Pribaz said.
Hinsdale Central won the regional with a 283 behind Drew Shepherd's 68. Lyons Twp. took second with a 286, Matt Walsh earning medalist honors with a 67. Glenbard West senior Will Hanson qualified with a 76. York also qualified four individuals.
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