Barrington, Prospect stay in the Wheeling Invite chase
For the first time in his 13 years directing the Wheeling Invitational, Wildcats boys golf coach Mark Menich had a little extra work to determine the team champion.
Loyola and Barrington each came in with scores of 300, so it came down to the best fifth score, and that belonged to the Ramblers with a 78.
Loyola took home the first-place trophy from Chevy Chase Country Club on Saturday while the Broncos were once again runners-up. Prospect (302), Lake Forest (308) and Deerfield (313) rounded out the top five.
Loyola freshman Bennett Cotten earned medalist honors with a 2-under 70, followed by Lake Forest's Jack Garrity (72), Prospect's Grant Gavin (72), St. Viator's Matt Trimberger (73), Barrington's Tom Calbi (73) and Barrington's Burke Barsamian (73).
Also cracking the top 10 was Barrington's Joey Batliner, who placed ninth with a 75.
"Even though the weather was good, the players had the wind to contend with so the scores were very good for the conditions," Menich said.
Barrington coach Mike Kallenbach wasn't complaining about the narrow loss of the title.
"We've had our share of second-place finishes here," said Kallenbach, whose team's best score this season is a 282 in the Mattoon Invitational. "I'm happy. Three hundred is a good number. Tom and Burke played real well as did Joey. We'll take these scores any time. I'm not disappointed at all."
Calbi's round included 11 straight pars and 15 total along with one birdie and a pair of bogeys.
"There were a lot of teams here so second place is not bad," the sophomore said.
"I thought we could have played better but we all did the best we could and you are not going to play great every time," added Barsamian, who fired 4 birdies and had a double bogey. "My irons and wedges were the best part of my game. My drive was the weakest. Normally I hit more fairways."
Rounding out the Broncos' scores were Cole Kempinski (79) and Tim Lim (80).
Prospect's third-place finish was highlighted by Gavin's even-par round in which the senior made three straight birdies on No. 11 through 13. Teammate Jack Kavanagh (75) birdied No. 14, parred No. 15 and birdied No. 16.
"So in about a half hour there, they were a combined 7-under for six holes," said Knights coach Tom Martindale. "I was very happy with our team's effort. When you have four guys break 80, that's great consistency."
T.J. Swan (77), Joey Dellanina (78) and Johnny Bruno (83) completed the Knights' card.
Gavin's round was a career best, coming off an impressive 74 and medalist honors in the 115-player Zion-Benton Invite.
"It feels great to finish third (only 2 strokes back) as a team in this tough field," Gavin said. "A lot of guys played well and it was real fun. I made a lot of putts. It was a great day weather-wise and the course was in great shape."
St. Viator's ninth-place finish was led by Trimberger's 73, one better than his previous personal-best of 74 for a high school round.
The junior had birdies on No. 2, 11 and 18.
"I was putting pretty well," said the Barrington resident who made a 25-footer (big left-to-right turn) for his birdie on the par-4 No. 11.
Other contributors for Hall of Fame coach Jack Halpin's Lions were Nick Carlson (78), John Carlson (78), Liam Warner (89) and Frank Kaspar (89).
Stevenson took seventh place with a score of 315.
Patriots sophomore Kamaren Sandhu who tied for tenth place with his round of 75.
Senior Luke Feder (78), senior Jason Gohde (81), sophomore Kevin Chin (81) and junior Zach Orlowsky (86) rounded out thee Stevenson scoring.
The Pats' season best for 18 holes is 309 at the Deefield tournament.
"This (Wheeling Invite) wasn't our best, and it wasn't our worst," said Stevenson coach John Rueth. "It was OK -- the kids know what they have to do. We have a lot of work with the playoffs coming up. We have to work on the short game."
After a 40 on the front, Sandhu came back with a sizzling 35 on the back.
"He played his last 11 hole 2-under," Rueth said. "For a sophomore, he has a good mind for that. He is mature for his age. He keeps plugging away which is nice to see and hard to do for high school kids."