Boys golf: Quinn, Hersey nip Conant in MSL showdown
Conant and Hersey are two of the top boys golf teams in the Mid-Suburban League this season.
The Huskies came into Tuesday's match at Bridges of Poplar Creek against Conant tied for the conference lead at 8-1, with the Cougars nipping at their heels at 7-1, and both squads showed in the match why they're having their best campaigns in recent memory.
Both teams excelled at Bridges, with Hersey taking a 149-154 win led by the play of stellar junior Henry Quinn.
Quinn took medalist honors in the dual meet with a 1-under 34 on Poplar Creek's back nine.
"Henry has been exceptional," said longtime Huskies coach Dan Caporusso. "He's first (individually) in the MSL this season, he's been an absolute horse in leading us, and we've been getting great support as well from guys two through six."
Quinn's been unparalleled in 18-hole tourneys as well this year, and his season-best of 69 saw him win the recent Buffalo Grove Invite.
The junior said that he's excited to be part of what he calls "the best Hersey team in a while," but also adds that the most important part of the season still lies ahead.
"What happens the next couple of weeks (MSL conference tournament and the state playoffs) matters more than what's happened the last few weeks, and we're putting it all together," he said.
Senior Sunny Sivarathri paced host Conant with a 36.
"We've got some good players on this team this year and a lot of depth," said Sivarathri, who said that he's taken on more of a leadership role in his senior season. "We have a lot of guys who can go low."
Nikko Ganas carded a 37 for the Cougars, another great round coming just days after he shot what is believed to be the first hole-in-one for the Conant boys program -- that coming in a MSL triangular on Poplar's 7th hole.
"I've never witnessed a hole-in-one," said Conant coach Scott Cieplik, "and unfortunately I didn't witness that one because I was on an adjacent hole. But I heard a lot of screaming so I knew something amazing was happening."
"It took a couple of bounces and just rolled in," said Ganas. "It was exciting. To learn that it was the first one in program history was pretty cool."
Max Sheldon (37), Tyler Haas (38), Michael Zola (40) and Tyler Irwin (40) all contributed to the victory for Hersey Tuesday, which came in tied with perennial power Barrington for the top spot in the conference.
"Max is the second-ranked tennis player in the state," said Caporusso, "and he's taken that hand-eye coordination out to the golf course and done a great job. We beat Barrington this year, which is a rare occurrence in the MSL We're excited about this season and I feel that this one of my better teams in my 40 years of coaching. It's been a long time since we've been this good."
Tyler Ryan (40), Rohan Patel (41) and Matt McColaugh (41) all counted scores for Conant.
"We've got a lot of seniors on the team, "said Cieplik, "and we plan to finish strong. Nikko and Sunny both could be counted as our number ones this year, they've both played fantastic. Sunny has been our senior leader, in practice and at matches, and he'll be sorely missed by our program (when the season ends)."
Ganas, a former soccer player who gave up that sport so that he could focus on golf, said that his team has a "good, solid top four this year."
"I had a pretty good round today," added the junior of the battle against Hersey. "I can't be mad about my score, but I couldn't get my short game going. I just could not get up and down in two."