Marcellus Above all other goals in 2013, the Chittenango boys golf team wanted to turn back Christian Brothers Academy and repeat its Section III small schools fall championship after it claimed the crown a year ago at Foxfire.
But at a different venue (the Links at Sunset Ridge) and in much different conditions (warm and windy, not cold and wet), the Bears found itself settling for second place in Wednesday’s sectional tournament, with the Brothers climbing its way back to the top.
Overall, Chittenango finished with a team score of 423, well clear of Tully (446) and Cortland (449), but just behind CBA’s total of 414.
Facing fast greens and wind gusts past 20 miles per hour on the Sunset Ridge layout in Marcellus, no one got close to breaking Sunset Ridge’s par of 72.
The problem for the Bears was that no one on its roster was able to break 80, something both of CBA’s top players, Drew Derrenbacker (78) and Jack Bellardini (79), managed to pull off.
It was Mike McIntosh leading the Bears’ efforts, shooting a nine-over-par 81, while Kyler Christopher posted an 83. Conor Delaney and Erik Russell both shot 85, just short of the cut line to advance to the state qualifier, while Ryan Delaney had an 89.
Despite the defeat, McIntosh and Christopher both finished within the top 25 percent of the field of more than 120 golfers, and will advance to the state qualifier, set for late May at Colgate University’s Seven Oaks course.
As one last warm-up for the sectional tournament, Chittenango went to the Links at Erie Village last Tuesday and rolled to a 203-239 victory over East Syracuse-Minoa’s Blue team.
The consistency was there, as each of the Bears’ top five players finished within three shots of each other, led by McIntosh, who posted a 39.
Conor Delaney, with a 40, was one shot behind McIntosh. McIntosh and Kyle McGinnis each finished with 41, while Erik Russell posted a 42. Each of them finished ahead of ESM Blue’s top golfer, Kyle Reader, who could only manage a 45.