WINONA LAKE— All the NorthWood High School boys golf team wanted to do on Thursday was make some history by becoming the first team in program history to advance to the state golf finals.
They did that and then some by firing a team score of 305 to win the IHSAA regional hosted by Warsaw at Stonehenge Golf Club in Winona Lake.
“We were looking to make history and I’m on cloud nine since we won the regional,” NorthWood coach Brad Duerksen said. “We shoot a 144 on the first nine (back nine) and I couldn’t have been happier. There were some very good golf teams here today.”
Fort Wayne Dwenger was second at 308 and Homestead 310 to grab the finals two state qualifying positions.
The top three teams and five individuals, excluding those on advancing teams move on to the state finals Tuesday and Wednesday at The Legends Golf Course in Franklin.
Moving on as individuals were Tyler Prentkowski of John Glenn (37-34—71) who defeated Michael Brothers of Fort Wayne Canterbury (37-34—71) in a playoff to win medalist honors. Other qualifiers were Nick Bienz of Heritage (37-35—72), Michael Makris of Mishawaka Marian (36-36—72) and Cameron Smith of Peru (35-38—73).
Smith won a playoff over four other players that included Tom Morrison of Northridge (37-36—73).
“Tom hit 16 greens today in regulation,” Northridge coach Dennis Sienicki said. “He was very accurate. He played under control. He did not make many mistakes.”
Brayden Glaser carded a 36-47—73 to lead NorthWood. Alec Dutkowski added a 42-33—75, Logan Kauffman 40-35—75, Matthew Ely 43-39—82 and Hayden Klotz 43-40—83.
“Coming in we knew we had a chance to win, but we would really have to play well,” Duerksen said. “We were confident and knew we could do it if we played to our potential.”
Stonehenge is a par 71, 6,901-yard layout.
“This course sets up well for the kids that are long hitters, but we also scrambled well,” the coach added. “The kids did a good job of playing within themselves and not getting down after a bad hole.”