So NorthWood’s Dylan Gessinger and LaVille’s Zach Gurtner played two more playoffs holes after both carded 3-over-par 75s at Black Squirrel Golf Club.
It was Gurtner emerging with the top honors, besting Gessinger with a par on the ninth hole at Black Squirrel.
But for Gessinger, all was not lost: The Panthers won the team title for the first time ever, carding a 318.
For Gessinger, that was enough to ease the sting of his first-ever playoff hole loss.
“I’m happy that the team won,” Gessinger said.
Gessinger got off to a rocky start Saturday morning, playing the first five holes 5-over-par. He calmed down from there and played the remaining 13 holes 2-under.
“I just had to not let the bogeys bother me,” Gessinger said.
The Panthers won the tournament despite being without their No. 1 golfer, Payton Grubbs, who was taking the ACT on Saturday.
NorthWood coach Brad Duerksen said the other players stepped up in Grubbs’ absence.
“We’ve got high expectations for this group,” Duerksen said.
Duerksen was especially proud of the way his team played in tough conditions, which started off Saturday morning with chilly temperatures in the 30s, a cold wind that made it feel more like the mid-20s, and intermittent sleet and occasional snowflakes.
Northridge was second with 328, followed by Fairfield, third with 329; Lakeland, fourth with 333; Elkhart Memorial fifth with 335; Goshen and Concord tied for sixth with 342; Plymouth eighth with 344; Elkhart Christian Academy ninth with 345; Elkhart Central, 10th with 367; Westview, 11th with 410; Fremont 12th with 414; LaVille, 13th with 419 and Jimtown 14th with 420.
Goshen coach Brent Randall was pleased with his team’s top three players, as Goshen got an 81 from No. 1 Alex Hartsough; an 82 from No. 3 Michael Chupp; and an 86 from No. 2 Joel Moyer.
“We’re going to need to find a few more scorers,” Randall said.
Northridge coach Dennis Sienicki had praise for the entire field as it battled its way through a tough day on the golf course.
“The attitudes were great out there,” Sienicki said.
Fairfield coach Rand Schrock was pleased with his team’s third-place showing, especially given the conditions.
“On a day like today, you just grind it out,” Schrock said.