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Prep Roundup: Titans finish third at golf regionals, qualify for state finals after winning tiebreaker; TC United's season ends in regional title game

May 29—MIDLAND — The Traverse City West Titans found themselves on the outside looking in after wrapping up their play at the Division 1 boys golf regional meet Wednesday. But it wouldn't stay that way.

The Titans sat in fourth place with the top three squads qualifying for the varsity boys golf state finals, but a couple of teams — including Hartland — still needed to finish out their rounds at the Currie Golf Club in Midland.

When it was all said and done, both West and Hartland were tied with a combined score of 317. The tiebreaker is whichever team's fifth scorer had the best score, and it would be sophomore Titan Henry Stachnik and his round of 85 that tipped the scales in favor of West as Hartland's fifth scorer finished with an 87.

"Stressful day, but we are in," West head coach Todd Hursey said. "We're ecstatic. It just didn't feel like a day when this was in the cards to advance. There are so many good teams in this region, and our start was shaky. But resilience carried us through. We just kind of hung around, and that's what it came down to today."

Winslow Robinson led the Titans with a 77 to finish in 11th place, followed closely by Jason Parrish and Sean Haggerty tied for 17th just a stroke back with a 78, and Duncan Robinson in 50th with an 84.

"Winslow is clearly one of the best players in the state, and we're excited that the team picked him up," Hursey said. "In the first couple years of his career, he was thinking he'd have to do it on his own. On a day when he was good but not at his best, his teammates picked him up and got us there. We're fortunate to be moving on, and we did it as a team without needing Winslow to go out and shoot a 69 to carry us."

Howell won the team regional championship with a 306, led by individual regional champion Derek Kantola's 4-under 68. Midland earned runner-up honors with a 313.

"As much as we wanted to believe, there was a lot of stress," Hursey said. "Anytime it's a tiebreak, it's wild to go to that. An 85 won't normally do it, but that's just how it happened."

Hursey said it felt like forever before the final scores were made official, only adding to the stress.

"When they finally did, it was just a relief — a major relief," he said.

Hursey said Stachnik's 85 wasn't one of the sophomore's better rounds of the year, but it was what the Titans needed.

"If you ask him before the round, he would not be happy at all, but the fact that he kept in it and fought until the end was the difference," he said. "One stroke less and we're tied with (Traverse City) Central, and they would have gotten us on the tiebreaker. There were so many scenarios that were playing out at the end."

Traverse City Central finished one stroke behind both West and Hartland with a combined score of 318 to come excruciatingly close to a ticket to the D1 state finals, which are slated for June 7-8 at the Bedford Valley Golf Course in Battle Creek.

"It was a tough pill to swallow," Central head coach Lois McManus said. "One stroke is tough. A hundred strokes would have been something else — even 10 strokes — but one stroke is really difficult because each person can think of at least that one stroke they should have or could have saved."

EJ Maitland led the Trojans with a 75 to finish in fifth place overall. Cameron Mansfield fired a 77 to take 11th, and both Andrew Fender and Griffin Mawson carded an 83 to finish tied for 41st. Devin Garner was Central's fifth scorer with an 85 to place 57th.

"They had a great season. They've got nothing to be ashamed of. They played great golf," McManus said. "The best thing about this team is that they are truly, 100 percent a team and 100 percent committed to each other. They trust each other. They know when to ask for help. They look for each other. They have faith in each other."

That camaraderie, McManus said, makes it difficult to see their season end without a trip to states.

"They've done everything together," she said. "It's too bad they couldn't do that together."

Maitland and Mansfield just missed out on qualifying for states as individuals. The top three individual golfers from non-qualifying teams also earn spots at the state finals, and Maitland was only two strokes off while Mansfield was four.

"Those two reached straight down into their souls and played some great golf," McManus said. "They gutted through it. They were just grinders."

Hursey, who has worked with and coached some of the Trojan golfers in the Traverse City Junior Golf Association, said it was difficult to see Central come so close and miss out.

"I feel like they're my boys, too, and my heart goes out to them," he said. "I just wish so bad that we were making the trip together. They went out with a solid round. Everyone will second guess a putt here or a tee shot there, but they hung tough with a great lineup of teams. They have a lot to be proud of."

The two-day state finals begin next Friday.

"We're a young, inexperienced team, and that showed early on," Hursey said. "We're focused on having a great start and being who we are, which is a group of guys that might not be the most talented team in the state but they believe in themselves and will fight to be a contender."

BOYS LACROSSE REGIONALS

United falls to Grand Ledge in final, 20-2

GRAND LEDGE — Grand Ledge could not be stopped in the early part of Wednesday's Division 1 regional championship final against the Traverse City United.

The Comets (19-1) jumped out to a quick 15-0 lead with a barrage of goals that quickly wore down the United (8-8). The lead ballooned to 14-0 in the second quarter in a game that resulted in a 20-2 final.

"We just let them know that we're proud of them and that our season doesn't come down to one game," United head coach Liberty Provost said. "We had a lot of highs and lows this year, so we'll just try to embrace the highs and learn from the lows to come back strong next year."

Despite finishing as a .500 team, the United grabbed two home playoff wins — an 18-5 win over Grand Rapids Christian and an 11-10 last-second thriller over rival Petoskey.

"Those wins were awesome. These guys are going to have those memories forever, especially that Petoskey win that was so exciting and such a close game," Provost said. "Having all the fans there and having that big-game feel to it was really memorable."

The loss ends what could be the final season of the TC United co-op varsity boys lacrosse team as it is set to split into Traverse City Central- and Traverse City West-based programs for the 2025 season.

Fourteen players also wrapped their high school lacrosse careers, including the United's top player Caleb Lewandowski as well as Spencer Gerber, Logan Ockert, Anderson Farmer, Connor Swank, Ryan Grubbs, Collin Benedict, Isaac Brisbois, Jackson Dobreff, Kyle Novak, Collin Sanborn, Quinn Worden, Mason Clark and Gunnar Canty.

Lewandowski finished his final game with a goal and an assist, and Gerber picked up the other goal. Farmer made seven saves in net for the United.

"Our whole senior class was great," Provost said. "I love them all, and I'm going to miss every one of them."

GIRLS SOCCER DISTRICTS

McBain NMC 3

Lakeview 1

McBain Northern Michigan Christian: Jada VanNoord 2 goals, 1 assist; Melanie Bennett 1 goal; Sofia Hernandez 1 assist; Harper Tossey 12 saves.

UP NEXT: The Comets (16-2-2) play in the district championship final against Shelby at Lakeview on Friday.

Gaylord 2(OT)

Marquette 0

UP NEXT: The Blue Devils (9-6-4) travel to Petoskey to play for a district championship Saturday.

BASEBALL

Glen Lake 4

TC Central 2

Glen Lake: Benji Allen (W) 3.1 IP, 2 HA, 8 K; Cooper Bufalini 3.2 IP, 3 HA, 2 ER, 6 K; Joey Rious bases-loaded, 2-out 2B, sac fly, 4 RBI;

Traverse City Central: Lucas Dorman RBI; Camden Rokos 2 H, RBI.

Benzie Central 3 10

Suttons Bay 0 9

Game 1: Benzie — Evan Chandler (W) 6 IP, 2 HA, 11 K; Lane Sanchez H; Mason Childs 2 H; Grayson Converse 2B.

Game 2: Benzie — Converse (W) 1.2 IP, 4 K; Tyler Brooks 2 H, 2 RBI; Zach Hendricks 2 H, RBI; Jacob Ellis H (first varsity hit), RBI.

SOFTBALL

Manton 20 24

Glen Lake 5 3

Game 1: Manton — Aliyah Geary (W) 3 IP, 5 HA, 5 ER, 3 K; Morgan Shepler 3 H, 2B, 3B, 3 R, 4 RBI; Geary 2 H, 2 R, RBI; Adriana Sackett H, R, RBI; Kadie Meyer H, R, RBI; Kaya Jenkins 3 R, RBI; Rylyn Wilder 3 R, RBI; Kyra Johnson 3 R, RBI; Karley R, RBI. Glen Lake — Jessie Pugh H, R, 2 RBI; Laila Shimek H, 2 RBI; E. Bailey H, R, RBI.

Game 2: Maggie Powers (W) 3 IP, 5 HA, 3 RA, 2 ER, K; Geary 2 H, 3 R, RBI; Sackett 3 H, 3 R, 2 RBI; Alexander 2 H, 3 R, 4 RBI; Kayleigh Niehardt 3 R, RBI; Johnson H, 3 R, 2 RBI; Powers H, 2 RBI. Glen Lake — K. Lamb RBI; Ella Flores 2 H, 2 RBI.

Lake Leelanau SM 11 21

Central Lake 10 9

Game 1: Lake Leelanau St. Mary — A. Duperon (W) 7 IP, 7 K; C. Mikowski 2 H, 3 R; B. Kohler 2 RBI; D. Bunek 3 H, 2 R, 3 RBI; D. Serrano H, RBI; E. Grant H, 2 R, RBI. Central Lake — A. Miller 6 IP, 6 K; Miller 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; S. McGuire 3 H, 2 R, RBI; J. Warnos 2 H, 2 R, 2 RBI; J. Mulligan 2 R, RBI.

Game 2: St. Mary — Mikowski (W) 4 IP, 0 ER, 8 K; Mikowski H, 3 R, RBI; Kohler 3 R, RBI; Bunek 2 H, 2 R, 4 RBI; L. Fleis H, 3 R, RBI; Serrano R, RBI; Duperon H, 2 R, RBI; L. Bramer H, 2 R, 2 RBI. Central Lake — Warnos 2 H, 2 R, 3 RBI; A. Evans H, RBI; M. Hibbard H, R, RBI.