COVENTRY, June 3 – In their final North Central Connecticut Conference meet, the Avon High boys golf team didn’t bring home the league championship. But they did the next best thing. They grabbed the NCCC Tournament title for the fourth time in five years.
Avon sophomore Jake Avery and senior Zach Mateja each shot a 73 Wednesday to share medalist honors and led the Falcons to the NCCC Tournament championship with a 306 at Twin Hills Country Club. Avon beat two-time league champion Suffield by seven strokes.
Suffield (13-1, 12-1 NCCC) took home the league title by a half point. Teams earn one point for each team they beat in the dual meet portion of the schedule and a half point for each team they beat at the league championship meet. Avon (13-3, 11-2 NCCC) finished a half point behind Suffield in the league title race, 18 to 17½.
“The kids played great,” Avon coach Josh Glick said. “You hope for the best. They had a good practice (Tuesday) but no one really played that well. It was our first round of the week. The kids turned it around and you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Avery has been playing well down the stretch. He was the medalist in Avon’s final two dual meets. Mateja earned medalist honors Wednesday for just the second time this season. Senior Alden Piper had a 77 while senior Matt Bergman had an 83 and freshman Tyler Hahn scored an 84. Avery and Hahn were named to the All-NCCC team at the tournament.
Granby (12-3, 11-2 NCCC) was third with 325 while Canton (12-3, 11-2 NCCC) was fourth with 328. Both teams, along with Avon, were in position to make a run at the league championship if Suffield stumbled in the league tournament.
The Bears were led by Kevin Slyne with a 76 and Chase Skrubis and Sam Kuhly, each with an 80.
Canton was hoping to make a run at capturing its first NCCC Tournament since 1996. Riley Hollis and Logan Andersen each shot a 79 to lead the Warriors. Ian Witzgall and Alex Oiker each had 85. Andersen, Hollis and Oiker were named to the All-NCCC team.
Canton coach Bill Phelps hoped his team could contend. But he wasn’t surprised with Canton finishing fourth. They finished behind Avon, ranked No. 2 in Division II, Suffield, ranked No. 2 in Division III and Granby, ranked No. 4 in Division III. “That’s a powerful group of players,” he said.
Each of the teams will now turn their eyes toward the CIAC state tournament next week. Each tournament is an 18-hole tournament. Canton is the top seed in the Division IV tournament on Monday at Tallwoods in Hebron.
Avon will playing Monday at Crestbrook Golf Club in Watertown in the Division II championship. The Falcons were fifth a year ago. Defending champion Notre Dame-West Haven is returning with their entire championship team. But the course can be a wild card.
“Anything can happen at Crestbrook,” Glick said. “That is the one equalizer. Usually, I tell the players to play one shot at a time. Pars are good. It’s OK to have one bad hole but keep playing. If they can enjoy it, they don’t think about the pressure and they’ll play well.”
2015 NCCC Tournament
At Twin Hills, Coventry
Team scores – 1. Avon 306, 2. Suffield 313, 3. Granby 325, 4. Canton 328, 5. Enfield 335, 6. Ellington 340, 7. Somers 345, 8. Coventry 347, 9. East Granby 361, 10. Bolton 364, 11. Windsor Locks 374, 12. SMSA 395, 13. Stafford 395, 14. Hartford Classical 442
Medalist: Jake Avery, Avon; Zach Mateja ,Avon and Allan Andrews, Coventry 73 at Twin Hills in Coventry
76: Nate Goldsnider, Bolton; Keven Slyne, Granby
77: Alden Piper, Avon; Sam Roy, Enfield; Austin Rupp, Suffield
78: Will Lloyd, Enfield; Matt Stafford, Suffield; Tom Durkin, Suffield
79: Riley Hollis, Canton; Logan Andersen, Canton; AJ Ouimet East Windsor
80: Sam Kuhnly, Granby; Chase Skrubis, Granby; Josh Stack, Suffield
82: Chris Bartlett, Ellington; Matt Vecchiarelli ,Somers; Zach Delvagalio, Suffield
83: Matt Bergman, Avon; Alex Tarbox, Ellington
84: Tyler Hahn, Avon; Trevor Simpson, Stafford
85: Ian Witzgall, Canton; Alex Olker ,Canton; Ryan Sherba, Ellington; Nate Stanton, Somers; Tommy Burgess, Somers
Avon results: Jake Avery 73, Tyler Hahn 84, Matt Bergman 83, Zach Mateja 73, Alden Piper 77
Canton results: Riley Hollis 79, Logan Andersen 79, Ian Witzgall 85, Alex Oiker 85, Vinnie Uccello 94
Granby results: Noah Pochoski 89, Keven Slyne 76, Jason Abate 91, Sam Kuhly 80, Chase Skrubis 80
League championship (teams get one point for each NCCC dual meet win and a half point for every team they beat at the league tournament). 1. Suffield 18, 2. Avon 17½, 3. Granby 16½, 4. Canton 16, 5. Ellington 13½, 6. Enfield 11.5, 7. Somers 10.5, 8. Coventry 10, 9. East Granby 7.5, 10. Windsor Locks 5.5, 11. Bolton 5, 12. Stafford 3.5, 13. SMSA 2, 14. Classical 0
2015 NCCC dual meet standings
Suffield 12-1 13-1
Avon 11-2 13-3
Granby 11-2 12-3
Canton 11-2 12-3
Ellington 9-4 12-4
Enfield 7-6 8-7
Coventry 7-6 8-9
Somers 7-6 10-7
East Granby 5-8 6-10
W. Locks 4-9 5-13
Bolton 3-10 3-11
Stafford 3-10 3-13
SMSA 1-12 6-14
Classical 0-13 1-15