By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — The Troy boys golf team got its shot at Miami Valley League Miami Division leader Tippecanoe — and got the opportunity it needed.
In the end, though, the Trojans’ shot was off the mark and the Red Devils did what they had to do to hold off Troy and remain undefeated in head-to-head play on the season in a 165-179 MVL Miami victory Monday at Troy Country Club.
With the win, Tippecanoe improved to 13-0 overall and 8-0 in the MVL Miami with one more division match on the schedule before Saturday’s MVL Tournament at Beechwood.
“So far — we’re 8-0 right now with West Carrollton left,” Tippecanoe coach Aaron Jackson said. “Beating Troy today was huge. Going into the tournament Saturday, we should have no losses and everyone else will have two, so that gives us a decent cushion for the tournament. But it’s not a sealed deal by any means. You never know with the tournament.”
Troy, meanwhile, fell to 10-3 overall and 6-2 in the MVL Miami, also with one league match remaining. But for the Trojans, the opportunity was on Monday — and they missed it.
“It was a tough day. This was a life lesson — when opportunity presents itself, you’ve got to go after it. You can’t expect anyone to give it to you,” Troy coach Mark Evilsizor said. “We knew we needed them to have an off day — and they did. We got what we wanted, but we just didn’t do enough.
“So give Tipp credit. They pulled one out on a day that they didn’t play well, and that’s what champions do sometimes. You grind it out and find ways to win. We just didn’t do what we needed to win tonight.”
Tippecanoe, meanwhile, did just enough.
Nathan Gagnon was medalist on the day by a stroke, shooting a 4-over-par 38 on the Club’s front nine. The Red Devils got three other scores in the low 40s, as well, as Matt Salmon shot a 41, Nolan Lawson came in with a 42 in the last group to shave off a few strokes overall and Braydon Bottles shot a 44 to cap off the scoring. Colin Maalouf added a 49 and Austin Post shot a 52 on an extremely windy day.
“The conditions today made it a little harder,” Jackson said. “But a 165 is good for us. It’s close to our average. We’ve just had guys pulling through at the last minute and staying close to their averages to pull out these close matches. We knew going up against Troy today, they only had that one one-point loss, we knew it was going to be close today.”
Henry Johnston shot a 39 to lead the Trojans, keeping things relatively close at the No. 1 score. From there, Ryan Dowling shot a 46, Kellen Glover and Zach Prouty both shot 47s and Tag Bender and Owen Evilsizor both shot 48s.
“This is the same course that we played nine holes in the rain and shot a 163,” Evilsizor said. “We shoot the same thing today, and we win. Tipp played about as poorly as they could have today. There was one of their guys that shot better than their average, so this was the day to get them. And our guys did not seize the opportunity.”
Tippecanoe travels to West Carrollton Tuesday and then Fairmont — which had been scheduled to play Monday, also — on Thursday before getting the chance to wrap up its first title in the new league at Saturday’s MVL Tournament at Beechwood Golf Course.
“We went up there (to Beechwood) last Thursday, and all eight of our guys have practice rounds in there,” Jackson said. “We’ve played there the last three years (in the Greater Western Ohio Conference tournament), too, so we’re familiar with the course. But there are some hard holes, and anything can happen.”
Troy, meanwhile, will finish out its regular-season schedule at Fairborn Tuesday before Saturday’s MVL Tournament.
“At this point, the reality is that we’re playing for second place on Saturday,” Evilsizor said. “The goal is to get as close as we can to Tipp, so if we get second or even third place on Saturday, that should give us second place in our division.
“And that’s the shame of it — we had a chance to maybe sneak one out today and make Saturday really mean something, but unfortunately we didn’t do it. But that’s a life lesson that these guys have to learn, to seize the opportunity and do something with it.”
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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