VASSALBORO — It wasn’t a perfect day for the Messalonskee golf team. But it was plenty good enough.

Showcasing depth throughout their ladder, the Eagles shot 339 to take first place in Class A at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference qualifier Tuesday at Natanis Golf Course. Messalonskee qualified for the state tournament with its score, as did Hampden Academy (342), Mt. Ararat (343) and Brunswick (343), which had already punched its ticket by winning the KVAC shootout. Edward Little was sixth, Lewiston ninth and Mt. Blue 10th.

In Class B, KVAC shootout winner Leavitt again romped the field with a 317 led by Ruby Haylock’s even-par 72 — which was aided by two chip-in birdies — while qualifying berths also went to Lincoln Academy (351), Oceanside (351) and Cony (369), which made it in its first year down from Class A.

“I was really interested to see what my guys would shoot, 18 holes under a little bit of pressure,” said Haylock, who was joined by an 80 from Alexis McCormick, an 81 from Bill Visconti and 84s from Jade Haylock and A.J. Davis. “That’s what I was really thinking about coming into today. I wanted to see how they were doing the whole time.”

For Messalonksee, Brandon Bearce and Sam Seekins led the way with 82s on Natanis’s Tomahawk course, but Brady Bumford shot 87, Mitch Grant and Jacob Moody shot 88 and Jude Lilly shot 89. No other team in A had more than four players break 90.

“We took care of business,” Messalonskee coach Gene Dumont said. “We’re a deep team. We’ve got seven players that I can start in any combination and shoot these scores. … A lot of teams out there can’t depend on their fives and sixes to throw up a score.”

 

“A lot of us played shaky, we definitely left some strokes out there and we’ll be looking to get those back on Saturday,” Bearce said. “The goal is to win it, so hopefully we come back Saturday and get rid of some of those mistakes we had today and (are) as clean as possible.”

The lone Class C berth went to Maranacook, which, powered by a 77 from Wyatt Folsom, carded a 340.

“We’ve got six solid players that can all contribute, and they did,” coach Ryan Meserve said. “I was pretty proud of them to get it done.”

In Class A, Messalonskee is hoping its balance will make the difference next weekend.

“We’re hoping to peak this Saturday and show everyone what we can do,” Bearce said. “We have a solid top five, six guys for sure. … It’s definitely nice knowing that we have other guys at the bottom of the order that can come through for us and help us when we’re struggling.”

It’ll take a better showing than Tuesday’s, but Dumont said he’s confident in his team.

“This team could make some noise on Saturday if they play well,” he said. “A lot of teams can say the same thing, but we have a lot of players that can shoot well.”

The best individual score in Class A went to Camden Hills’s Parker Hilchey, whose 75 edged Hampden’s John Vickery’s 76. Ty Henke was Mt. Ararat’s top scorer at 83.

In Class B, Leavitt had a great showing even after clinching its spot in states at the shootout.

“To perform like they did, that’s impressive,” coach Harry Haylock said. “From No. 1 to 6, everyone played to their potential. These kids work all the time. It’s the best team that I’ve had, not even close.”

Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock watches her tee shot while competing in the KVAC qualifier Tuesday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

There was something of a surprise when the final spot went to Cony, which had to rebuild its lineup after seeing its top five scorers graduate after last year. Oliver Rodrigue and Alex Fournier shot 88s to help the Rams get in, while Brady Hopkins had an 89 and Cole Hamner shot 104.

“I’m so incredibly proud of these guys,” said Cony coach Shawn Johnson, who has sophomores in Rodrigue, Fournier, Hamner and No. 6 player Landon Foster. “I wasn’t sure what we were going to have this year, a lot of young kids, almost nobody with varsity experience. To be able to get in with this young group of kids who are really hungry, I’m just thrilled. Not just for me, but them and this program.”

The top individual score among Class B boys went to Kellen Adickes, who helped Lincoln Academy qualify with a 73.

In Class C, Folsom’s day began ominously, as he triple-bogeyed the first hole. But he played the next 17 holes at 2 over par and carded Class C’s best round.

“I made a good amount of mid-range putts, 7-, 10-footers,” he said. “I just told myself that there was a lot of golf to play, and on a course like this, there are a lot of birdies out there. I just told myself one hole isn’t going to determine the whole day.”

The Black Bears also got an 85 from Brandon Chilton, an 87 from James Marr and a 91 from Ben Jewett.

“As the season progressed this was (a goal), and as we started to see that we were doing pretty well,” Meserve said. “As a team, it was really good to see them come along.”

In Class A, individual qualifiers included Bearce and Seekins for Messalonskee, Henke and Luke Spooner (84) for Mt. Ararat and Austin Stromick (81), Charlie Austin (85) and Ayden Marini (86) for Brunswick. Edward Little’s Connor Turcotte also shot an 86. In B, qualifiers included Rodrigue, Fournier and Hopkins for Cony, Cody Chretian (86) for Nokomis and Austin Nicholas (87) for Erskine. Folsom, Chilton and Marr qualified for individuals in Class C from Maranacook.

Girls qualifying included Leavitt’s Haylock sisters and McCormick, Jaycie Christopher (88) and Riley Fitzpatrick (99) from Skowhegan and Leah Deschaine (96) from MCI.


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