Boys golf: Lake Central tops Munster in playoff for sectional title
By Dennis Churilla Post-Tribune correspondent June 1, 2012 11:48PM
Updated: July 6, 2012 11:14AM
ST. JOHN — Whatever pall the dreary weather cast over the Lake Central Sectional was quickly lifted by a pair of sudden-death playoffs in both the team and individual competitions.
Lake Central and Munster both posted top team scores of 330 and the tie-breaking fifth player for each school shot a 91. That sent the Indians and Mustangs to a playoff, with all five members of each team replaying the first hole. Lake Central made two pars and two bogies, narrowly edging Munster’s one par and three bogies, for the team sectional championship.
“Both teams got out (to the regional), and that’s the main thing,” said Lake Central coach Chris Rossiano. “Our goal was to get to the next step. Once you get to the state tournament, anything can happen.”
While Lake Central and Munster were having at it on the first hole, the stakes were even higher at the 18th hole. Griffith’s Nick Stassin and Hanover Central’s Dan Novitzki were playing off for the third and final individual qualifying spot in next Friday’s regional at Beechwood in LaPorte.
Palmira’s 18th hole, a long par three over water, gives even seasoned players a case of the jitters. Stassin and Novitzki both cleared the water, but Stassin made par after hitting his approach within 15 feet, while Novitzki made bogey.
“That was probably the most nerve-wracking 1-foot putt in my life,” Stassin said of his tap-in for par.
Griffith’s Mark Plawecki was the low individual qualifier with a score of 84. Plawecki preserved his round by saving par on the par-five 15th after hitting his second shot into the water.
“I was playing pretty well at the beginning of the season and then fell off some in the middle,” said Plawecki. “Things are starting to click again lately. I think I play better in cold weather.”
Hanover Central’s Trever Thoms also qualified individually, while Highland nabbed the third team spot. Munster’s AJ Gauthier led all scorers with a 75.
“We started in the rain and I had a rough start,” said Gauthier. “But I knew everyone was dealing with the same conditions.”