Peterson ties 1A OVAC record as Madonna wins ninth straight title

NINE IN A ROW — The Madonna golf team celebrates its OVAC championship on Tuesday. (Contributed)

NINE IN A ROW — The Madonna golf team celebrates its OVAC championship on Tuesday. (Contributed)

WHEELING — The Madonna golf team is on a run for the ages.

The Blue Dons captured their ninth consecutive OVAC championship on Tuesday at Crispin Golf Course, led by senior Howie Peterson who collected his third OVAC individual title in a row.

Madonna scored 315 points to pick up the victory and Peterson tied an OVAC 1A record with a 65, which is 6-under-par. He also recorded nine birdies on the par-71 course.

“It feels good,” Peterson said. “This is a good tournament with good competition, and it is run really well. The key was just hitting the ball as close as I could and not getting stupid with my puts. I tried to get them within a couple feet and make easy pars. I just got some to fall.”

Peterson was the only competitor to turn in a score under-par in the tournament, as the senior looks to be geared up for a run deep in the postseason.

“Playing with this team is great,” Peterson said. “We struggled a little bit early on, but I think we are starting to come around and get in a groove. We are looking forward to regionals and states.”

Joining Peterson on the All-OVAC team were Blue Dons’ seniors Hunter Sistilli with a card of 79 and Tony Sellitti with an 81.

“This has been awesome,” Madonna coach T.J. Brancazio said. “We have had a great group of kids each year, and they just keep passing the baton to the next year. It is great to work with great kids, who keep working to get better.

“Howie was amazing along with our other two seniors. All of them have improved on their game this year, and this was our first major goal of the year. Now, we have to shoot for regionals and try to make it to states again.”

Dom Mazur (90) and Chad Durante (96) rounded out the scoring for Madonna to top off the ninth title in a row.

“They are like an extended family,” Brancazio said. “They are like the boys I never had. They are good kids and nine years has been an awesome run.”

Linsly earned runner-up honors with a score of 335, followed by Morgantown (349), Steubenville Central (357), Toronto (359), Bridgeport (374), Southern Local (404), Shadyside (431) and River (457).

The Cadets were led by freshman Ryan Dembiczak’s 79 and senior Cory Smith’s 80. Both earned spots on the All-OVAC team.

“I’m super excited,” Linsly coach Mark Landini said. “I am really happy for Cory. He has been injured this year and hasn’t played for a couple of weeks, but he played (Monday) for the first time before playing (Tuesday).

“Ryan Dembiczak has done a great job for us. He was the co-medalist the last couple of times we played at Jones.”

Rounding out the order for the Cadets were Dylan Dunlevy and A.J. Nairn, who each shot an 88, along with Aiden Grubler’s 98.

“I’m lucky to have a nice group of freshmen who are all very competitive,” Landini said. “I am really proud of our team. It has been a really fun season, and we aren’t done yet.”

Morgantown’s Mark Spruill was the tournament’s runner-up with a mark of 77 to earn All-OVAC honors.

Bridgeport was led by Angie Sommer with an 82 and Steubenville Central was paced by Zach Campbell’s 86. Toronto’s Cole DeGarmo and Hunter Keegan also delivered scores of 86, while River’s Ridge Thompson accumulated an 87, Shadyside’s Nate Milhoan accounted for a 105, Clay-Battelle’s Colton Barr generated a 108 and Paden City’s Reece Blatt added a 142.

Also for Central, Luke Rest shot an 89, while Nico Toriscelli and Luca Connor shot a 91 each.

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