The East Hampton boys golf team got postseason play started off right by winning the Conference IV Championships at Cherry Creek Golf Links in Riverhead on Monday.
The Bonackers shot a team total of 408, 10 shots ahead of second place Westhampton Beach. Riverhead finished just a single shot ahead of the Hurricanes with a 419 to place third, followed by Southampton (427), Mattituck (431), Pierson (461), Hampton Bays (478), Eastport-South Manor (481), Center Moriches (488) and William Floyd (536).
“We had a decent day,” East Hampton head coach Rich King said. “I don’t think we had a our best golf from top to bottom, but five of the six guys were below 85, which is great. There were some tough conditions. It was very windy, and it’s a golf course that the guys aren’t super familiar with. We could have played better. That being said, I’m very happy with their performance today. Hopefully, the team keeps things going into the county tournament next week.”
East Hampton placed third in the county during last season’s shortened season that was played in the spring. It has nearly every golfer returning from that team aside from Carter Dickinson, who will be making his debut at counties next week.
With Riverhead and Mattituck taking first and second place in League VII and East Hampton and Westhampton Beach doing the same, respectively, in League VIII, the next best two teams at the conference tournament earned at-large or wild card bids to the Section XI Championships, which are this Monday and Tuesday at Smithtown Landing Country Club. Southampton and Pierson were able to nab those two bids and will therefore enter the county team tournament.
Jack Breustch of Center Moriches won the individual draw of the tournament, which combines League VII and VIII. He shot a 73. Mattituck’s Matt Seifert (78) placed second, while his teammate Evan McCaffrey, East Hampton’s Juan Palacios and Charlie Beasley of Westhampton Beach all tied for third place with 79s.
With the cutoff for counties being a 93, a number of individuals were able to qualify for counties. Although they had already qualified as a team, East Hampton’s James Bradley, Nico Horan-Puglia, J.P. Amaden and Trevor Stacheki all shot well below 93 to qualify, as did Westhampton Beach golfers Zach Berger, Harry Moloney, Ryan Springer and Owen Jessup.
Westhampton Beach head coach Fred Musumeci was one of the handful of coaches who noted how tough the conditions were on Monday, but said he was still proud of the way his team played overall.
“We placed second in the league, placed second in the conference. We have to figure out a way to beat those guys,” he said of East Hampton. “But we’re trying, we’re close. They’re a phenomenal team and we’ll get another run at them at counties.”
Southampton had the majority of its team qualify as individuals as well. That included Jack and Liam Blackmore, Brian Emmons, Jack Browne and Ronan Brady. Liam Blackmore led the Mariners with an 82. Brenden Burke led Pierson with an 84, while Vincent Cavaniola and Carter Kleinsmith both shot 92s and Erik Sandstrom (84) and Aidan Kamp (93) of Hampton Bays both advanced to counties. Bayman Mike Poremba just missed out on counties with a 94.
Although the rain held off until after the tournament was completed, a number of the coaches still noted how conditions were tough, both weather and course wise. It was one of the coldest, if not the coldest day of the season with a whipping wind. On top of that, half the teams, the ones that play in League VIII, don’t step foot on Cherry Creek all season, so they’re not accustomed to what that course brings in its thicker rough and greens. But Pierson head coach Clint Schulman and Southampton head coach Tim Schreck were happy that their teams were able to grab the two wild card bids to counties to keep their seasons going.
“That was our team goal at the beginning of the season, to qualify as a team, so I’m pretty happy,” Schulman said.