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Centurions stun Vikes

Foothill boys golf: ’Cats win match, but Saugus finishes in front of Valencia

Posted: March 31, 2010 11:14 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
The West Ranch boys golf team is coming together, which can only mean bad things for the rest of the Foothill League.

Except for maybe one team.

The Wildcats won the second Foothill League match of the season with a team score of 374 at Robinson Ranch's Mountain Course and Wildcats golfer J.J. Holen and Valencia's Jonathan Chang shared medalist honors with 1-under 71s.

Yet Saugus pulled in with a surprise, shooting a 412 to claim second place, one stroke in front of Valencia.

The Centurions had no illusions of grandeur going into the season, yet other teams in the Foothill League had their sights set on battling West Ranch for a league title.

Instead, Saugus has concentrated on claiming one of the three team CIF playoffs spots.

Apparently the concentration is paying off.

"Once you're able to accomplish this and say, ‘Hey, we beat them,' the pressure comes off of us at this point," said Saugus head coach David Stradling of his team overcoming Valencia.

Stradling points to a couple of reasons as to why his squad was able to get ahead of the Vikings.

Valencia lost two golfers to graduation in 2009 who were regularly near par in Max Homa and Alex Macaluso.

Saugus suffered a similar fate in losing Nick Delio and Justin Reneaux in 2007.

Stradling said the difference is about 20 strokes when players of that caliber leave.

Another difference was an addition for Saugus.

Though Andrew Moore led the Cents with a 75, a major contribution came from sophomore Zack Leonard.

Leonard received clearance to play this season from the CIF-Southern Section on Tuesday.

The Valencia High-transfer shot an 81 on Wednesday, one stroke better than Valencia's second-best score - Daniel Kim's 82.

Canyon came in fourth with a 449, led by Justin Golden's 78.

Hart was right behind with a 450, led by Robbie Witkowski's 84.

Golden Valley finished with a 464 and Sean Weiss shot a 78.

West Ranch came into the second week of March not having one team score below 400, yet three of its last four outings have resulted in sub-400 performances.

On Wednesday, the Wildcats had five sub-80 scores for the first time this season.

C.J. Espino shot a 72, Clayton Thatch a 76 and Luis Garcia and Isaac Kim added 78s.

Holen could have had one of his best days ever.

He started 3-under after four holes and was 3-under on his final two.

"Shoulda, coulda, woulda," Holen joked.

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