DANVILLE -- Monticello picked just the right time to post its top score of the year.
The Sages shot a combined 327 Monday at the Class 1A Bismarck Sectional to qualify for a trip to state as a team.
Led by senior Calvin Fisher's round of 78, Monticello returns to state a year after finishing in fourth place.
"We came in as the sixth best team in the sectional," Sages coach Andrew Turner said. "I knew all the kids needed to play their top game and they came pretty close to that. It was our best score of the year."
Noah Wright, who shot a 79, was on pace for a lower score but ran into trouble on the 18th hole.
"Noah had a really solid round. On that 18th hole there are a couple of tough shots," Turner said. "He was in line for a 76 but had a tough 18. He has been our team leader this year and had a really good round today."
The sectional was held at Harrison Park Golf Course in Danville, which three of Monticello's players had not played on before.
Other qualifying scores were shot by Luke Stringer (83) and Cam Dyson (87).
"Luke plays on the football team and so he isn't able to practice with us, just on his own," Turner said. "His coming in here and shooting an 83 for us is tremendous."
Also at the Bismarck Sectional, Dayton Pate (LSA-Decatur Lutheran) qualified for state as an individual with a score of 75.
Bulldogs qualify for state
CARLYLE -- For the first time since 2014, St. Anthony is going back to state as a team.
The Bulldgos finished third in the Class 1A Trenton Wesclin Sectional to advance to Friday's state tournament at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.
Luke Ludwig led the Bulldogs with a 77 and Nathan Schultz (80), Ben Strullmyer (84) and Zach Worthman (85) each scored for St. Anthony.
“We're familiar with it, but it's been a while since we've been there,” St. Anthony coach Phil Zaccari said. “We're excited. The guys played pretty well today. Governor's Run is not a terribly easy course, especially for high school.”
Mattoon's Wolf wins sectional title
SPRINGFIELD — Mattoon's Kira Wolf was having a good round of golf. While she didn't have a birdie on the front nine, she also didn't have a bogey. Going into hole No. 15, Wolf was two-strokes under when things started to get shaky.
The sophomore hit a ball out of bounds and took a bogey on No. 15. Then on No. 16, Wolf hit into the sand trap and took another bogey. On hold No. 17, Wolf hit the ball out of bounds and took a triple bogey. She wasn't in the best of moods.
But as Wolf went into the final hole, Mattoon coach Natalie Ambuehl talked to one of the officials and found out Wolf was tied for first. She asked Wolf is she wanted to know where she sat and Wolf said no. A little later, Ambuehl suggested Wolf needed a birdie to avoid a playoff.
Wolf's putt just missed and despite a rough three holes, she put herself in a playoff to win the Class 2A sectional title at Panther Creek Country Club on Monday.
Wolf had a good drive and her opponent went into the sand trap. That set up an easy hole for Wolf and she won the playoff to become the sectional champion.
"I was hoping to win this year, so I could be regional and sectional champion," Wolf said. "I'm happy to go into state having wins on my back going into state and having some good confidence."
It's the second straight season Wolf qualified for state and she finished in sixth at the state meet last season.
Ludwig leads St. Anthony to state
ALTON -- Another year, another trip to Red Tail Run for St. Anthony.
The girls team finished third at the Class 1A Alton Marquette Sectional Monday.
Freshman Macy Ludwig shot an 85 to lead the team. Clare McHugh (87), Ava Wegman (90) and Regan Koester (96) each scored.
But it wasn't a foregone conclusion they would advance.
“I know my last two girls came in, Ava Wegman and Clare McHugh, they knew that we were a couple strokes away from not making it. We talked, and they were able to fight through it,” St. Anthony coach Emily Konrad said.
Konrad said her team needs to work on its short game after struggling on the difficult greens of Spencer T. Olin Golf Course.
They know Red Tail a bit better.
“We're familiar with the course at state from making it last year,” Konrad said. “That's really beneficial to us.”
Trojans advance to state
SPRINGFIELD -- A few days of shooting about 30 strokes over what the team is capable of at the Class 1A regional, the Charleston girls’ golf team had to find a way to bring their scores down and the weather wasn’t going to help them.
Charleston came in with a 368, a considerable improvement over its regional score, to finish in second place and earn a spot in the Class 1A state tournament. St. Thomas More won the sectional team title with a 352 and Macomb was third with a 381.
After about 10 holes, play was suspended due to heavy rain and high winds. It was about an hour and a half delay before the golfers took the course again.
During the break, Charleston coach Deb Landsaw went over the scores with her players and had a simple message for them considering they still had to play through a light rain.
“I told them they had to be tough and gut it out. I had a good feeling we were in the top four, but I didn’t know what scores were coming in,” Landsaw said. “I felt like we were holding our own with the people in the foursomes. I told them we are in this and you just need to be and face the wind and rain and go for it and just make good shots.”
The Trojans listened to Landsaw and put together a solid back nine. Some of the other teams Charleston battled with for a spot at state didn’t handle the conditions as well.
It’s the fifth season in a row Charleston has advanced to the 1A state tournament and the Lady Trojans are the defending champions.
St. Teresa beats Mount Pulaski in regional opener
Tom Cantwell couldn't have asked for a better start if he wanted to.
The St. Teresa (17-1-1) coach watched his team open its quest for a deep postseason run with a 12-0 victory over Mount Pulaski in the opening round of the Class 1A Williamsville Regional.
Edgar Onate and Christian Herrera each scored three goals and Chris Herrera and Kolapo Oladipupo scored two of their own.
“It took us a little bit to get going today,” Cantwell said. “For whatever reason, I think it took us a while to get into the flow of the game. We executed the game plan. Edgar Onate had a big game. The Herrera brothers did a good job in the middle of the field.”
Cantwell also moved Christian Stoner into the forward position to spark the team. Stoner dished out a pair of assists.
“We're just trying to improve as much as we can fro the regional playoff Saturday and hopefully for a deep playoff run,” Cantwell said.