By Josh Brown
ARCANUM — Holden Scribner finished one stroke shy of winning the first major tournament of the season.
And while he and his Trojan teammates beat the number goal they had set, it wasn’t enough to get past division rival Butler.
The Troy boys golf team finished fourth overall at the Preseason Greater Western Ohio Conference Tournament Friday at Beechwood Golf Course, shooting a team score of 312 and finishing six strokes behind the third-place Aviators’ 306, taking second in the newly-formed GWOC American North Division.
“The boys played extremely well,” Troy coach Mark Evilsizor said. “We shot a practice round here Wednesday and talked after, and our goal coming in was to shoot 315. We beat our goal, but ultimately it was not enough to beat Butler. Still, I was extremely happy with the way the guys all played.”
Scribner, a sophomore, shot a 2-under-par 70 — the second-best individual score on the day. Springboro’s Josh Gilkison was medalist with 69. Teammate Nate Uhlenbrock, a junior, shot 74 and was tied for eighth place.
“Our top two players played about as well as they could,” Evilsizor said. “Holden shot 2-under today, and you can’t get much better than that. He got up and down the course all day. And Nate, that’s as good as I’ve seen him play. He scrambled and played extremely well.”
A quartet of seniors rounded out Troy’s scores for the tournament. Ryan McClurg shot 82, Keaton Pfeiffer shot 86, Austin Rank shot 87 and Jack Johnston shot 88.
“Ryan shot an 82, even after a quadruple bogey on the second hole,” Evilsizor said. “To go 6-over on the last 16 after that, I’ll take that any day. He did a nice job of battling back. And our bottom three guys, they were all a little disappointed with how they played. But those three will continue to improve all year.”
Centerville won the tournament with a 293, Springboro was second with 300.
After Butler and Troy, Piqua was 11th with 381, Sidney was 13th with 384, new division foe Tippecanoe was 14th with 399 and Greenville was 15th with 404.
For Piqua, Derek Jennings shot 81, Aaron Davis shot 95, Brennan Hicks shot 102, Spencer Lavey shot 103, Gavin Strevell shot 107 and Jon Irvin shot 115.
For Tippecanoe, Bradley Calhoun shot 82, Zach Losey shot 102, Noah Blake shot 106, Casey Abney shot 109 and Casey Tatum shot 112.
But with the new division setup this season in the GWOC also comes a new way of deciding the American North champion — head-to-head matches during the season no longer count towards the final standings, only the preseason and postseason GWOC tournaments.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position now where we only need to beat Butler once and we’re the co-champions,” Evilsizor said. “We’re going to see them a few more times this year, too, and we’re still going to be focused on winning all of our dual matches. If we can improve on what we did today by the end of the year, you never know what can happen.”
Troy will play in the Homan Memorial Tournament on Monday at Piqua Country Club, the final time the tournament will be held.
“We’re the defending champions from two years ago,” Evilsizor said, as the Homan was not held last season. “Winning it again is definitely something we’re eyeing right now. We want to win the final one.”
After the boys were done, the girls took the course and played well into the night — with Piqua taking the early GWOC American North lead by finishing eighth overall with 445. Tippecanoe was ninth with 447, Greenville was 10th with 476 Butler was 11th with 484 and Troy was 12th with 493.
Carrigan Browning led the Trojans with 120, Riley Johnson shot 122, Hannah Simister shot 125, Megan Sawcheck shot 126, Sydney Langenkamp shot 131 and Madison Stookey shot 134.
Tippecanoe’s Taylor Hudson was tied for 15th individually with a 98, Lydia Stueve shot 107, Addi Richardson shot 118, Jessica Goodson shot 124, Mandi Kreinbrink shot 127 and Ashlyn Herzog shot 137.
Kelsey Bachman led Piqua with 102, Macey Pruitt shot 108, Korren Evans shot 117, Anna Klopfenstein shot 118, Skylar Sloan shot 126 and Adde Honeycutt shot 129.
Centerville won the tournament with 308, with Amanda Hayes winning overall medalist with 74. Miamisburg was second with 351, while Springboro’s Alexis Savage was second individually with 75.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.