Bulldogs Win Sectional in Impressive Fashion

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Published on October 9 2012 1:30 pm
Last Updated on October 9 2012 1:39 pm
Written by Millie Lange

Carterville Sectional champion St. Anthony Bulldogs. Team members are, left to right, Dalton Anderson, Connor Greene, Garrett Hixenbaugh, Joe Powell, Jack Niebrugge, Cole Buehnerkemper and Coach Phil Zaccari.

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The St. Anthony Bulldogs boys golf team won the Carterville Sectional in impressive fashion shooting a 309 at Crab Orchard Monday. This is the seventh sectional title and the third in the last four years. This will mark the seventh year in a row the Bulldogs will be playing at the State Finals.

Senior, Joe Powell once again led the way shooting an impressive 70. He was followed closely by sophomore Garrett Hixenbaugh’s 74. The Bulldogs outdistanced their competition by an impressive 14 strokes to claim the title.

“Crab Orchard set up a fair yet challenging course with a number of tough pin placements,” said Coach Phil Zaccari. “Our team seemed to hold their focus longer as we were grinding things out down the stretch. We did not have a lot of three putts today especially down the stretch.

“Joe Powell played a brilliant round, starting with two birdies, his only hiccup came on the tough par 3 tenth where he tripled but then bounced right back with a birdie. After that it was pars the rest of the way to take medalist honors. This is his second win in a row. He is playing really well at the right time in the season.

"Garrett Hixenbaugh is also playing well as his 74 was good enough for the third place medal. Garrett really struck the ball well today. For the most part he stayed out of trouble hitting fairways and greens.

“This team has been steady all year. Jack, Dalton, Connor, and Cole each had a bad hole or two but also played steady not really giving away too many strokes. The most important thing is we played good enough to move on to the State Finals which was one of our big goals this year. I am very proud of the way we held our composure. We will celebrate tonight and then tomorrow start getting ready for Prairie Vista this weekend,” concluded Zaccari.

St. Anthony finished first with a 309 followed by Nashville 323, Alton Marquette 329, Hamilton County 331, Carmi White County 336, Carlyle 339, Carterville 341, Johnston City 345, Robinson 351, Vandalia 381, Trico 389 and Marissa 399.

Individual qualifiers were Derek Smith (Johnston City) 73, Marc Cox (Hamilton County) 74, Jacob Eklund (Carterville), Blake Davis (Fairfield), Landon Vaughn (Hamilton County), Blake Swofford (Vandalia), Austin Groto (COR Lutheran) 79, Josh Palsenberger (Carlyle) 81, Sam Range (Gibault) 81 and Neal Northcott (Carmi) 82.

Newton's Phil Blank and T-town's Ross Sheehan competed but did not advance.

St. Anthony -- Joe Powell 34-36 -- 70, Garrett Hixenbaugh 36-38 -- 74, Connor Greene 42-40 -- 82, Jack Niebrugge 41-42 -- 83, Dalton Anderson 43-41 -- 84, Cole Buehnerkemper 42-48 -- 90

CLASS 1A WATSEKA SECTIONAL

Neoga and Windsor had golfers competing in the Class 1A Watseka Sectional but none advanced to state. Competing for Neoga were Luke Baker and Christopher Walk and competing for  Windsor were Jason Becker and Tristan Warner.

El Paso-Gridley won the meet with 303 followed by Bloomington Cornerstone 341, Bismarck-Henning 343, Champaign St. Thomas More 351, Decatur St. Teresa 352, Judah Christian 354, Casey-Westfield 358, Dwight 359, Eureka 374, Donovan 377, Tuscola 380 and Shelbyville 400.

The top three teams and top 10 individuals, not members of qualifying teams, advance. Advancing individually were Nick Berger (Judah Christian) 75, Christopher Tate (St. Thomas More) 77, Hunter York (Decatur Lutheran) 77, Trevor Gold (Eureka) 78, Kiefer Kious (Dwight) 79, Chris Lee (Casey-Westfield) 80, Ryan Erhard (Judah Christian), 81, Cameron Westjohn (Tuscola) 82,  Jordan Laukatis (St. Teresa) 82 and Archie Britt (St. Teresa) 82.