VASSALBORO — A season ago, the Scarborough High and Cape Elizabeth golf teams both felt the disappointment of coming up short after being deemed the favorites.

Apparently the tag was just applied a year too soon.

Scarborough scored an impressive four-person score of 305 to edge SMAA rival Cheverus by three strokes to win the Class A championship and Cape Elizabeth blew away the Class B field by 24 strokes with a score of 319, in the one-day competition held at Natanis Golf Course.

Nokomis was second in Class B with a score of 343, with Waterville placing third at 346. Defending champion Erskine, which uses Natanis as its home course, was fourth at 351. Every Class B team except Cape Elizabeth had to count at least one score in the 90s or higher.

Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln won its third straight Class C title by a 14-stroke margin.

Scarborough had five strong rounds, with no player shooting worse than 80, led by Anthony Burnham’s even-par 72. Burnham’s eagle 2 on the par-4 ninth hole, when he spun a 140-yard 9-iron about 10 feet back and into the hole, was the day’s most significant shot.

“That’s the hardest hole out here. An eagle on that hole is almost a four-shot difference over the rest of the field,” said Scarborough Coach Mike Murphy. “The scoring average on that hole has to be 5-plus.”

“It was a team effort and everybody did their part and I think we all played great,” Burnham said.

Thirty-one five-person teams qualified for the state tournament, 11 in Class A and 10 each in B and C. The Class A and B tournaments were played on the 6,077-yard Tomahawk course. Class C teams played Natanis’ 5,876-yard Arrowhead course. Both are par-72 layouts.

Each team counted its four best scores.

Among the 143 total players were 12 girls, including Scarborough senior Elizabeth Lacognata who shot 74. When Scarborough finished fourth in 2016, six shots back, Lacognata’s round of 87 counted as the Red Storm’s fourth score.

“On my part, I’m a whole different golfer than I was last year,” Lacognata said. “I worked really hard this past summer. I just didn’t really have the practice that I needed (last year) to be a good player at that point.”

Scarborough’s other players were Ian Trumpler, who scored 79, and Cam Chamberlain and Ethan Mason, both with 80s.

“Really all five of those players came through,” Murphy said. “It’s a one-(day) deal and you never know. We didn’t finish the deal last year and this year, a 305 is a fantastic score in a state championship situation.”

With players scattered across the courses after a shotgun start, teams scores are next-to-impossible to ascertain during play. For most of the round the speculation was that the Class A title would be between Scarborough and SMAA champ Thornton Academy. The Golden Trojans were solid and finished third with a score of 314, led by sophomore Armand Ouellette’s 75.

It turned out Cheverus was the most serious challenger, especially after the Stags’ number three player Conner MacDonald posted a 72 to tie Burnham and Mt. Ararat’s Caleb Manuel for Class A medalist honors. Cheverus also had sub-80 rounds from Tom Higgins (75) and Jeremy Baker (79) with Nick Giancotti shooting 82.

“It comes down to (three strokes) but everyone bogeyed their last hole of the day so there’s your difference,” said Cheverus Coach A.J. Simokaitis.

Working for every shot was something Cape Elizabeth focused on this season, according to senior Ryan Collins, who shot a team-low 76.

Senior Max Altznauer (83) and juniors Chris Laprade (77), Austin Legge (83) and Mia Spencer (91) also competed for Cape. Collins, Altznauer, and Legge were part of Cape’s 2015 championship team.

“You’ve got to stay in it the whole time. That’s kind of what we were preaching on the bus ride up,” said Collins. “Austin Legge shot 83. He had two triple (bogeys) but he stayed in it. He made some birdies after that. That’s kind of what we needed.”

“I feel like winning it as sophomores really put intentions on us as juniors and we didn’t really pull through with the win,” Altznauer said. “This year I was practicing a lot. I have blisters all over my hands. I was really grinding, especially toward the end of the year as states were coming around. It just meant a lot. There’s a lot of sentimental value to this trophy.”

In Class C, Mattanawcook was led by its top two players, three-time individual champion Logan Thompson who shot a two-under 70 and Max Woodman with a 75, and scored 326 as a team. Houlton was the runner-up with 340.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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