Huskies cruise to win over TVL trio
Wise has big day, cards a 70 at LCC
LEWISTOWN — The Mifflin County Huskies (30-3 overall, 27-3 conference) saved their best golf of the season for Monday afternoon’s non-conference meet against Tri-Valley League opponents, East Juniata, Newport, and Millersburg.
The Huskies fired a season-low team total of 331 and breezed to a win, distancing themselves from the TVL pack.
Newport finished in second place with a score of 357, edging out Millersburg who finished just two strokes behind. East Juniata took fourth in the match, coming in with a 391.
“We definitely played our best golf today,” Huskies’ coach Aaron Bubb said. “It’s the confidence from playing. We’ve been on a little bit of a run here lately and the guys are playing well right now. Playing with confidence–it goes a long way. When you believe you’re gonna play well, often times you do.”
Owen Wise was lights out for Mifflin County, playing in the team’s top spot. He was consistent in the match, shooting an ever-par 36 on the front and a 1-under 34 on the back. Wise was particularly impressive on the five par 3’s, playing them at a combined 3-under.
While wise shot the match-low by eight strokes, the rest of the Huskies played excellent as well. Every single Huskies’ golfers shot a 91 or better in the match, which was indicative of their 26-stroke win.
Tanner Ferguson (85), Cole Chilson (87), and Alex Kline (89) all shot sub-90 as their scores contributed to be Huskies team total. Mifflin County’s depth was on display as their two remaining scores — Bradyn Eversole with a 90 and Brody Schnell with a 91– would have been counted on all three TVL league teams’ scores.
Bubb mentioned his team’s growth as people and players as a key factor in the Huskies’ success so far this season.
“Honestly, it’s maturity. We’re an older team this year. We’re mostly seniors and juniors, and that goes a long way,” Bubb explained. “When they were freshmen and sophomores these last couple years, they couldn’t put a bad shot or a bad hole behind them. Now, they’re starting to be able to do that and we’re seeing the results.”
East Juniata’s season has been inconsistent throughout the 2021 season with their number one player, Tanner Barth, missing multiple matches early in the year. He returned and the Tigers played in a competitive match, but Barth was unavailable to play on Monday, and East Juniata struggled on a tough Lewistown Country Club course.
“Yes, we are (improving) and we did here today,” Tigers’ coach Mike Zendt said. “Without (Barth), obviously that makes it very, very difficult, but I’m not disappointed in our scores. I feel like we improved again.”
Caleb Kirk and Tate Jamison led the way for the Tigers, shooting a 91 and 94, respectively. Both players struggled on the front nine but turned it around on the back nine to keep their scores low.
The other two scores used by East Juniata were Max Lauver’s 101 and Wyatt Stoner’s 105. Walker Stutts shot a 110 and Darin Kint finished with a 113 to round of the Tigers’ afternoon.
Zendt commended the effort that his team put forward without their reigning district champion on the course, but the Tigers should expect Barth to be back for the remainder of the season which will help East Juniata work its way up the scoreboard.
“Once we get him back, we should have him back for the rest of the season now,” Zendt said. “That’s going to make a big difference in our score–it’ll shave, likely 20 to 30 shots off our school and that’s gonna put us right in the middle of the hunt for winning some matches.”
With the Huskies dominating so far this season, Bubb has turned his eye to potential opponents in the postseason, while making sure his players are still focusing on the next match. With an experienced team playing superb golf, Bubb is optimistic in their chances of making a deep playoff run.
“We haven’t really talked about it with the team, yet I personally have been looking to see how we stack up,” Bubb said. “State College is a little bit ahead of us right now with team scores, but we’re certainly right there in the mix for second. The top two advance so as long as we can finish number two or play really well and can get by State College, we certainly have a legitimate chance to advance.”
Mifflin County is back in action today, at home, against Bellefonte. East Juniata resumes its season on Thursday, at Millersburg.
Mifflin County 331, Newport 357, Millersburg 359, East Juniata 391
Owen Wise 70, Tanner Ferguson 85, Cole Chilson 87, and Alex Kline 89
Gavin Fegley 78, Hunter Flickinger 84, Brayden Miller 84, Devon Byers 111
Luke Erzweiler 84, Aidan Fulkroad 86, Jacob Penman 92, Hadyn Bixler 97
Caleb Kirk 91, Tate Jamison 94, Max Lauver 101, Wyatt Stoner 105