An expanded field produced a tight battle between two newcomers at this year's Little Illini Conference Golf Tournament at Oak Glen Golf Course in Stoy Monday.
Two of the LIC's three newest members battled it out for the top slot Monday, but in the end, Olney was able to come out on top, edging Robinson by five strokes to claim the tournament championship.
Olney won with a score of 324, while Robinson was runner-up at 329. Casey-Westfield finished third with a 337, followed by Lawrenceville (366), Newton (374), Flora (380), Marshall (392), Cumberland (421), Red Hill (427) and Palestine-Hutsonville (493).
Robinson had three golfers finish in the top-10 overall to earn All-LIC First Team honors, led by Tom Goodman and Tristen Murphy, who tied for fourth place with eight-over-par rounds of 79 apiece on the par-71 course. The pair posted nearly identical scores, as each shot 40 on the front nine and 39 on the back.
Also receiving first team all-conference honors was James Gibson, who tied for eighth overall with a score of 85. He posted a 41 on the front nine, then shot 44 on the back. Alex Brown also scored for RHS with an 86 (41-45), while scores of 88 (44-44) by Tyler Wright and 91 (43-48) by Zach Beard did not count toward the team total. Brown and Wright's scores were good enough to be named to the five-player, All-LIC Second Team.
Meanwhile, Palestine-Hutsonville was led by Jordan Boyer and Bailey Weger, who each shot 119. Boyer had a 57 on the front nine and 62 on the back, while Weger shot 58 on the front and 61 on the back. Also scoring for the Pioneers was Cody Boyer with a 123 (60-63), while Drew Halter (68-64) and Blaze Elder (66-66) tied for the final scoring slot with rounds of 132 apiece. The 143 (73-70) by Michael Hamlin was not added to the team score.
Oblong also had two golfers compete in the meet, but did not have enough for a team score. Gage Kidwell shot a 117 (61-56) for OHS, while Haze Lemmon posted a 120 (67-53).
Individual medalist for the meet was Casey-Westfield's Chris Lee with a three-over-par round of 74. Others earning All-LIC First Team honors were Olney's Dylan Taylor (76), Joshua Haussy (77) and Colin O'Neal (82), Casey-Westfield's Keygen Decker (80) and Flora's Blake Gocey (85) and John Casolari (85). Also on the Second Team were Lawrenceville's Jeffrey Baxter with an 86, Newton's Phil Blank with an 87 and Casey-Westfield's Brandon Glidewell with an 87.
In the girls' meet, Oblong was the only school to field a full team in the meet, which featured just 13 golfers.
The Lady Panthers posted a team score of 509, led by Erin Leggitt with a 113 (56-57), which earned her All-LIC honors. Also for OHS, Bailey Johnson shot a 124 (64-60), Taylor Hamilton had a 131 (66-65) and Sydney Allen had a 141 (69-72).
Medalist in the girls' meet was Red Hill's Morgan Tewell, who carded a round of 12-over-par 83. Also earning All-LIC honors were Cumberland's Lindsay Knight with a 101 and Flora's Ginger Williams with a 102. Second Team members were Marshall's Leighanne Hildebrand with a 116 and Cumberland's Mara McCollough with a 119.
2012 Little Illini Conference
At Oak Glen Golf Course, Stoy
Team scores - Olney 324, Robinson 329, Casey-Westfield 337, Lawrenceville 366, Newton 374, Flora 380, Marshall 392, Cumberland 421, Red Hill 427, Palestine-Hutsonville 493, Oblong NS.
Medalist - Chris Lee (Casey-Westfield) 74.
Top 10 individuals - (All-LIC performers) 1. Chris Lee (Casey-Westfield) 74; 2. Dylan Taylor (Olney) 76; 3. Joshua Haussy (Olney) 77; 4. Tristen Murphy (Robinson) 79; 4. Tom Goodman (Robinson) 79; 6. Keygen Decker (Casey-Westfield) 80; 7. Colin O'Neal (Olney) 82; 8. James Gibson (Robinson) 85; 8. Blake Gocey (Flora) 85; 8. John Casolari (Flora) 85.
Robinson (329) - Alex Brown 41-45-86; Tom Goodman 40-39-79; Tristen Murphy 40-39-79; James Gibson 41-44-85; Tyler Wright 44-44-88; Zach Beard 43-48-91.
Olney (324) - Joshua Haussy 39-38-77; Dylan Taylor 40-36-76; Colin O'Neal 43-39-82; Michael DeVenecia 43-46-89; Blake Berry 61-54-115; Chloe Buerster 50-44-94.