Wilde Lake’s seniors are going out in style.
On Thursday, in the team’s biggest tri-match of the season, the Wildecats put up 99 points to edge out Glenelg (95 points) and Centennial (85). For a Wilde Lake (10-0) team that finished second in the county a season ago, the result against the Gladiators (7-2) and Eagles (6-2) puts them in the driver’s seat for this year’s title.
“It’s awesome. I’m so happy right now,” said Wilde Lake senior Tyler Silberberg, who led the way for the Wildecats with 27 points Thursday at Fairway Hills. “Just the fact that we went out and got it. We didn’t play bad and get away with one, we played our best with a solid score and took it.”
With just one match left on the regular season schedule, against Oakland Mills next week, Wilde Lake sits one victory away from finishing undefeated for the first time since golf returned as a varsity sport in 2005. The team did win a regular season county championship in 2010 with a record of 9-1-1.
In the tri-match Thursday, the Wildecats got solid rounds across the board. Behind Silberberg, David Yancich and Nick Matthews each put up 25 points. Rafey Iqbal rounded things out with 22.
While every point was important, the performance of Matthews down the stretch in the No. 4 spot was especially critical. After struggling through his first three holes at 3-over par, the senior regrouped to play his final six in one-under.
“The last six holes I just tried to relax and tried to swing smooth, keep down on the ball,” Matthews said.
His birdie on the eighth hole, with only one point separating Wilde Lake and Glenelg at the time, was a match-changer.
“I just wanted to focus on figuring out my line and hitting a smooth pace,” Mathews said.
While Glenelg and Centennial each came up short in the team competition, each squad did have its share of individual success.
Glenelg’s Young Lee, a freshman, had the best round of the day at 28 points. He made four birdies, including three straight between holes 3-5.
Then there was Centennial senior Connor Flach, who made one birdie and one bogey on the way to 27 points. Centennial, like Wilde Lake, had come into the day undefeated.
All of the teams will now turn their focus to next week’s boys golf county championship tournament, which is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Timbers at Troy.
Wilde Lake 99, Glenelg 95, Centennial 85
WL (10-0): Silberberg 27, Yancich 25, Matthews 25, Iqbal 22.
G (7-2): Lee 28, Segrist 24, A. Leake 23, Forester 20.
C (6-2): Flach 27, Mehta 22, Mcshane 19, Humphrey 17.
Howard 71, Reservoir 67, Atholton 58