In a tight match against Reservoir on Thursday, Centennial’s Matt McShane found his swing at the perfect time.
After one of the worst rounds of his high school career in the team’s season opener on Tuesday — 13 points at Hobbit’s Glen — McShane fired a team-best 26 points at Fairway Hills against the Gators to lead his team to a 74-72 victory.
After his teammates had picked him up the other day against Atholton to pull out a one-point victory, this time it was McShane’s turn to do the heavy lifting in order to keep the Eagles (2-0) undefeated on the season.
“The other day was a learning experience for me, just a rough day all around, but I came out today with a completely different mindset and got things straightened out,” said McShane, who was a first-team all-county player as a junior last fall. “I felt like to have the team still win that match with my poor performance, our No. 2 Robert Hunter especially stepping up with birdies on his last two holes, it gave me a lot of confidence.
“I really wanted to attack the golf course and do my part to help the team today.”
Hunter was again a big key for the Eagles against Reservoir (1-2), backing up his 23-point day against Atholton with 21 points on Thursday. His day was highlighted by a birdie on his opening hole.
Greg Sterenberg (16 points) and Nick DeCunzo (11) rounded out Centennial’s scoring.
The Eagles ended up needing every single one of those points, as Reservoir was down just one point coming to the final hole. Daniel Kim was the team’s leader on the day with 23 points, followed by Pavan Vemulakonda (19), Brandon Yang (15) and Langston Banks (15).
It was the second loss of the season for the Gators by four points or less.
“It’s important that we stay positive because these close matches really can go either way,” Kim said. “I feel like if we just keep playing our game, eventually we are going to come out on the winning side and I know that we can all play better. There are still a lot of matches left in the season.”
Reservoir was leading the match overall through the first five holes, but McShane and Hunter were consistent enough down the stretch to lead their team back in front over the closing holes.
McShane, after making a double bogey on the second hole, played his final seven holes in one-under par.
“My approach shots were great … everything was around 10 to 15 feet. Honestly, I probably left a few birdies out there because I was burning a lot of edges on my putts,” McShane said. “It was a fun day … it’s always nice when you are stepping up there with a wedge and you are confident you can go right at the pin.”
DeCunzo and Sterenberg also did their part in the second group for the Eagles, combining for three pars between them over the final four holes.
On the other side, Kim did his best to keep Reservoir in it by firing his third straight round of over 20 points to open the season. His average of 23.3 points through three matches this fall is nearly a five-point improvement from a season ago.
“I feel like I’ve improved my putting a lot and that’s probably the biggest difference,” Kim said. “Lots more two putts and a couple more birdies.”
Centennial 74, Reservoir 72
C (2-0): McShane 26, Hunter 21, Sterenberg 16, DeCunzo 11.
Re (1-2): Kim 23, Vemulakonda 19, Yang 15, Banks 15.
Marriotts Ridge 102, River Hill 59
The Mustangs became the first team this fall to break the 100-point barrier. Bennett Buch (27 points), Jackson Courtney (26) and Nick Mejia (26) were all one-over-par or better.
MR (3-0): Buch 27, Courtney 26, Mejia 26, Polefrone 23.
RH (2-1): Gold 18, Green 17, Frydenberg 16, Burman 8.
Mt. Hebron 63, Hammond 14
MH (1-1): Hardy 24, Hahm 17, Hall 16, B. Brookhart 6.
Ha (0-3): Edwards 6, Woodson 3, Mitchell 3, Sarich 2.
Wilde Lake 38, Oakland Mills 21
WL (1-2): Brady 16, R. Wilson 11, Swanson 7, A. Wilson 4.
OM (0-2): Steplowski 9, Carroll 7, Clyde 5.
Glenelg 95, Howard 64
G (3-0): Segrist 27, Lee 26, McAuliffe 23, Mikk 19.
Ho (1-2): Cherry 19, Gupta 16, Higgins 16, Dunnigan 13.
Atholton 77, Long Reach 48
A (2-1): Robinson 25, Rosenthal 21, Osterman 20, Stevens 11.
LR (0-3): Gates 17, Bartolotta 12, Spotte-Smith 11, Lewis 8.
Centennial 49, Reservoir 22
Kaitlyn Wojtanowski fired a high-school career-best round of 19 points and led the Eagles to their second straight win to open the season. Overall, each of Centennial’s four players scored nine points or more.
After finishing below .500 last year, the Eagles have the look in the early going of a team with serious county championship aspirations. In both of the team’s matches thus far, Centennial has scored 40 or more points — including a 43-40 victory over Atholton on Tuesday.
“I haven’t really talked with the team about it yet because we are just starting off and getting things together as a team, but I think it’s something I’ll be saying to them before next match that we actually have a real chance this season,” Wojtanowski said. “I’m thrilled that we’re actually getting our scores up there and it’s exciting to be a part of this team.
“I think the Atholton match definitely gave us a confidence boost and now we feel like we can do anything now if we play well.”
C (2-0): Wojtanowski 19, Kuan 11, Sterenberg 10, Trojillo 9.
Re (0-3): Caporaletti 8, Trivedi 8, Adipudi 6.
Wilde Lake 57, Oakland Mills 0
Tyler Teachman had a day to remember for the Wildecats, as she not only fired a career-high 23 points at the Timbers at Troy but also recorded her very first eagle. She made a three on the par-5 second hole.
Later in the round, on No. 4, she also added a birdie.
The 57 points overall gives Wilde Lake the highest girls team total so far this fall.
WL (2-0): Teachman 23, Sands 12, Iqbal 11, Andres 11.
Mt. Hebron 33, Hammond 4
Josephine Jung fired the best individual round of the season thus far among the girls, scoring 27 points (even par) at Willow Springs to lead the Vikings to the victory.
For Hammond, Holly Brown also had a highlight by making the first par of her high school career.
MH (1-0-1): Jung 27, Kelly 4, Carguilo 2.
Ha (0-3): Brown 4.
Marriotts Ridge 41, River Hill 30
MR (2-1): MacIlvain 16, Quinn 11, Chun 11, Illig 3.
RH (2-1): Hayward 20, Green 5, Scott 3, Sengottuvelu 2.
Howard 36, Glenelg 21
Ho (3-0): Cherry 19, Lurie 11, Abrams 6.
G (1-2): Davis 11, Malik 8, Mistichelli 2.
Atholton 28, Long Reach 28
A (0-1-2): Petersen 19, Fields 8, Anderson 1.
LR (1-1-1): Williams 15, Reboullet 8, Appler 6, Friend 4.