For one team it was a return to glory and for the other is was a continuation of one of the county’s all-time longest runs of dominance.
In both cases, it was a good day to be a Marriotts Ridge golfer on Tuesday at the Timbers at Troy.
The Mustangs’ girls golf team scored 61 points, earning a sweep of Centennial (50 points) and River Hill (48) to secure the program a piece of its first county title since 2015. Not to be outdone, the Marriotts Ridge boys scored 90 points to secure a sweep of their own over Centennial (88) and River Hill (78) to extend their county-match winning streak to 76 straight and also wrap up a piece of this fall’s county crown.
During its historic run, there have been plenty of big moments, but Marriotts Ridge coach Mark Dubbs ranks this year’s sweep — in a battle of three teams that came in undefeated for both the boys and girls — right near the top of the list.
“This one is really, really special because it was both teams and they really had to come out and earn it. You look at the numbers each of the teams were putting up coming in and, I’ll be honest, I was nervous,” Dubbs said. “But I think all the hard work the kids have put in during practice these last couple weeks really paid off. I’m just incredibly happy for them.”
The traditional leaders did their part for both Mustangs’ squads. Faith McIlvain (25 points) and Alana Alexander-Giles (21) set the tone for Marriotts Ridge in the first girls group, while Akash Marakath (24) and Justin Allen (23) played to their scoring averages in the top boys pairing.
But what ultimately pushed each team over the top was their depth. Sydney Bivens scored a season-high 13 points for the girls and Daniel Tuma scored a season-high 26 points to lead all scorers for the boys.
“These matches come down to getting someone to step up and deliver the unexpected. Today that was Sydney and Daniel,” Dubbs said. “From those more experienced players, you kind of know what you are going to get and each team has a couple of those. So when you have someone else in that second or third group elevate their game, that’s what pushes you over the top.”
In the girls match, Centennial (9-1) hung close for awhile behind strong play from Morgan Taylor (21 points) and the duo of Erin Jeong and Sussie Park, who each scored 12 points. Taylor had one string of three straight pars and Jeong’s day was highlighted by a chip-in for birdie on the par 4 fourth hole.
Ultimately it just wasn’t enough to stay with the Mustangs and the Eagles lost for the first time as a team since 2017.
McIlvain said that the chemistry between her and freshman teammate Alexander-Giles went a long way to setting the tone early. Alexander-Giles opened with two birdies in her first three holes.
“Alana had a very strong start to her round today and I think that just helped to motivate us both and get the adrenaline running,” McIlvain said. “I think we both help to support each other throughout every single match we’ve played together — and we’ve played together almost every match this season.
“She really keeps me more positive throughout the round and I think that’s really important.”
River Hill ended up in third on the day, with Adrienne Lesho (17 points) and Mehar Sandhu (15) leading the way.
In the boys match, Marriotts Ridge was actually in third place in the team competition after five completed holes.
It was Centennial, which was led by Dustin Stocksdale (26 points) and Ty Sams (25), that came out on fire. Both Stocksdale and Sams birdied the par 3 fifth hole to, at the time, put the Eagles ahead by two on River Hill and six over Marriotts Ridge.
But as the round wore on, Marriotts Ridge rallied and the top players from both Centennial and River Hill found a bit of trouble. The Eagles played their final four holes in 10-over par as a team, while the Hawks were 17-over during that same stretch.
Jackson Graves finished as the top player for River Hill with a score of 24 points.
Marriotts Ridge, on the other hand, played its final four holes in a combined 2-over-par to surge to the victory.
Tuma, who made three birdies on the day, said the encouragement from his teammates and a strong short game carried him through his round.
“Today, for the most part, I had some good putting — I didn’t three-putt and had three birdies — and it helps to have a lot of confidence in Akash and Justin in the first group,” he said. “They both gave me pep talks going into the match, which helped me mentally.”
Marriotts Ridge will look to put the finishing touches on an undefeated season for both its boys and girls on Wednesday when it squares off against Reservoir at Waverly Woods.
GIRLS BOX SCORE:
Marriotts Ridge 61, Centennial 50, River Hill 48
MR (10-0): Faith McIlvain 25, Alana Alexander-Giles 21, Sydney Bivens 13, Narya Konadi 2.
C (9-1): Morgan Taylor 21, Erin Jeong 12, Sussie Park 12, Hannah Fang 5.
RH (9-2): Adrienne Lesho 17, Mehar Sandhu 15, Simran Mulchandani 11, Amy Zhao 5.
BOYS BOX SCORE:
Marriotts Ridge 90, Centennial 88, River Hill 78
MR (10-0): Daniel Tuma 26, Akash Marakath 24, Justin Allen 23, Josh Lee 17.
C (9-1): Dustin Stocksdale 26, Ty Sams 25, Klaus Wood 19, Conarie Steinbach 18.
RH (9-2): Jackson Graves 24, Cam Deiuliis 21, Robbie Graham 18, Collin Regan 15.
OTHER GIRLS SCORES:
Hammond 23, Oakland Mills 15, Long Reach 0
The Golden Bears were crowned champions of the Iron Skillet match for a third straight season. Ashleigh Louie (12 points) and Chinaza Ezeh (10) paced the team’s scoring.
Ha (3-8): Ashleigh Louie 12, Chinaza Ezeh 10, Gianna Caci 1.
OM (2-8-1): Kylee Hoffman 8, Ira Valeza 4, Isabella Fernandez 3.
LR (0-11): N/A.
Glenelg 52, Mt. Hebron 33, Atholton 20
G (7-3): Ally Abruscato 18, Morgan Ruddo 16, Suki Sacks 11, Amber Kostick 7.
MH (5-6): Michaels 9, Zoe Perna 8, Kate Fleck 8, Emma Donovan 8.
A (2-8-1): Saili Khorjekar 10, Susie Jang 10.
Howard 36, Wilde Lake 27, Reservoir 6
Ho (8-3): Logan Lurie 20, Sophia Soh 8, Paige Wine 5, Morgan Cooper 3.
WL (6-5): Lindsey Sands 14, Clare Bowen 9, Erica Sweitzer 4.
Re (2-8): Kate Abunassar 4, Leila Withers 2.
OTHER BOYS SCORES:
Oakland Mills 50, Hammond 49, Long Reach 41
The Scorpions captured the Iron Skillet for a second-straight year, edging the Golden Bears by a point behind big days from Alex Tamai (17 points) and Heath Franklin (15). Oakland Mills scored a combined five points on the final hole to emerge victorious.
Tim Stryker scored 16 points to lead the way for Hammond.
OM (2-9): Alex Tamai 17, Heath Franklin 15, Mason Cowell 9, Paul Lebert 9.
Ha (2-9): Tim Stryker 16, Cole Smith 14, Cal Hewitt 11, Connor Walls 8.
LR (0-11): Sammy Hussain 12, Garrett Watt 12, Ian Rullman 11, Matt Peters 6.
Glenelg 81, Atholton 73, Mt. Hebron 51
G (7-3): Caleb Taylor 24, Roggen King 22, Michael Gloth 20, Chase Davidson 15.
A (6-5): Nolan Chong 24, Camden Campbell 20, Luke Chory 19, Cam Okolita 10.
MH (3-8): Jason Van Tine 23, Kang 14, Garrett Snyder 11, McClure 3.
Reservoir 61, Howard 50, Wilde Lake 33
Re (7-3): Justin Gutierrez 18, Trace Teodori 16, John Welch 14, Ty Karbacka 13.
Ho (6-5): Jai Sheth 20, Gregory Heiger 15, Jarrett Maynor 9, Shayan Kassiri 6.
WL (3-8): Henry Hilger 21, Evan Schneider 9, Daniel Walker 3.