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'Cats are tops in county

August 21, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

When school opens on Monday, Williamsport will already have a trophy to display in its windows.

The Wildcats emerged as Washington County team champion on Wednesday at Black Rock Golf Course, and for good measure, also took medalist honors when Luke Hintze defeated Smithsburg's Riley Ledden in a one-hole playoff.

Williamsport, which last won the county title in 2000, posted a 322-stroke team total to dethrone two-time defending champion Smithsburg, which finished second at 326. Boonsboro and North Hagerstown tied with 346, South Hagerstown was next at 374 and Clear Spring sixth with 449.

"This was the first tournament of the year, and with the wind and pressure of this being a tournament, the scores were high," Williamsport coach Rod Steiner said. "Luke usually plays Black Rock well."

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Hintze, Williamsport's No. 2 player, played solid with a 5-over par 77 that included a steady nine card of 38-39, two strokes better than teammate Will Roney's 79. Chris Martin added an 81 and Logan Hintze rounded out the scoring with an 85.

Riley Ledden fashioned a 40-37-77 to lead Smithsburg, while the Leopards' No. 1 player, Brandon Sheaffer, settled for 80.

Hintze parred his final hole, which got him into the playoff as Ledden tired with bogeys over his final two holes.

The first playoff hole was on No. 8, a 396-yard par-4 with water out in front of the tee ... and both players experienced the water.

Fortunately for Hintze, his tee ball skimmed to safety and he was able to manage a bogey and take the medal honors over Ledden, who double bogeyed after taking a penalty stroke.

"I think the heat was a factor and it really showed in the last few holes," said Hintze, who said his round was the best tournament round he has played.

Hintze and Roney, who won the WACO Junior title two weeks ago, are rivalries on the team and Hintze took pride in beating his teammate by two strokes.

Ledden, who was runnerup last year in the county tournament with a 76 and one stroke behind Seiji Hirai, just didn't hit the ball well coming in.

"I got real tired and hit some bad shots," Ledden said. "I made a lot of 10 footers that helped me today."

Nick Zaccaria posted an 83 to lead Boonsboro, Jared Zampelli had an 85 to top North Hagerstown, Matt Smith was in the running early for medalist honors before dropping to an 82 to lead South, and strapping Alex Tyler led Clear Spring with an 85.

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