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Hornets finish 2nd at HHC tourney

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DECK PUTT: Clinton Central’s Oliver Deck puts on hole 10 at Deer Track golf course during Saturday’s Hoosier Heartland Conference match as Rossville’s Jacob Dahmen looks on.
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TEEING OFF: Rossville's Bryce Oliver tees off on the 10th hole during Saturday's conference match. Oliver finished with an 87 making the all-conference team.
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HHC CHAMP: Clinton Prairie’s Grant McGraw poses with the scorecard after Saturday’s Hoosier Heartland Conference match. McGraw took medalist honors for conference with a 79.
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LOOKS GOOD: Rossville’s Jacob Dahmen watches his ball fly after hitting from a tough lie on the 11th hole at Deer Track during Saturday’s Hoosier Heartland Conference tournament. Dahmen finished with an 86, good for all-conference honors along with teammates Bryce Oliver and Nathan Shaefer.

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

Rossville finished second during Saturday’s Hoosier Heartland Conference golf tournament at Deer Track golf course just three shots behind champion Eastern, with Clinton Prairie’s Grant McGraw winning medalist honors after carding a personal-best 79 for 18 holes.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” Rossville head coach Lonnie Lawson said. “We are really improving each week and with two and a half weeks or so left until sectionals I’m pleased with where we are for the season.

“We’ve won quite a few dual matches, we’ve placed well in some invites and placed great at conference, second place by a mere three strokes. It really came down to the wire.”

After finishing the day with a 362, the Hornets had to wait a while for Eastern, Delphi, Taylor and Sheridan to finish their rounds to know if the score would hold up for a championship. Of the four, only Eastern with a 359 topped them. Clinton Prairie finished third with a 404, followed by Carroll (409), Clinton Central (434), Delphi (440), Taylor (462) and Sheridan (521).

McGraw topped Carroll’s Jaden McCain by two strokes for medalist honors.

“Grant’s been working really hard to improve his game all season and his hard work is paying off,” Prairie head coach Jim Cullom said. “He had a little blip on the front nine, but he pretty much played flawless golf on the back.”

The rest of the Gophers played “a couple strokes above their average, but overall I was happy with how they played considering the conditions,” he added. Although Cullom praised the work in preparing the course for the tournament, the first teams teed off with a 42 degree temperature and the course was saturated by recent rains.

McGraw and McCain were joined on the all-conference team by three players from Rossville and three from Eastern. Rossville’s Jacob Dahmen (86), Bryce Oliver (87) and Nathan Shaefer (91) made the squad along with Cody Shrader (88), Mason France (88) and Isaac Maurer (90).

Others posting scores for the Hornets included Evan Hopkins with a 98 and Kolton Harshbarger with a 101 that was not included in the team total.

For Prairie, Blake Richardson had a personal-best 106, while Wes Whitlock carded a 109 and Evan Huelskamp and Brennen Butler each had a 110 with only Huelskamp’s included in the team total. Butler, a freshman, also had a personal best for 18 holes.

For Clinton Central, Oliver Deck led the Bulldogs with a 104, while Kyle Pickard finished with a 107, Hunter Salem had a 108 and Fife Deck carded a 115. Riston Quick shot a 118 that was not included in the team total.

“We came out a little flat,” Central head coach Kim Deck said. “It was a little soggy out there with the rains.”

“I’m happy with where we are at and looking forward to getting a couple more invites under our belt before we get to sectionals,” Lawson said. “Hopefully, we can keep improving and make some waves at sectionals.”

All three teams will compete along with Frankfort at the county tournament on May 22 and 23 at the Frankfort Commons course with sectionals June 1 at the Coyote Crossing Golf Club in West Lafayette.