Panthers top, Lions split 3-way with Glenn

PLYMOUTH — It may not have been the Panthers’ best round, but it was good enough.
NorthWood’s top four all finished within five strokes of one another to top the field with a 171, Bremen turned in a team score of 201 to split, and John Glenn — while led by sophomore Tyler Prentkowski’s low medalist 2-over-par 38 — finished at the bottom of the heap with a score of 212 at a three-way boys golf meet on the Black Course at Indiana National Tuesday.
“It was consistent, but unfortunately it was the worst score we’ve put up all year,” said NorthWood head golf coach Brad Duerkson. “We struggled a little bit out there. It was a little windy but not too bad. I think we just ran into, we had our best round of the season over the weekend, and I don’t know if there’s a little hangover from that. I’m pleased to get the wins. Glad that we’re playing consistent golf, we just need to drop the scores a little bit.”
Dylan Gessinger shot a 40, Payton Grubbs carded a 42, Brayden Glaser turned in a 44, Logan Kauffman rounded out NorthWood’s score with 45, and even NorthWood’s fifth score was only a stroke back as Ryan Thompson shot a 46, and the Panthers beat out Bremen by 30 strokes to remain unbeaten in nine-hole play at 5-0 this season.
“It means something to us. That’s one of the goals you have early on in the season,” said Duerkson. “Going into our conference we’d like to be competitive and to remain undefeated as long as possible, the guys have that as a goal also, so it does feel good to get two victories.”
Bremen was led meanwhile by dual 48s from Micah Knoblock and Brad Foster, while Nate Strehler shot a 50. Top flighter Kevin Woodyard struggled with a 55, and the Lions were unable to fall back on a strong five score from Joe Zeltwanger as he struggled with hazards on the challenging front side at Swan Lake to finish in 58.
“Most of our guys struggled here,” said first-year Bremen coach Ryan Eakins. “One guy in particular, Brad Foster, had his best round of the year so far with a 48. Everybody else was well above their average. Kevin is not typically in the 50s, he’s normally around 41, so today was very uncharacteristic of him coming off a 37 last time out. He’ll be happy to get back again Thursday playing at Sprig (O’Mint). Micah had some good holes and he had some bad ones, so he’ll get back down there again. Joe still hasn’t found his swing; he’s really struggling around the greens and he lost eight balls today. Strehler did OK, he’s right around the upper-40s, so not a terrible day for him.”
The Lions move to 6-4 with Tuesday’s result and improve to an even 2-2 in Northern State Conference play with the win over Glenn.
“We’re shooting as an athletic department toward winning the All-Sports Award. We really want to do our part because we really have a chance to take that away. We’re working toward a couple weeks from now when we get down to Mystic Hills for the tournament,” Eakins said.
“We really want to help the athletic department win that award, and we think we can do our part. Triton’s really strong. There’s a couple other teams, but other than that it’s fairly wide open for two, three, four.”
Glenn was led at the triangular meet Tuesday by defending individual NSC champ Prentkowski’s 2-over 38 as the sophomore birdied the par 5 No. 4 and turned in four pars for the round.
“He’s pretty solid. If he starts making a few putts he’s going to go pretty low here one of these nights,” said Glenn coach Randy Schmeltz. “He’s not made very many putts lately. Close — you shoot 38 you’ve got to be knocking a few putts in — but he’s missing some 10-, 12-footers, and once they start falling he’s going to go low. He won the conference last year as a freshman so he’s got that little feather in his cap, and he can do some nice things this year. We’re trying to get him to pull some of the other kids down with him.”
But the Falcons weren’t able to card another score sub-50 Tuesday.
A few bad holes cost Michael Schmeltz a 53, Austen Hayes shot a 57 stepping into the third flight for an injured C.J. Jaske, and Dylan Van Huss and Nic VanderVeldon carded respective scores of 64 and 69 as Glenn slid to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
“I think Michael Schmeltz has a lot of nice holes… he’s just got to become a little more consistent. Our number three player C.J. Jaske, he sprained his wrist so he was out tonight. The other guys had an opportunity to score in this match, they just didn’t get it done. We’re looking to fill up those three, four and five spots right now,” said Randy Schmeltz.
“We told the kids ‘Hey, we lost one, somebody is going to have a chance to step up in a varsity position.’ For whatever reason — I really don’t know what the answers are right now — we just didn’t get it done. We’ve got some guys who were nervous, didn’t hit the ball forward. We were in trouble; we were in a lot of hazards out there.”
Apart from Prentkowski’s low round, nearly all scores were uncharacteristically high at the meet. The wind was much less blustery than anticipated, but with league play pushing the meet from the Silver Course to the more challenging Black Course at Indiana National, many golfers found themselves in unfamiliar territory.
“We have never played this side before. A lot of guys hadn’t seen it before, so I think if we were playing again their scores would be better,” Duerkson said.
“This is not an easy place to play. Most of our guys have played here in the past, but I’m not sure if they’ve played this nine. This is probably the hardest nine we’ve played so far,” said Eakins.
At Indiana National Black Front (Par 36)
NORTHWOOD (171): Dylan Gessinger 40, Payton Grubbs 42, Logan Kauffman 45, Ryan Thompson 46, Brayden Glaser 44.
BREMEN (201): Kevin Woodyard 55, Micah Knoblock 48, Nate Strehler 50, Brad Foster 48, Joe Zeltwanger 58.
GLENN (212): Tyler Prentkowski 38, Michael Schmeltz 53, Austen Hayes 57, Dylan Van Huss 64, Nic VanderVeldon 69.
Records: Northwood 5-0; Bremen 4-6 (2-2 NSC), Glenn 3-3 (1-2 NSC)
JV scores: Northwood 190, Bremen 208, Glenn 213