WHEELING - Who knew when Linsly and Steubenville Catholic met earlier this season at Williams Country Club it would be a harbinger of things to come?
Well, most everyone who follows high school golf in the Ohio Valley.
So, there they were Thursday dodging the raindrops at the OVAC Class 3A Championship at Oglebay's Crispin layout. And, just like everyone figured, the Crusaders and Cadets stood atop the leaderboard.
T-L Photo/RICK THORP
Barnesville's SamLeach watches a putt on the 18th green Thursday. Leach paced the Shamrocks with a 97. View additional images at cu.timesleaderonline.com
But this time, it was the group from the Woodsdale campus that walked away happy.
Linsly boasted three members of the all-Tournament team and edged Steubenville Catholic, 299-302, to win its 16th OVAC golf crown and first since claiming the final of seven straight in 2007.
''I'm really happy for the kids,'' Linsly head coach Mark Zavatsky said. ''We knew (Steubenville Catholic) was going to be tough.
''We played them a few weeks ago and they beat us by two shots, so we knew it would be tough.''
Magnolia finished a distant third with 339. Buckeye Trail (354) was fourth, followed by Tyler Consolidated (369), Fort Frye (371), Barnesville (404) and Monroe Central (412).
Steubenville Catholic's Austin Meronoff repeated as medalist, firing a 2-under-par 69. He was the only golfer to shoot under 70.
''I had a little battle toward the end,'' he said, ''but I hung in and made a few birdies and was happy to be able to come out on top.''
After carding one birdie on the front 9, the sophomore fired three on the back 9.
''I birdied 16 and parred 17,'' he said. ''Then when I birdied 18 I felt pretty confident,'' said Meronoff, who started his round with a pair of bogeys.
Meronoff earned the top individual honor by two strokes, edging teammate Mike Manfresca, who fired a 71. Linsly's Casey O'Korn, David Coram and Jordan Patrick rounded out the all-Tournament squad with rounds of 72, 73 and 74, respectively.
And, the good news for Zavatsky is all three should be back next season.
''We still don't have any seniors,'' he said.
As they did last last season when the Cadets lost to Buckeye Trail by three shots. Linsly finished second to Steubenville Catholic for the 2A crown in 2011.
''Our No. 3 and 4 (golfers) were the difference (Thursday),'' Zavatsky pointed out. ''That sealed the deal for us.''
Coram has been the top scorer for most of the season for Linsly, whose roster is stocked with juniors and sophomores.
''David plays in a lot of local events and some Top Flite events,'' Zavatsky said.
Meronoff was disappointed the team didn't take home the top hardware, but was encouraged by the effort with the sectional tournament just around the corner. The Crusaders will be part of the Ohio Division III Eastern District Sectional Tournament at Willandale Golf Club in Sugarcreek a week from Tuesday.
''We came up a little short, but we'll be ready for the tournament,'' he said.