Saranac Lake locks up third straight CVAC golf title

RAY BROOK – Another solid day on the golf course, another shutout win and a third straight championship.

Saranac Lake’s golfers experienced all three Wednesday, as they blanked visiting AuSable Valley 6-0 to capture a third Champlain Valley Athletic Conference regular season title in a row.

After posting unbeaten 10-0 records the previous two years to finish on top of the standings, the Red Storm rebounded from a season-opening loss this spring by winning eight straight matches. Saranac Lake, however, needed some help this time to clinch a crown, and got that from Lake Placid when Blue Bombers came through with a victory Wednesday over the Northeastern Clinton Cougars, who were the only team to beat the Red Storm this year.

Saranac Lake improved to 8-1 with the win and wraps up the regular season today, hosting Saranac Central at Saranac Lake Golf Club in Ray Brook.

“It’s been such an exciting year, and it’s been fun,” Saranac Lake head coach Chris Stevens said. “It was a learning experience right off the bat for us. Going into the season, we knew a lot of teams lost a lot of seniors from last year. We lost some key seniors, and we knew people were going to have to step it up. The sectionals are going to be very interesting this year. A lot of teams will be gunning for us, that’s for sure.”

Sophomore Ethan Sawyer and senior Teddy Yanchitis paced Saranac Lake with medalist rounds of 39 on Ray Brook’s par-36 layout. Playing in the Red Storm’s top spot, Sawyer defeated the Patriots’ Nate Devins, who finished tied for his team’s low score of the day, a 46. Yanchitis notched his win by nine strokes over Ian Rennie in match No. 5.

Dustin Fischer, Blake Gregory, Austin Ecret and Carley Sawyer also picked up wins in the Red Storm sweep. Fischer carded a 40 at No. 2 to defeat Ridge Perkett by seven shots, Gregory fired a 44 for a three-stroke victory over Kyle Hart in the third match, Ecret won another three-shot decision after topping Riley Taylor 43-46 at No. 5, and Carley Sawyer beat Lucas Finnegan 47-50 in the sixth pairing.

“Top to bottom, our kids have gotten better every week,” Stevens said. “They have continued to improve by small amounts stroke-wise, but what’s really impressed me is their consistency.

“I’ve been pretty nervous the past four or five matches, and I’m not even the one out there playing,” Stevens added. “All I can say is I feel a whole lot better going into tomorrow’s match than I did before today’s match. The kids did great.”

Lake Placid 4 1/2, NCCS 1 1/2

LAKE PLACID – Lake Placid’s golfers clinched at least a third-place finish in the CVAC with a 4 1/2-1 1/2victory over Northeastern Clinton Wednesday at Craig Wood.

The Blue Bombers, whose only two setbacks this season were in tiebreakers, improved to 7-2 in the league with one match remaining, which will be at home Monday against Plattsburgh.

Lake Placid and NCCS both entered the match with two losses, and the Blue Bombers picked up their individual wins in the third through sixth pairings. Kiefer Casler, Lake Placid’s top golfer, shot a co-medalist round of 38 to finish in a tie with the Cougars No. 1 player, Nolan Reid.

Ryan Kane, Pat Kane, Lucas Strack and Bjorn Kroes posted Lake Placid’s four wins. Playing in the second position, Miles Lussi suffered the only setback for the Blue Bombers, falling 45-40 to Alex Duffy.

Ryan Kane defeated Zachary Guay 41-48 at No. 3, Pat Kane beat Chris Kokes 44-46 in the fourth match, Lucas Strack edged Chad Littlefield 47-48 at No. 5 and Kroes carded a season-low 43 for a seven-shot win over Cody Young in the sixth matchup.

The loss was the second of the week for the Cougars, who fell to 6-3 after heading into this week’s schedule in position to claim the CVAC crown had they won their remaining matches.

“Our kids were pretty excited,” Lake Placid coach John Glinski said. “NCCS was 6-2, we were 6-2, and we knew we had to play strong. Those kids three through six, they’ve come through for us all year. Hopefully, our whole team can carry their solid play into the sectionals. The league has been very close all season, and it looks wide open for the sectionals.”

The Blue Bombers and the Hornets will tee off Monday starting at 3:30 p.m.

The Section VII championships will be played at the Saranac Inn Golf Club next Thursday and Friday.