The Shawnee Mission East High School boys' golf team won the SM Northwest Invitational on Monday at Lake Quivira Golf Club and seized a commanding 31-shot lead after the first of three rounds that will determine the Sunflower League championship.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
The Lancers cruised behind senior Chase Hanna and junior John Sallaz, who led a SM East parade of five top-10 finishers in a thoroughly dominant team performance.
“We shot very well, and unfortunately the other teams didn’t,” SM East coach Ermanno Ritschl said. “It probably takes a little drama out of it, but it’s never over until it’s over. We’ve got to play three rounds, but we’ve got a commanding lead. The pressure’s off us, that’s for sure.”
Hanna won the individual gold with a sizzling 1-under par 70, and Sallaz finished second with 72.
“We got a great performance from Chase (Hanna),” Ritschl said. “He was 4-under through 15, so he had a terrific day, and John Sallaz, who was on our state championship team two years ago, is really playing like he’s capable again.”
Meanwhile, SM East freshman Andy Spencer finished fifth overall – and fourth among league golfers – with a 74 followed by senior teammate Connor Knabe, who shot 76.
Another Lancers senior, Evan Bloom, snagged 10th after shooting 80 and finishing second in a five-way scorecard playoff.
Lawrence Free State’s Alex Green wound up third in the league with 74, defeating Spencer on a scorecard playoff.
Olathe East’s Alex Springer beat out Garrett Allen of host SM Northwest, which tied Free State for the second-lowest team score (323), on a scorecard playoff for seventh. Both shot 79.
SM South’s Andrew Barton also earned a medal, winning the scorecard playoff for ninth place at 80.
SM Northwest’s Collin Weems, Olathe Northwest’s Dillon Funk and Washburn Rural’s Chance Lucas also shot 80 and officially tied for 11th just outside the medals.
St. James isn’t part of the Sunflower League, but Thunder senior Ben Maskus proved he can hang with the league’s best. He shot 73 and finished alone in third behind only Hanna and Sallaz.
Saints soccer snags second at HOA Classic
The St. Thomas Aquinas girls' soccer team finished second in Bracket C at the Heart of America Classic last weekend at the three high schools in Lee's Summit.
The Saints defeated Fort Zumwalt West from suburban St. Louis during Friday’s quarterfinal round 3-0 behind two goals from Hannah Pyle and another from Abbey Kern.
In the semifinals, Aquinas pounded host Lee’s Summit High School 4-0. Pyle added another goal in the victory, while Mary Disidore notched two goals and Rachel Riggs tacked on the Saints’ fourth goal.
Aquinas' luck ran out against Jenks (Okla.) in a 3-2 loss in the Bracket C championship despite two goals from Jamie Kutey.
“We would have liked to finish it off,” Saints coach Craig Ewing said. “We beat Lee’s Summit, which had been undefeated, and beat one of the best teams from St. Louis. Overall, I was really happy. We made a couple blunders defensively and gave away a couple goals in the championship, but Jenks is a big-time team with some big-time players.”
Taking a wider view, with Aquinas’ strong showing in its bracket and championships by St. Teresa’s Academy and Kearney in the other two brackets, Ewing was thrilled with how the weekend played out for Kansas City.
“I was really happy with the way Kansas City performed,” Ewing said. “We beat the best teams from St. Louis and from Oklahoma. That says a lot about KC soccer. I think Kansas City for women’s soccer is one of the best places in the country right now.”
Thunder soccer settles for fourth
Meanwhile, in the Heart of America Classic’s Bracket A, St. James Academy topped St. Mary’s from Colorado Springs (Colo.) in Thursday’s quarterfinals 4-2 behind a diversified attack. Katie Kerner, Hannah Smith, Shelby Keyes and Taylor Male each tallied a goal for the Thunder in the victory.
That attack didn’t fare as well Saturday when St. James lost to host Lee’s Summit West 3-1 in the semifinals and then dropped a 1-0 battle with Union from Tulsa, Okla., in the Bracket A third-place game.Rebecca Weimer scored the only goal in the loss to the Titans, who prevailed thanks to Nebraska-bound forward Jaycie Johnson’s hat trick, in the semis.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him attwitter.com/todpalmer.