Pioneers streak to fourth win in a row
The Okoboji boys golf team streaked to its fourth consecutive win by a rather comfortable 11-shot margin at a Siouxland Conference meet Thursday, April 6 at The Ridge Golf Club in Sioux Center.
The Pioneers fired a 157 while MOC-Floyd Valley came in second with a 168. Sioux Center placed third with a 170 on their home course.
"After starting off with two seconds and a third, we've won four meets in a row now, and it's not just been Matt Ohl, even though he's the Siouxland Conference leader," said Okoboji coach Randy Rohlfsen. "Last night was a good example of that. He got into trouble on a couple holes, but his teammates came through and we still got a win by 11 shots without Matt's score counting. That makes me feel good heading into sectionals. We know Matt is going to play well 99 out of 100 times, but he just had an off night."
Despite a down meet from Ohl, Matt Baschke and Caden Thurgood allowed the Pioneers to sweep the medalist and runner-up medalist spots for the second meet in a row. Baschke won his first meet in eight tries with a two-over-par 38. Thurgood placed second with a 38, and has now earned medalist honors in a team-high six meets.
James Halbur also secured his first medal of the year with a fifth place round of 40. Micah Baschke and Jeremy Wollenburg each tallied rounds of 41 and Ohl completed the squad with a 42. Only four strokes separated the Pioneers one through six golfers.
"That's what I had kind of put my faith in from the beginning of the season was being deep and having five or six men. I also have to throw a little credit onto my freshman Micah Baschke. He's been a surprise to us," said Rohlfsen. "That's a very difficult course and it was windy, rainy and cold. For those boys to be at 42 and under is pretty awesome. It shows that they are paying attention to detail and not getting sloppy."
The Pioneers moved to within one point of the Dutch in the overall standings and could clinch the outright Siouxland title with wins in the final two meets. Okoboji tied for first place last year with MOC-Floyd Valley.
"We have to go on the road one more time and pick up a win, and then we get them in our backyard," said Rohlfsen. "I'm shocked that we were able to win four in a row at strange golf courses, so now our odds are better than before. That's what our goal was to win the conference as well as finishing well at sectionals, districts and state, so we're coming closer to one of our goals."
Siouxland Conference meet
Team scores -- 1. Okoboji 157; 2. MOC-Floyd Valley 168; 3. Sioux Center 170; 4. Rock Valley 171; 5. West Lyon 175; 6. Boyden-Hull 177; 7. Sheldon 181; 8. Central Lyon 183; 9. Sibley-Ocheyedan 186; 10. George-Little Rock inc.
Medalists -- 1. Matt Baschke (Okoboji) 38; 2. Caden Thurgood (Okoboji) 38; 3. Rees Beaver (SC) 39; 4. Davis Bloemendaal (MOC-FV) 39; 5. James Halbur (Okoboji) 40; 6. Nick Van Roekel (SC) 40.
Okoboji scores -- Matt Baschke 38; Caden Thurgood 38; James Halbur 40; Jeremy Wollenburg 41; Micah Baschke 41; Matt Ohl 42.