State golf preview: Deerfield cruises to Bloomington

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MARENGO — Deerfield’s boys golf team is heading downstate. Monday’s easy win at the Class 3A Huntley Sectional represented a remarkable turn of events from last year, when the Warriors failed to make it out of the Arlington Heights Regional. Only Ian Kelsey — the defending state co-champion — and Colin Davis got to travel downstate last year. “To win sectionals, our high school hasn’t done that in years,” coach Jeff Fishbein said. “To be going downstate as a team is an incredible feeling.” In a tightly stacked sectional, the Warriors advanced with a 14-over 302, prevailing by four strokes over St. Viator (306) and Prospect (307). “We played the best golf we could play,” Fishbein said. “That’s what we can control. It’s nice to be in the clubhouse with a 302. I’ll take my chances with that score in this wind on this golf course.” Though Kelsey was once again at the forefront of Deerfield’s move — placing second overall with an even-par 72 — he was followed by Eric Bagg at 2-over 74. The junior also shot a 74 at the Prospect Regional. “Eric played great,” Fishbein said. “He made a great eagle on six to get it back to even. He’s a great competitor – just a hard-nosed fighter.” Depth has been a strength throughout the postseason. Kelsey, Bagg and sophomore Jacob Krugman all finished at 75 or better at the Prospect Regional Oct. 8. On Monday, four Warriors finished in the 70s, including an impressive 7-over 79 from Thomas Shimamoto in the sixth spot. “I expected him to be in the 70s today,” Fishbein said. “Thomas hit a bump in the road a couple of weeks back. We just never really lost faith in him and he never lost faith in himself.” Krugman tacked on what turned out to be a spare 8-over 80, given that only the top four marks go toward a team’s score. “Though we didn’t need it, an 80 is a great great fifth score in sectionals,” Fishbein said. “That’s what you need. You need four guys and then a fifth and a sixth. Everyone needs to fight to the finish and our guys did today.”

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