Ottawa Hills senior Ben Silverman hits a tee shot at the Division III state championships. Silverman was the runner-up to help the Green Bears win the team title.
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE/PHIL LONG
The Ottawa Hills boys golf team charged from behind in the final round of the Division III state tournament in Columbus and rallied to win the championship.
The Green Bears improved their first round score by 11 strokes and went on to capture the third championship in school history.
Entering the final round, Ottawa Hills trailed Gahanna Columbus Academy by six strokes.
Ottawa Hills senior Ben Silverman placed second with scores of 75-72—147. Silverman shot 14 strokes better than Academy senior Shabaz Khan and led his team to an overall 647 that included a 318 in the final round.
Ben’s father, Judd Silverman, was the 1973 state medalist from Ottawa Hills. The Green Bears also won state titles in 1974 and ’82.
All five of Ottawa Hills’ players posted a better second-day score than the player they were paired with from Columbus Academy. Seniors Ben Dayton (172), R.J. Coil (181), and junior Matt Abendroth (165) rounded out the lineup.
Silverman shot 75 in the opening round and finished with a 147, behind only Powell Village junior Jeg Couglin (144). Green Bears sophomore Michael Denner (84-79—163) tied for 12th.
“I’m a team guy, and I couldn’t be more proud of how they came together and came from behind to win this tournament,” coach Jim McGill said. “I think it was the perfect storm this year with having young men who love the game of golf.”
Ottawa Hills captured the sectional title and Toledo Area Athletic Conference title for a fifth straight season.
St. John's junior Jack Mancinotti finished second at the D-I state tournament, carding a 73-77—150.
The Titans took fourth as a team with a 648 as seniors Jack Meredith (167), Nicholas Graf (170), and Luke Campbell (171) and freshman Tommy Sullinger (167) all chipped in.
St. John's also won the Three Rivers Athletic Conference title, and Bowling Green won the Northern Lakes League title.
Findlay placed 11th (707) at state as junior Spencer Shoemaker shot a team-best 170.
In the Division III state tournament, Van Buren placed 11th with seniors Sawyer Junge and Mac Williams leading the way.
In the D-II boys tournament, Liberty-Benton senior Jared Neiling tied for 11th.
In the girls competiton, Lakota junior Makayla Dull won the Division III state title, shooting a 69-73—142.
Lakota's Dull improved her 2012 score, when she finished fifth, by 14 strokes. Dull shot a 69 in the opening round to take the early lead and carded a 73 the second day to bring home medalist honors.
“It’s very exciting,” Dull said. “I’ve been waiting all year for this. I just played consistently.”
In the Division I girls tournament, St. Ursula finished 10th (693) as a team, and Perrysburg placed 12th (747).
St. Ursula sophomore Lizzie Win shot 164 to finish 29th. Senior Monica Dorner led Perrysburg with a 174 to place 44th.
— Mark Monroe