MONTGOMERY: MHS second in boys golf sectionals

Graham, Cai to represent teams

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
   All four Packet-area boys golf teams went to the state sectional tournament on Monday with hopes of qualifying for next week’s Tournament of Champions.
   Montgomery High finished second in Central/South Group III, earning a spot in the TOC at Rumson Country Club. In addition, Princeton’s Fraser Graham and West Windsor-Plainsboro North’s Charles Cai finished high enough as individuals to earn a spot in the field as well.
   ”It was a pretty good week for us overall,” said Montgomery coach Joe Bassford, whose team shot a 322 to finish second, four shots behind Shawnee for the sectional title. “Second in the sectional is great and we get to move on and play in the Group tournament now at Rumson Country Club. And last week we had the Skyland Conference Tournament where we finished tied with Hunterdon Central and went to a playoff where they beat us. But that was still a real good day for us to finish second there.
   ”We were happy with second place at the conference tournament. We knew with the states coming up that it might give us some momentum and we felt like after that we could play with anybody.”
   Brian Motherway shot a 78 to lead the way for the Cougars, whose top four was rounded out by Ryan Warrier, Steve Altieri and Jeff Thomsen.
   ”Shawnee played real well,” Bassford said. “Running Deer is the toughest course we’ve played all year. But our guys were excited to be there and we felt like we had a chance to win the section. Brian played really well. Steve is a freshman and he had a real nice round. Now we’re looking forward to Monday at Rumson. There will be a lot of tough teams there.”
   Montgomery will be joined by Graham and Cai, who qualified as individuals. Graham shot an 80 at Wildwood Golf Club in Woodstown to finish third in the Central/South Group II sectional. The Little Tigers finished fourth as a team.
   ”I think Fraser was a little disappointed with his performance, but he was happy that he played well enough to get to Rumson,” Princeton coach Sheryl Severance said. “The team was disappointed that we didn’t finish high enough to move on. They went in thinking we had a chance to do well and get to the next round.
   ”I think Rumson will be a good course for Fraser. It’s a little longer and plays better to his game.”
   WW-P North’s Cai will join Graham and Montgomery at the TOC. The sophomore shot a 75 to finish second in the Central/South Group III event. The Knights were third as a team with a 329, just seven shots behind Montgomery.
   In addition to the 75 from Cai, Ryan Siegler shot an 82, Dan Trink had an 85, and Simran Charan shot an 87.
   ”Charles shot a 75 and actually bogeyed the last four holes,” North coach Trevor Warner said. “He shot a 34 on the front nine and a 41 on the more difficult back nine. The course played long and the greens were fast and very difficult to putt on.
   ”Charles is excited about advancing, although he mentioned that he was very disappointed that our team didn’t move on. He’s got tournament experience at the junior level and has a great ability to keep himself calm and focused. Nothing ever seems to rattle Charles, that’s what makes him so good. I’m confident that he’ll perform to his potential on Monday.”
   WW-P South finished fourth in the section, just three shots behind North. Kevin Smith led the way with an 81, while Tim Oh shot an 82, Mike Casarona an 83, and Rich Wehringer an 86.
   ”I am very happy with our performance finishing fourth out of 12 teams in a very competitive group,” Pirates coach Russell Wray said. “We have only one senior this year (Wehringer) and I expect all the kids to continue to grow and look forward to a very competitive team next year.”