NAPERVILLE – Wednesday was a day for grinders on the golf course, and the St. Charles North boys had just enough of them to grind out a 163-170 victory against St. Charles East in a key Upstate Eight River league meet.
The conference dual between the two rivals was part of a quadrangular at a windy White Eagle Golf Club that also included Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley from the UEC Valley Division. The North Stars (8-2 overall, 4-1 UEC River) placed second behind Waubonsie, which finished at 159, and two strokes ahead of Neuqua, but only the North-East match counted in the River Division standings. The victory by the North Stars meant they continue to control their own destiny in the race to win the league title. They’ll need to defeat Batavia today at Bowes Creek if they want to maintain that status.
“It was a big night for us,” North coach Rob Prentiss said. “We’re playing two heavyweights here in the last week of the [regular] season with St. Charles East and Batavia [today]. We were hoping we could get by East and – I know it sounds cliché – but when we play East, we’re playing East. It doesn’t matter what they’ve had prior to today or what we’ve had prior to [Wednesday], our kids still get excited to play East.”
North No. 1 Dan Shepherd shot a 37 on the White Eagle Blue Course, the best score of the day.
“Conditions were tough day, so 1-over-par in those conditions is pretty strong,” Prentiss said. “I’m real proud of Dan’s round.”
“[Wednesday], I didn’t really hit the ball all that great,” Shepherd said. “But something about the wind made me grind a little bit harder and I putted phenomenal.”
Ryan Dal Degan added a 41 to North’s team total, Raghav Cherala carded a 42, and J.T. Grill finished at 43.
The best score the Saints could muster was a 40 from sophomore Keone Derain. The loss meant the Saints (4-6, 4-2) will need to win next week’s conference meet and get some help from someone like Geneva if they want to defend their league title.
Jacobs 162, Kaneland 163: At Randall Oaks, Kaneland fell by a stroke despite a 39 from Brody Kuhar.
Wheaton Academy 166, Marian Central 169: At Pheasant Run in St. Charles, Wheaton Academy’s Grant Gosden was medalist with an even-par 37.
St. Charles East 2, Streamwood 0 (25-11, 25-19): At St. Charles, East’s Nicole Woods had nine kills and five aces and Erienne Barry notched 15 assists for the Saints (11-7, 3-0 Upstate Eight Conference River).
Kaneland 2, Rochelle 0 (25-15, 25-19): At Rochelle, Ellie Dunn had 13 kills, Ashley Prost collected 32 assists and Shayna Tucek had 22 digs for Kaneland (12-5, 2-2 Northern Illinois Big 12 East).
Burlington Central 2, Marengo 0 (25-14, 25-17): At Burlington, Allie O’Reilly had 23 digs and Jess Emrich supplied 20 assists for Central (12-6, 4-1 Big Northern East).
Waubonsie Valley 165, Geneva 179: At Springbrook in Naperville, Geneva dropped the Upstate Eight Conference contest despite a 40 from Megan Kelly.
St. Charles East Invitational: Marmion (8-5) got three goals from Conor Morton and two from Gavin Sanchez to beat Belvidere, 7-0, in pool play.
Benet 6, St. Charles East 2: At St. Charles, East’s No. 4 doubles team of Lauren McNally and Emmy Russell won in a tiebreaker.
• Dennis D. Jacobs contributed to this report.