When Union County met Northeastern on the golf course in the regular season, the Tri-Eastern Conference dual match was so close, it had to be decided by the fifth score.
It was appropriate, then, that as each team’s No. 5 player finished up at Liberty Country Club on Saturday, the Patriots and Knights were fighting for the top spot in the TEC Tournament.
Union County’s Jake Antrim came in with an 88, and the Patriots pulled away to win the tournament and force a tie for the overall TEC title in boys golf.
Union County tallied a team score of 350 to 358 for the Knights, who finished the regular season 7-0 in dual matches.
“We knew when we got beat by them (the Knights), going to the fifth man, we knew we had to come in first,” said UC coach Tony Gulley of the tournament. “Cody (Frame) came through strong. Jake Antrim came through strong.
” … I’m really proud of them. We got accomplished what we wanted to do. It’s the first time since 2006. I’m just happy in that regard.”
Frame was happy, too, after carding 82 to claim medalist honors.
Winchester’s Brandon Edwards was second with 84. Northeastern’s Chase Brookshear and Justin Orrill and Lincoln’s Eric Underwood all shot 86 to round out the top five.
“It’s really nice to do it on our home course,” Frame said.
Hagerstown’s Ben Tinkle (87), Union County’s Antrim and Matt Frasur (88), Centerville’s Kaler Nicholson (89), Northeastern’s Jeremy Lacey (92) and Lincoln’s Kendall Riggs (92) also earned all-conference honors.
Lincoln placed third as a team with 375, followed by Centerville, Tri High, Winchester, Hagerstown and Union City.
“I was a little disappointed coming in here and not playing as well as we could have,” said Northeastern coach Mark Bevins. “The course played very hard for everybody for some reason. We definitely did not shoot to our ability today.
” … Co-champions is nice. It just wasn’t what our goal was. But we’re excited to be co-champions, that’s for sure.”
Saturday’s forecast looked bleak and unsuitable for golf.
But, the predicted wet weather held off for the most part, and cloudy skies gradually turned to sunshine by the time the final groups came off the greens.
“I brought rain gear, all that stuff, ready for rain, anything,” Frame said.
“It (the course) played well. With the rain, it played really long. You had to hit an extra club. Other than that, it played well.”
Kyle Chamness shot a 93 to complete Union County’s winning team score.
Six of the TEC squads will comprise half the field for the 12-team sectional at Richmond Elks on June 3.
Lincoln, Centerville, Hagerstown, Northeastern, Tri and Union County will compete in that tournament. Winchester and Union City will both play in the Monroe Central sectional that same day.
“They’re all playing better, and that’s what we’re looking forward to,” Gulley said of his team. “Hopefully we can get a good trip to the sectional.
“I’m just really happy. This course is tough, the way this grass is and everything. We got a nice day.”