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Potters sixth at state; Leetonia's Janci 34th

October 15, 2012
From Journal Staff Reports , Morning Journal News

COLUMBUS - Everyone was ready to make a move at the Division II state golf tournament, but East Liverpool couldn't.

The Potters dropped from third to sixth in the team standings on the second and final day Saturday.

"Right now they are disappointed," East Liverpool coach Ben Wright said. "When they get through the weekend, they will realize how great of a season it was."

In their first state appearance, the Potters shot a 345 at the Ohio State University Scarlet Course on Saturday for a two-day total of 685.

"Our youth and inexperience showed," Wright said. "The other teams came in today and settled down. For the teams at the top, the state tournament is nothing new to them. This is a learning experience. Losing only (senior Alex Watson), we hope to get back here and we'll know how to handle it."

Dayton Oakwood won the team title with a 639, followed by Canton Central Catholic at 658. Canton Cental Catholic also was the state runner-up last season.

In Division III, Leetonia senior Luke Janci shot his second straight 84 on Saturday for 34th place.

"To finish 34th out of 72 golfers is pretty good," Leetonia coach Jim DeJane said. "It is an honor just to be here."

East Liverpool became the first Columbiana County team in 15 years to qualify for state.

"I'm satisfied with the the season, but it was little bit of a disappointing ending," Wright said.

The Potters had the eighth-best team on Saturday to drop them to sixth place.

"They couldn't seem to get anything going in their direction today," Wright said. "The putts that were falling in the past weren't falling today. They would have a couple of good holes and then they would end up in the bunker. We couldn't get any momentum."

Junior Blake Prince entered the day three strokes off the individual lead and dropped to 18th with a 78-88-166.

"He struggled on the front nine and had trouble in the sand traps," Wright said. "Him and Isaac (Davidson) couldn't get the putts to fall today."

Also for the Potters, senior Alex Watson was 27th (85-86-171), freshman Isaac Davidson was 40th (86-90-176), junior Joey Cilone was 45th (91-88-179) and freshman Ryian Burson was 48th (97-83-180).

Burson had the Potters' top round on Saturday.

"Ryian ahad an exceptional day," Wright said. "He saved his best tournament for the last day."

Eaton freshman Cameron Willis was the Division II medalist, topping the 72-golfer field by five strokes with a 9-over-par 151 on the 7,043-yard Scarlet Course.

" I feel really good sending Alex out with a trip to state tournament," Wright said. "We want to get back next year, but you can never take anything for granted.

The Potters will learn from the state experience and move on.

"The only one who is disappointed is the kids," Wright said. "They really thought they had a chance today. Everyone is real proud of what these kids did."

Janci, Leetonia's first state qualifier since 1994, could have earned All-Ohio honors had it not been for the 18th hole.

He shot a 12-over-par 84 both days on the 7,001-yard Northstar Golf Club course in Sunbury, but was 8-over on the 18th hole.

"That was the real bugaboo both days," DeJane said. "Overall, he played well."

Janci took a 9 Friday and a 7 Saturday on the par-4 18th hole - a dogleg right with the fairway sloping left to right. He parred it in the practice round Thursday.

The other players in his group shot 95 and 105 on Saturday.

"There were some high scores today because of the wind," DeJane said. "He really didn't putt well both days, but he got through it."

Gates Mills Gilmour Academy senior Andrew Bieber, a Duke University recruit, claimed medalist honors for the second year in a row. He shot a 2-over-par 144 in becoming the 16th golfer in Ohio boys state tournament history to medal at least twice.

Bieber's former teammate, Alex Andrews, also accomplished the feat in 2009 and 2010.



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