GALION — As long as he has a Keller and a McMullen or two out on the course, veteran Galion golf coach Bryce Lehman likes his chances.
Brothers Nick and Nate McMullen shot matching 77s and Logan Keller carded a 78 as the Tigers cruised to the title at the nine-team Galion Invitational at Valley View Golf Course on Wednesday.
A junior, Nick McMullen and freshman Nate are cousins of the now-graduated Matthew McMullen. Logan Keller is the younger brother of former Galion ace Spencer Keller. Matthew McMullen and Spencer Keller led Galion to four straight state tournament appearances.
“It’s huge to lose those two and Bronson Dalenberg. All three of those kids are playing college golf,” Lehman said. “These guys have been working all summer long knowing they have to replace those three. Those are big shoes to fill.
“They’re doing well. We have five tournament this week, so they haven’t had time to relax and take a deep breath.”
The event was delayed for about two hours as heavy thunderstorms rumbled through the region. The soggy conditions didn’t seem to bother the Tigers as all four of Galion’s scorers shot in the 70s. Nate Barre carded a 79, while Max Longwell had an 80 and Braylen Hart shot an 89.
Lexington took runner-up honors with a team total of 327. Isaac Vance led the way with a 76 and was the tournament’s medalist runner-up, one stroke behind medalist Emerson Grassbaugh of Highland.
“My driver was right in the fairway and I hit greens. If I didn’t, I was able to get up and down,” Vance said. “I didn’t play well in the first tournament of the year, so I wanted to come out and put up a decent number.
“There were definitely strokes I left out there, but I was happy with a 76.”
Tyler Jackson shot an 82 for the Minutemen, while Troy Chapman had an 83. Derek Manuella (86), Seth Reed (89) and Trevin Smith (90) rounded it out for Lex.
“Today was much better than a couple of days ago,” Lex coach Greg Smith said. “We’re not where we want to be, but we’re going to get better.”
Clear Fork finished third with a 336. Jared Scott led the Colts with an 80. He was followed by Caleb Detmer (83), Nate Lind (86), Zane Schultz (87), Peter Cook (88) and Joe Pritchard (106).
Ontario was fifth with a 346. Charlie Danuloff led the Warriors with an 82. Jordan Reed shot an 84 while Hunter McCarthy had an 89. Jake Chapman shot 91, while Robbee Mangan and Jack Zahn had matching 99s.
Bucyrus shot a 376, led by Grady Jackson’s 89. Gavin O’Connell had an 93, while Noah Burke and Cody Pennington had 97s. Blake Rittenhour (103) and Brock Frost (110) rounded it out for Bucyrus.
Madison shot a 377. Kameron Stumbo carded an 88 for the Rams, followed by Jamison Myers’ 92 and Joshua Atwell’s 97. Zach Glasgo had a 100, while Landon Goad shot a 104 and Rian Lunsford had a 107.