One week after being upset by Miami Springs in their district tournament, which ended a decade-long hold on the title, the Columbus Explorers golf team was determined to make amends Monday afternoon.
And it did in impressive fashion. Competing in the Region 8-3A tournament at Hillcrest Country Club in Hollywood, the Explorers, led by junior Julio Betancourt, came in with a 295 team score, seven shots better than second-place Cypress Bay. Both teams will advance to the state tournament at Mission Hills Golf Club in Tavares on Nov. 5-6.
“Yeah, maybe that got their attention a little last week [placing second to Springs], and as competitors it can fuel you. But I was really proud of the kids the way they responded [Monday],” Columbus coach Mike Marinelli said. “You always want to be playing your best golf when it counts the most, and that’s what we did out there [Monday].”
Betancourt, who shot a disappointing 76 in districts last week, proved to be the catalyst by recording a 1-under-par 71 to take medalist honors. Rafael Martinez (74), Juan Yumar (75) and Eddie Martinez (75) rounded out the Columbus scoring.
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“I got off to a great start with birdies at [Nos.] 2 and 3 and just grinded it out the rest of the way,” Betancourt said. “My wedges were really working [Monday], and I was really stuffing some shots in tight.
“It feels great to be going back to state. It was cold and windy last year, and we didn’t play very well, so hopefully the weather will be better.”
The real drama unfolded in the battle for second place and the other state berth.
Miami Springs’ players came in early with a 304 and thought they had a spot secured. But Cypress Bay scores came in soon after and it was close. Even though he didn’t know it on the fairway, Cypress Bay junior Manuel Kent’s team was one shot ahead of Springs, and he needed to par the final hole.
He did one better. Kent stuck a 9-iron from 130 yards out into the wind to an island green eight feet from the cup and sank the put for a birdie, sending his team to state for the second year in a row.
“It just worked out from district scores that Manuel was our anchor [Monday], and I was confident he could handle the pressure,” Cypress Bay coach Vince Grossi said. “He’s a calm kid who doesn’t get flustered, and it showed on that last hole.”
Coral Reef’s Zach Granoff and Micheal Carter from Palmetto qualified individually for state as they each shot an even-par 72.
1. Columbus 295; 2. Cypress Bay 302; 3. Miami Springs 304; 4. Western 317; 5. Palmetto 320; 6. Coral Reef 332; 7. Cooper City 346; 8. Miami Beach 347; 9. Coral Gables 359
1. Julio Betancourt (COL) 71; 2. Michael Carter (PAL) 72; Zach Granoff (CR) 72; 4. Manuel Kent (CB) 74; Rafael Martinez (COL) 74; Juan Arrazola (CB) 74; 7. Juan Yumar (COL) 75; Pat Perez (MSP) 75; 9. Luke Llaneras (MSP) 76; Kevin Fertel (TER) 76; Kyle Safreed (MSP) 76; Jonathon Cachon (CB) 76; 13. Tyler Sloman (KR) 77; Ethan Cairns (WEST) 77; Pat Bolton (MSP) 78
The Ransom Everglades girls’ volleyball team dominated Keys Gate Charter 25-7, 25-8, 25-5.
Daniella Simms led the Raiders with 14 points and seven aces. Debbie Ajagbe assisted with three kills and Sheridan Rodstein with two kills. Annie Elkin registered 12 assists for the night.
•District 16-4A, Ransom d. Keys Gate 25-7, 25-8, 25-5:
Debbie Ajagbe 3 kills. Daniella Simms 14 points, 7 aces. Annie Elkin 12 assists. Sheridan Rodstein 2 kills.
The MAST girls’ soccer team began its season with an 8-1 win against Ronald Reagan on Monday afternoon.
Standout Mariana Spemaier registered four goals and four assists for the Makos. Nati Gilbert scored two goals, and Gaby Muino had a goal and an assist.
•MAST d. Ronald Reagan 8-1:
Mariana Spemaier 4 goals 4 assists, Nati Gilbert 2 goals, Gaby Muino 1 goal, 1 assist. MAS 1-0.
•St. Brendan, Miami Country Day 2-2:
Adri Prieto 1 goal. Kristen Maestu 1 goal. SB 0-1-0.
Region 8-1A at Biltmore: 8 a.m.
Region 8-1A at Biltmore: 8 a.m.
District 14-8A semifinals at Miami Beach: Miami High vs. Miami Beach, 6; Hialeah vs. Hialeah Gardens, 7:30
District 15-8A quarterfinals at Braddock: Southwest vs. Coral Gables, 5; Braddock vs. Coral Park, 7
District 16-8A semifinals at South Dade: Sunset-Varela winner vs. Coral Reef, 4; Palmetto-South Dade winner vs. Killian, 6
District 16-7A semifinals at Reagan: NMB vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes, 5; Westland Hialeah vs. Reagan, 7
District 15-6A semifinals at Miami Springs: Miami Springs vs. Goleman, 5; Mourning vs. Carol City, 7
District 16-6A semifinals at TERRA: Mater Academy vs. Doral, 5; TERRA vs. Northwestern, 7
District 16-4A quarterfinals at Ransom Everglades: Gulliver vs. Key West, 4; Florida Christian vs. Tavernier Coral Shores, 6
District 15-3A quarterfinals at Sagemont: Dade Christian vs. Archbishop Curley, 3; Doctors Charter vs. South Florida HEAT, 5; Somerset vs. Sagemont, 7
District 16-3A semifinals at Palmer Trinity: Marathon vs. Palmer Trinity, 4; Westminster Christian vs. Westwood Christian, 6
SWIMMING AND DIVING
District 12-1A at Ransom Everglades: 1
GMAC championships at Bird Bowl
District 15-8A semifinals at Braddock: Ferguson vs. Southwest-Coral Gables winner, 5; Lourdes vs. Braddock-Coral Park winner, 7
District 16-4A semifinals at Ransom: Ransom-Keys Gate winner vs. Carrollton-St. Brendan winner, 4; Florida Christian-Coral Shores winner vs. Gulliver-Key West winner, 6
SWIMMING AND DIVING
District 12-2A at Gulliver: 2
Norland vs. Booker T. (Traz), 7
Varela vs. Braddock (Tropical), 7
Coral Park at Coral Gables, 4
Miami High vs. Columbus (Curtis), 7
South Miami vs. Miami Beach (Memorial), 7
Palmetto at Southridge, 7
Hialeah Gardens vs. NMB (N. Miami), 7
Westland vs. Hialeah-Miami Lakes (Milander), 7
Highlands Christian at Barrington Christian (Harris), 7
Keys Gate at Somerset, 3
SFC first round: La Salle at Calvary Christian, 7
SFC first round: Archbishop Curley at Coral Springs Charter, 7
SFC consolation: Benjamin at Florida Christian, 7
SFC consolation: Ransom at St. Andrews, 7
District 14-8A final at Miami Beach: 7
District 16-8A final at South Dade: 6
District 16-7A final at Reagan: 7
District 15-6A final at Miami Springs: 7
District 15-4A final at La Salle: 7
District 15-3A semifinals at Sagemont: Doctors Charter-South Florida HEAT winner vs. Somerset-Sagemont winner, 5; Miami Country Day vs. Dade Christian-Curley winner, 7
District 16-3A final at Palmer Trinity: 7
District 14-2A final at Sheridan Hills Christian: 6
District 15-2A final at Miami Christian: 7:30
District 16-2A final at Princeton Christian: 6
District 15-4A at Larry and Penny Thompson Park – Girls: 2:30; Boys: 3.
District 16-3A at Larry and Penny Thompson Park – Girls: 4:30; Boys: 5.
District 15-2A at Mills Pond Park – Girls: 3; Boys: 3:30.
District 15-1A at Westminster Academy – Girls: 4; Boys: 4:45.
Central vs. Carol City (Traz), 7:30
Miami Springs vs. Mater Academy (Milander), 7:30
Southwest vs. Ferguson (Tropical), 7:30
Northwestern at Belle Glade Glades Central, 7:30
Mourning vs. American (N. Miami), 7:30
Jackson at Monsignor Pace, 7:30
Edison vs. Homestead (Harris), 7:30
Sunset at Belen, 4
Coral Springs Christian at Dade Christian, 7:30
Naples Golden Gate at Archbishop Carroll, 3:30
District 15-8A final at Braddock: 7
District 16-4A final at Ransom: 7
District 15-3A final at Sagemont: 7
District 16-4A at Larry and Penny Thompson Park – Girls: 8 a.m.; Boys: 8:45 a.m.
District 16-2A at Larry and Penny Thompson Park – Girls: 9:30 a.m.; Boys: 10:15 a.m.
District 16-1A at Greynolds Park – Girls: 2; Boys: 2:45.
SWIMMING AND DIVING
District 11-1A at Nova Southeastern University: 11 a.m.