By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Finally able to shed some layers of clothes, Bedford North Lawrence started shedding some strokes. That’s the goal now. As the temperatures rise, the scores drop.
With scoring from deep in the lineup, the Stars posted a nine-hole victory over New Albany during a front-nine tour of Otis Park. Ayden Stiles, playing the last spot in the cast, came in first as BNL carded a 165-177 triumph on Thursday afternoon.
Stiles, who had almost as many birdies (three) as everyone else on the course combined (four), fired a 3-over 40 to earn team medalist honors from the eighth spot in the lineup. Dylan Endris and Colton Staggs added 41s, powering the Stars to victory without frontman Trevin Hutchinson (who missed the match while attending the annual Scholarship Foundation awards program for seniors).
”That wasn’t a bad score,” BNL coach Jeff Hein said. “We’ve got some pretty good balance.”
Stiles made a swing adjustment on the range during pre-match practice and made that change work. He carded birdies on the tough third (hitting an iron to four feet), the par-5 sixth, and the short seventh. He stumbled on the final hole with his second double-bogey of the day.
”Everything went well today,” Stiles said. “I was having a lot of trouble with my irons. On the range, I worked with Coach and made one adjustment, started hitting it really well, took it out to the course, carried on from there.”
Endris birdied the par-5 fifth, lobbing a wedge to three feet to set it up. Staggs was consistent with six pars until balking on the final two holes. Jett Jones (birdie on six) and Tyler Bellush capped the team scoring with 43s.
“Scores definitely need to go down,” Endris said. “Hopefully we have that this coming week and improve from there. I’m starting to get my driver down, hit more fairways. You can’t hit a good second shot if you’re not in the fairway. I have to put myself in better position.”
The Stars adjusted to the soft conditions, with mud tending to stick to balls, and extra distance from the warmer weather. That’s more typical of the game, rather than the brutal survival tests of recent outings.
“It’s time,” Hein said. “We probably had some shots tonight we haven’t had a lot of practice on. You have to learn to play that way. All in all, it was good to get them some experience.”
Blaine Hamilton had the round of the day for the Bulldogs, posting a 1-over 38 that included a birdie on five.
BNL will compete in the Corydon Invitational on Saturday.
BNL 165, NEW ALBANY 177
BNL – Jett Jones 43, Houston Corbin 44, Colton Staggs 41, Tyler Bellush 43, Dylan Endris 41, Carson Root 47, Ryan Cobb 47, Ayden Stiles 40
New Albany – Blaine Hamilton 38, Rossi Hamilton 47, Johnathan Clifton 47, Zane Hammond 45, Max Hanen 48, Eli Jackson 58, Chase Walters 53