McKinley spurs Falcons

GLENDALE — For the members of the Crescenta Valley High boys' golf team, it's been a struggle competing against rival La Cañada the past couple of years.

Though the Falcons have won three consecutive Pacific League championships, they have fallen short against the Spartans. That changed in a big way Thursday afternoon, with the Falcons turning to their three top athletes to break the hex.

Senior Michael McKinley carded a two-under-par 32, senior Justin Yu had a 34 and junior Dominic Lingua had a 36 to propel visiting Crescenta Valley to a 185-194 nonleague victory against La Cañada at La Cañada Country Club.

Crescenta Valley (3-0) lost both matches against La Cañada (1-1) last season.

Crescenta Valley Coach John Pehar didn't mention the Falcons' recent struggles during a meeting prior to the match.

“[We] were a little intimidated playing them last year,” Pehar said. “We knew that we just had to go out there and play our best.

“We didn't even talk about what happened last year because it wasn't necessary. It's better not to say anything, and just play the game instead.”

The psychological ploy seemed to do wonders for the Falcons.

McKinley finished with seven pars and two birdies to earn low-medalist honors.

“Mike is just so excited about the way he's playing,” Pehar said. “He's playing fantastic right now.

“For us to do better, we've got to get one more score in the high 30s to be competitive with some of the better teams as we move along.”

Yu, the league's reigning individual champion, collected seven pars and one birdie. Lingua notched five pars and one birdie.

La Cañada received a 35 from sophomore Anton Arboleda.

Michael Timpson carded a 40 for Crescenta Valley, which got a 43 from Kory Barkley.

Pehar said the Falcons were relieved to topple the Spartans.

“We have not beaten La Cañada at La Cañada Country Club in at least three years,” Pehar said. “It's their home course and they play well there.

“They struggled a bit, and that opened the door for us.”

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