Youthful Golden Knights best Harvard-Westlake, 185-196

PASADENA — With virtually an all new lineup in play this season, the members of the St. Francis High golf team have an eye toward reaching the CIF playoffs for the first time since 2009.

In trying to achieve that goal during the next two months, the Golden Knights figure to be involved in some close Mission League matches to test their fortitude.

So far, the Golden Knights have met essentially every challenge thrown their way and, in the process, are off to an undefeated start to league.

St. Francis passed another test Tuesday afternoon, as sophomore Michael Finney carded a one-under-par 34 to learn medalist honors to lead the Golden Knights to a 185-196 league home win against Harvard-Westlake at Brookside Golf Course No. 2.

"We have some young golfers who are very motivated," said St. Francis assistant Richard Di Palma, who filled in for Coach Jeff Durfee, who had a family commitment. "They have the potential to do better because it looks to be a competitive league again.

"It's good for them to get these matches under the belts because we have a lot of new guys."

Sophomore Johnny Brandt carded a 36 for the Golden Knights, who got a 37 from sophomore Nathan Han, a 39 from sophomore Jack Tenney and a 40 from junior Michael Doll.

St. Francis improved to 4-1, 2-0 in league. Harvard-Westlake dropped to 3-2 in league.

The Wolverines, who finished fourth last season at the CIF Southern Section Western Team Divisional, received 37s from Adrian Berger and Tyler Tsay.

Di Palma said the Golden Knights, who finished a disappointing fifth in league last season, will find the rest of league to be only more arduous.

"They'll find out what league is all about," Di Palma said. "It's a very exciting team and they have that competitive nature to go out there and shoot well."

The teams will face each other again at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Harding Golf Course at Griffith Park.

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