La Cañada; wins golf tourney at De Bell

BURBANK — The La Cañada High boys’ golf team is in the midst of a wildly successful season.

Along with thumping opponents, the Spartans have also done well in tournament play. Heading into the 49th Burbank High Schools’ Invitational, La Cañada had placed first in one tourney and had a runner-up showing in another.

PHOTOS: De Bell Golf Club's 49th Annual High School Invitation 

The Spartans can add a second tournament championship to their collection, as they played well Wednesday in the event that was sponsored by Burroughs and Burbank and held at De Bell Golf Club.

La Cañada ended with a tourney-best team score of 320, besting runner-up Santa Monica (321). Host Burroughs (326) enjoyed a third-place finish and Burbank (331) tied for fourth with Alemany (331). Crescenta Valley had a score of 342 and Glendale fired a 385.

It was the second straight season the Spartans have won at the tournament, which featured 16 schools this year.

“It’s been a very good start to the season for us,” said Spartan sophomore Collin Morikawa, the 2012 All-Area Boys’ Golfer of the Year. “We didn’t play our best as a team and we had our share of problems. But a win’s a win. We want to fix some things so that we can get better later in the season and be ready for CIF.

“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be successful, and we have to keep improving.”

Morikawa, who won the event last year with a blistering 69, led the La Cañada charge, firing a four-over-par 75 on the tough, narrow De Bell course. He was followed by teammate Joshua Suh (77), Gater Stehlin (83) and Noah Bernstein (85).

For Burroughs, it was a chance for its players to compete on their home turf in an event that has become a spring break tradition for the Indians, as well as the Bulldogs.

“It’s an opportunity for our guys just to go out there and have some fun,” Burroughs Coach Greg Everhart said. “Because we hold it during spring break, they don’t have to worry about school or schoolwork before the tournament and they can just go out there and play.

“But since it’s our event, you always want to do well in your own tournament.”

The Indians received a pair of 79s from Sean White and Sivakorn Losakul. But Losakul was able to bring home some hardware after placing second in the B Flight following a card-off. Teammate Daniel Kesicbasian followed with an 81 and Patrick Colbert carded an 87.

Alex Urasaki (79) of Peninsula was first in the B Flight and teammate Max Shafer (80) placed third.

“Knowing the course, on a lot of holes I didn’t have to think a lot and I just played,” Losakul said. “I was able to play pretty good today and I shot lower than I usually do.”

Burroughs also earned another award as Dylan McNeeley — playing for the Indians’ No. 2 team — was second in the C Flight. Dennis Sipin of Peninsula won the flight with an 83 and North Torrance’s Steven Oshiro was third with a 90.

The champion of the A Flight, as well as the overall gross champion, was Brandon Lewis of Saugus, who shot an even-par 71. Vito Spilia of Santa Monica was second with a 72 and Lawrence Ree of Redondo Union shot a 73 for the third-place spot.

Leading the way for Burbank was Brady Dunayer, who fired a 79 and was followed by Jason Apinchapong (83), Andy Chung (84) and Blake Newton (85).

Crescenta Valley received a solid effort from Paul Park, who carded a 78. Teammate Adrian Chia had an 83, Cody Renfro had an 84 and Tanner Bloks had a 97.

Glendale received an 88 from Russell Calenta, a 94 from Sammy Do, a 100 from Kent Asano and a 103 from Doug Yoo.

“We like coming to this event and we come up here every year, because it is so well run and the kids have fun,” La Cañada Coach Richard Tetu said. “And that’s what tournaments like this are supposed to be for, to have fun.”

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