Crescenta Valley High's Park finishes second in CIF Regional

Following a rainstorm in the heart of Ventura County, Paul Park heated up.

The Crescenta Valley High junior boys' golfer put things together nicely and proceeded to put on one of his best performances of the season.

Park shot a two-under-par 70 to finish second overall in the CIF Southern Section Northern Team Divisional at Soule Park Golf Course in Ojai.

"Things worked out well for me on the course and I hit a lot of my shots on the greens," said Park, who finished behind Sean Croker of Westlake (67). "My putting was good.

"I did well in a junior tournament in [nearby] Oxnard on Sunday and that helped me get going today. I came here ready to play and stuck to my routines."

La Cañada, Crescenta Valley and St. Francis took part in divisionals on Monday. La Cañada and Crescenta Valley finished fifth and 17th, respectively, in the 19-team Northern Divisional. St. Francis placed sixth in the 19-team Central Divisional at Lakewood Golf Course.

The top three teams from each division advanced to the regional tournament, which will be held Thursday at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs.

The Spartans came into Monday's action fresh off winning the Rio Hondo League championship and filled with lofty expectations of reaching the state tournament. Instead, La Cañada settled for a fifth-place finish at 385 and two spots shy of advancing.

"They played decently and our top three guys played right around par," La Cañada Coach Richard Tetu said. "Then we had a pretty big gap and couldn't make up the difference.

"I thought coming into the season that we had a great shot at getting to state. We just needed another nine strokes or so to have had that chance to keep it going. We started off strong, but just tailed off at the end."

La Cañada received a 72 from Collin Morikawa, the reigning All-Area Boys' Golfer of the Year. It also got a 73 from Robby Stehlin, 74 from Joshua Suh, 82 from Colin Kreditor and 84 from Daniel Rhee.

Crescenta Valley, which placed third in the Pacific League, got an 80 from Jonghyuk Hong, 87 from Cody Renfro, 101 from AJ Roa and 107 from Mike Shin to finish at 445.

"We didn't make it as a team, but I'm happy for Paul shooting a 70," Crescenta Valley first-year Coach Lee Pope said. "He battled and got a phenomenal score.

"As for the team, we treated it as getting some more experience. We are on our way. We were able to turn it around toward the end of the season."

Westlake shot a 360 to win the event, followed by Oaks Christian (375) and Arcadia (376).

St. Francis, which finished second in the ultra-competitive Mission League under first-year coach Kyle Ostrom, shot a 393 at Lakewood. Four Mission League programs finished in the top six, with Loyola winning the event with a 378 on the par-72 course.

Mira Costa was second at 382, followed by Harvard-Westlake of the Mission League at 386. All three teams moved on to the regional tournament. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, also of the Mission League, was at 387.

Ostrom said he was proud of the Golden Knights' effort.

"Right now, it's tough to just come up short like that," Ostrom said. "In a few days, we will feel better about what we were able to get done.

"Some of the guys were unhappy with the way they played and we missed a lot of putts. They were able to come back and grind it out. This will give them confidence and make us better for next year."

St. Francis was led by Jack Tenney, who carded a 76. Nathan Han finished with a 78 for the Golden Knights, who got 79s from Michael Finney and Mike Mozilo and 81s from Vince De Pinto and Johnny Brandt.

Park, De Pinto, Mozilo, Morikawa, Stehlin and Suh will next participate in the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regional, which will be held Monday at River Ridge Golf Club's Vineyard Course.

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