St. Francis High golf gets back on track, tops Alemany

PASADENA — Just past the halfway point of his nine-hole round, Michael Finney got things organized.

Struggling in a couple of facets of his game, the St. Francis High golfer attacked a pair of par-four holes to get back on track.

Finney birdied the sixth and seventh holes to earn medalist honors and lead St. Francis to a 198-216 Mission League home victory against Alemany on Monday at Brookside Golf Course No. 2.

"My ball-striking wasn't too good and I couldn't make any putts early on," said Finney, a senior. "Then, I started to hit the fairways and I figured out my swing to get the birdies and make a couple of putts for par.

"We had a couple of tough losses [last week against Loyola], so it's good to come back and get a win."

St. Francis improved to 4-2, 3-2 in league. Alemany dropped to 2-8, 2-5. The Golden Knights and Warriors will meet in a rematch at 3 p.m. Thursday at Hansen Dam Golf Course in Pacoima.

St. Francis entered the season fresh off of finishing second in league and sixth in the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional last season. The Golden Knights had several goals entering this season, including winning a league championship. Unfortunately for the St. Francis, it hit a speed bump with the two close defeats against Loyola.

"We had those tough losses last week and it might have taken us out of position to win league, barring a miracle," said St. Francis second-year Coach Kyle Ostrom, the reigning All-Area Boys' Golf Coach of the Year. "We started off the season rolling before we hit that rough stretch.

"We have an opportunity here now to just relax and keep trying to get better. I think we will get better."

St. Francis received a 38 from Johnny Brandt, 40s from Jack Tenney and Nathan Han and a 43 from Michael Mozilo. Alemany was led by Mike Gharapetian, who carded a 40.

Finney said the Golden Knights have plenty of time left to make strides in wrapping up a playoff berth.

"We have to keep at it and keep fighting back," Finney said. "We have to play more consistently in each round. If we play to our full potential, then we can go far."

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