La Cañada boys' golf handles rival Crescenta Valley

PASADENA — There appears to be a healthy respect in the rivalry between the La Cañada High and Crescenta Valley boys’ golf teams.

The Spartans and Falcons normally compete against each other multiple times during the regular season before both teams compete in the same division of the CIF Southern Section playoffs. With their respective league tournaments on deck, La Cañada and Crescenta Valley met Wednesday in a nonleague match.

With strong winds whipping up across the course and debris covering parts of the greens, La Cañada received a one-under-par 35 from Collin Morikawa to earn a 190-213 victory at Brookside Golf Course No. 1.

“It’s just a good test when you go up against CV and we try to play a tough schedule,” said La Cañada first-year Coach Rich Wheeler, who guided the Spartans (19-3) to the Rio Hondo League championship. “We play them at least twice and then we see them again [after the regular season].

“It’s a good final tune-up. We have a very mature team and I like the way they are handling their games.”

Morikawa, the reigning All-Area Boys’ Golfer of the Year who competed in a tournament over the weekend in Georgia, helped pave the way for the Spartans before leaving the venue immediately to take a practice Advanced Placement test  La Cañada also got a 37 from Joshua Suh, 38 from Colin Kreditor, 39 from Robby Stehlin and 41 from Sam Bernstein.

Suh, a reigning All-Area pick, said he struggled with parts of his game before regrouping.

“I didn’t feel like I played that well early on,” Suh said. “I felt like my swing was off and I hit a few bad putts.

“I just had to find a way to be able to hang in there and my course management was a lot better and I started to make some shots. I was able to get up and down.”

Crescenta Valley (21-10) got a 40 from Cody Renfro. The Falcons competed without Paul Park, a reigning All-Area selection, Brandon Cho and AJ Roa. Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope declined to reveal why they missed the match.

With three of his starters missing, it afford Pope the opportunity to give several players a chance to compete on the varsity stage.

“I’m really happy with the way the new guys filled in,” Pope said. “They fulfilled my expectations.

“La Cañada has got a solid team. They are very good. It’s always good competition and our guys get some game-time experience.”

David Holeman finished with a 41 for the Falcons, who got a 42 from Jon Hong, 44 from Trey Ballard and 46 from Tanner Schilling.


Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.

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