A fifth straight Trans-Valley League title may now be out of reach for Ripon High’s boys golf team, but coach Chris Musseman has his players’ focused train on an even larger prize.
The Indians lost in their rematch to undefeated Escalon 219-227 Wednesday at Oakdale Golf & Country Club despite medalist Nick Sharp’s 1-over 37. They won’t have time to sulk as they welcome third-place Hilmar today at Spring Creek Golf & Country Club in a match with postseason implications. Ripon, now 7-2 in league, can still have a shot at defending its Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title.
“It feels like a failure for the kids because they expect to win, which is a good thing,” Musseman said. “We just have to refocus our goals now; it’s no longer about league, it’s about divisionals. I think Escalon is the best team in our division and we were only eight strokes behind them at their place.”
Kole Gonzalez carded the third lowest score Wednesday with a 43. Josh Angel (48), Luis Candido (49) and Justin Brito (50) rounded out Ripon’s score. Escalon had four of its five scorers shoot 45 or better and was led by Lane Cadell’s 39.
Ripon had one player take a 10 on hole 1, and another four-putted on another hole.
“There were so many places where we can look back and say, ‘we should have executed there,’ but I’m asking a lot out of these young kids,” Musseman said. “I have three sophomores out of my top six. They learned a good lesson today.”
Valley Oak League
Weston Ranch 293
In Stockton, freshman Christian Guzman earned medalist with a 4-over 40, leading the Spartans to a Valley Oak League victory at Van Buskirk golf course.
The Fallon brothers — Sam (46), Geoff (50) and Matt (52) — and Robert Berndt (57) supported the win.
Kimball 7, Sierra 2
Host Sierra got its two wins in doubles matches Wednesday. Alex Len and Zach Gosney triumphed 6-1, 6-2 in the No. 1 contest, and Mathew Len and Jonathan Hernandez prevailed, 6-4, 6-1. Second-place Kimball swept at singles.
The Timberwolves, who ended the regular season with a 4-10 record in the VOL, also dropped a 6-3 decision to Central Catholic on Tuesday. The Len-Gosney duo won 6-4, 6-3, while Mark Paule (6-4, 6-0) and Jameson Smith (6-2, 6-3) contributed victories at No 4 and 6 singles.