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SOUTH KINGSTOWNâ€”The South Kingstown golf team can relate to how Naragansett was feeling Wednesday at Laurel Lanes Country Club.
Similarly to what the Rebels did against Chariho and Prout Monday, the Mariners fired their best round of the season â€“ a 171 â€“ but it wasnâ€™t enough to get a win.
â€śThereâ€™s a lot of parity,â€ť Narragansett coach Bill Behrends said. â€śWe had a scrimmage [Tuesday] against South at our place [Point Judith Country Club] and we shot really, really well so I thought we had a shot today but Justin [Smith] broke our back right there with that 37.â€ť
The two-over-par 37 was Smithâ€™s best round of the season as South got a balanced scoring effort from the rest of its ladder en route to a 161 to improve to 4-3 this spring.
â€śHeâ€™s been working at his game,â€ť South coach Toby Gibbons said. â€śHeâ€™s been really close but heâ€™s just been missing the little things and today it came together.â€ť
Smith rebounded from a rocky start Wednesday â€“ bogeying the first two holes â€“ but by the time he teed off on the ninth he had drawn back to even par.
After a solid tee shot on nine he went long on his approach from inside of 150 yards and the ball sailed out of bounds, forcing him to take drop back at his second shot.
In an instance like this many golfers might have gone on tilt but not Smith.
The lefty instead hit an approach shot short of the green, chipped on and sank a 15-footer to grind out a double bogey.
â€śHe was two over par for the day and he was two over on that hole,â€ť Gibbons said. â€śA lot of people could get distracted and throw up a bigger number at that point but he focused in and made three good shots.â€ť
Seniors McKinley Slade and Andrew Nedwidek each shot 41s for the Rebels, while senior Alex Armstrong and junior Mia Bartolotta also had solid days with 42s.
Freshman Aiden McCaughey had an impressive debut in his first match ever for South Kingstown with a 52 to round out the Rebelsâ€™ six.
The fact that SK is sitting at just one game over .500 halfway through the season truly speaks to the depth of the division, as the Rebels went sub-160 Monday and still suffered two losses.
â€śWe shot 159 and lost two matches,â€ť Gibbons said. â€śWeâ€™re in the toughest division in the state and thatâ€™s evident every time we show up to play.â€ť
As for the Mariners they also had balanced scoring Wednesday but it just wasnâ€™t enough to catch South Kingstown.
Juniors Bryan Couture and Brandon Barlow led the way for Narragansett with 42s, freshman Paul Carvalho came through with a 43 and junior Cam Fossa rounded out the scoring with a 44.
Senior Evan Carvalho was not far off the pace with a 45, while junior Ben Rauh rounded out the top six with a 57.
At the midway point of the season the Mariners are sitting at just 1-5 in the standings but have steadily improved from one match to another and are consistently posting solid scores.
â€śWe march on,â€ť Behrends said. â€śWeâ€™ve played everybody once now so now we reset and hopefully weâ€™ll catch a few teams when we need to.â€ť
Things wonâ€™t get any easier for â€™Gansett though as it will return to action Monday at 3 p.m. at Point Judith for a match with Prout and Coventry.
As for the Rebels, their next match will be Monday at 2:30 p.m. when they take on Southern Division preseason favorites North Kingstown at Chariho at Jamestown Country Club.