SARANAC LAKE - In a short spring sports season that seemingly passes by in a blink of an eye, Saranac Lake's golf team has suddenly found itself just two wins away from nailing down a third consecutive Champlain Valley Athletic Conference title.
After losing their first match of the regular season less than a month ago, the Red Storm have strung together seven straight wins, with their latest triumph a 6-0 sweep over Beekmantown Tuesday at the Saranac Lake Golf Club in Ray Brook.
Coupled with that win and a Northeastern Clinton loss Monday to AuSable Valley, Saranac Lake is now all alone at the top of the CVAC standings with a 7-1 record just two matches to go. Both will be back-to-back contests at home, starting with today's key showdown against the same Patriots team that knocked the Cougars from the top of the standings.
"We've been kind of getting it together as we've gone through the season," Saranac Lake head coach Chris Stevens said. "The league is as tight as ever and AuSable did us a huge favor by beating Northeastern. There have been a ton of matches decided by tiebreakers this year, and that was one of them.
"I'm really happy with how the kids have been playing," Stevens added. "We've done well going into some tough places to play against some good golf teams, but we can't rest. We can't let up."
Saranac Lake's top two players, Ethan Sawyer and Dustin Fischer, both took medalist honors in Tuesday's match with rounds of 40. Sawyer won his No. 1 match against Beekmantown's Tyler Begor by eight shots, and Fischer posted a five-stroke win over Brendan Carnright at No. 2.
In the third pairing, Red Storm senior Blake Gregory shot a 44 for a nine-stroke win over Bryce Lee. Austin Ecret, Teddy Yanchitis and Carley Sawyer also won for the Red Storm by wide margins. Ecret fired a 44 to top Josh Perkins at No. 4, Yanchitis carded a 42 to defeat Alex Faruqi in the fifth match, and Carley Sawyer turned in a 48 to beat Michael Faruqi at No. 6.
AuSable Valley brings a 5-3 record into today's match against the Red Storm. The first tee times are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saranac Lake wraps up the CVAC regular season Thursday at home against Saranac Central.
Lake Placid 5, Moriah 1
LAKE PLACID - A total of four strokes during two tiebreaker setbacks is all that separates the Lake Placid golf team from an undefeated record. Instead, the Blue Bombers are one of three teams in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference with two losses, and they set themselves up for a key contest today by defeating Moriah 5-1 Tuesday at Craig Wood.
Lake Placid had five players shoot rounds in the 40s on the way to defeating the Vikings. With the win, the Blue Bombers improved to 6-2 and will host another two-loss team today when Northeastern Clinton visits the Craig Wood layout.
Against Moriah, the Blue Bombers were led by their top two golfers. Playing in the top spot, Kiefer Casler fired a 43 to earn an eight-stroke win over Dylan Scozzofava. Lussi, a sophomore, followed at No. 2 and shot a medalist round 41 to top Derek Brassard by eight shots.
Ryan Kane, Pat Kane and Bjorn Kroes posted Lake Placid's other three wins. Ryan Kane won the third pairing with a 48-50 triumph over Kyle Wilson, Pat Kane shot a 46 to top Travis Nephew at No. 5, and Kroes shot a season-low 45 at Craig Wood to top Jerry Stahl by three strokes in the sixth match.
Wesley Belzer claimed the lone win for the Vikings, topping Lake Placid's Lucas Strack 51-54 in the fourth match.
"Our kids did pretty well on a tough day to play golf," Lake Placid coach John Glinski said. "Miles and Kiefer have settled in and are playing pretty good golf right now, and our other kids are showing some consistency. Hopefully, we can keep it up. Our next match is a big one."
Today's Lake Placid-Northeastern Clinton match is slated to start at 3:30 p.m.