GIRARD - The first time the Girard and Newton Falls boys golf teams played this season, the Indians won by one stroke after going to the fifth scorecard.
Tuesday on the back nine at Mahoning Country Club, Girard fell behind early before furiously rallying for a 157-166 victory to remain undefeated and move one step closer to clinching the All-American Conference, National Division, title.
"I just think the last time we played ... Newton Falls just didn't play as well here as they did at their place," Girard coach Josh Marsh said. "I think the biggest thing is the last time we played, we didn't play to our potential. Markie shoots a 37 today, the last time he shot right around a 37, 38, which is tremendous being only a freshman. Evan came back - he shot a 38. The last time him and (Logan) Beechy tied. Jimmy's been consistent all year.
Tribune Chronicle / Michael Taylor
Girard’s Mark Standohar makes a shot from the fairway on Tuesday at Mahoning Country Club. Standohar and the Indians defeated Newton Falls in an All-American Conference, National Division, match.
"When you've got three horses you just gotta kinda let them go out and do their thing. They just happen to be Standohars and they're all related."
Newton Falls coach Scott Kernen said after taking the early lead, the Tigers' quality of play dropped off.
"Two words - we stunk. We shot our highest round of the year and this is the easiest course all year," he said. "Our first four golfers on our first hole, we had a total of 13 strokes - the first four golfers for Girard had a total of 20 strokes. You get spotted a seven-stroke lead on the first hole and you lose by nine. That tells you how bad we did on holes two through eight. If we would've played a one-hole match we would've kicked tail. Unfortunately, you've got to play nine holes."
Leading the way for the Indians once again were the Standohars. Mark was the match's medalist with a 37 on the par-35 course, followed by Evan with a 38, Jimmy shot a 41, as did Nick Krajcirik.
"Evan and Markie both started off, one goes bogey, one goes triple (bogey)," Marsh said. "Then they go birdie-par. They grinded it out, they stayed on their game and they just happened to come out and shoot a good number."
Evan Standohar said he played pretty well after the first hole.
"Ten wasn't great. Had a couple rough shots to start off," he said. "Eleven I bounced back with a birdie. I had birdie looks on 15, 16, 17, 18. Some of them didn't fall, but 16 did. I liked the shots besides the first hole."
The score for Newton Falls were Sean Croell with a 40, and Beechy, Jacob Harrah and John Seals each shot 42.
The Tigers are now 9-2 this season and 8-2 in the AAC.
"We always play them close. They tend to get the best of us," Kernen said. "They're deeper than us. I tried to tell my guys today, 'The pressure's on them. Relax. They're the only ones that have anything to lose.' After the first hole I thought 'Wow, that's really working well.' But they're a bit more mentally tough than us."
Only a freshman, Mark Standohar once again helped pick his team up when they were down. He got off to a rough start in his round by bogeying holes 10 and 11. He recovered with pars on 12, 13 and 14. After another bogey on 15, he rallied in strong fashion with a birdie on the par-5, 486-yard 16th hole, and pars on 17 and 18.
"I started off bad. I started off three over through three," he said. "I parred out and birdied one other. I played good."
Undefeated at 11-0 and 10-0 (plus 29-5 in invitationals), Girard is in position to clinch the AAC, National Division, title. The Indians have matches left this season Thursday against Liberty, Monday versus Lakeview, the conference tournament on Tuesday, Jefferson on Thursday, Sept. 20, plus a match against LaBrae that still needs to be rescheduled from earlier in the season.
"The only way we'll lose is if we lose it," Marsh said. "We go to Liberty Thursday. We have Lakeview on Monday. That Lakeview match is the one that's kinda scaring me. We have to go to Walnut Run. It's a tight course. You have to play golf shots. You can't hit many straight tee shots. If you do, you're going to get in trouble."