GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The road to a repeat took a nasty turn at home.
Gallia Academy suffered its worst league finish in two years Thursday night after placing third overall at the fifth Southeastern Ohio Athletic League golf match of the season held at Cliffside Golf Course in the Old French City.
The defending-champion Blue Devils — fresh off their first SEOAL match win of 2012 — finished nine shots off the pace fired by both Warren and Logan, who initially finished the contest with identical team scores. Both the Chieftains and Warriors posted matching low rounds of 160, while GAHS ended its day with a 169.
Due to the tie atop the team scoring, the fifth-best score from each squad was to determine the difference — except both rounds were identical efforts of 48. In the end, each team’s lowest round was used for a second tiebreaker, which ultimately went in favor of Warren.
With the win, the Warriors improved to 23-2 in league play and reclaimed a three-win edge over second place Gallia Academy, which fell to 20-5 overall in the SEOAL. Logan currently sits third overall with a 16-9 league mark, with the final SEOAL match slated for Thursday at Franklin Valley Golf Club in Jackson.
Rob Canady led the Blue Devils with a 2-over par round of 38, followed by matching 43s from Dares Hamid and Brady Curry. Bruce Moreaux completed the hosts’ scoring with a 45, while Zach Graham and Sean Saltzgaber added respective efforts of 49 and 53. GAHS had four birdies on the day, including a pair from Canady.
Zach McKenna led the Warriors with a 38, followed by Adam Lang with 40 and a pair of 41s from Steve Farley and Michael Sams. Reece Patton shot a 48 as the fifth scorer, while Alex Flesher won the second tiebreaker with a 52.
Logan Holbrook led LHS with a medalist round of even par 36, followed by Tristan Myers with 39 and Jacob Barstow with 40. Nick Wyrick shot a 45 and Graham Keynes added a 48, followed by Parker Keynes with a 57.
Jackson (7-18) was fourth overall with a team tally of 172, followed by Portsmouth (9-16) with 185 and Chillicothe (0-25) with a 189.
Evan Massie led the Ironmen with a 40, while Brandon Jones paced the Trojans with a 45. Gabe Preston was the top Cavalier with an effort of 40.
With one match left, Gallia Academy would have to win at Jackson and also have Warren finish at least fourth to clinch a share of its second SEOAL golf title. The Blue Devils and the Warriors are the only two squads that can win the 2012 crown headed into the Apple City next week.