Seaside golfer Connor Merrell

Connor Merrell had Seaside's best score in the match victory over Valley Catholic.

The highlight match of April 1 in 4A boys golf took place at Meriwether National Golf Club in Hillsboro.

That's where defending state champion Valley Catholic was hosting the No. 1 challenger from Seaside.

And the Gulls took one more step towards taking the title away from the Valiants, as Seaside shot a 323 team score to defeat Valley Catholic by nearly 30 strokes, the Valiants carding a 352.

Seaside improved to 2-0 in league matches.

The Gulls had 10 birdies and an eagle on the day compared to Valley’s three birdies, all by freshman Ryoma Lane, who was medalist for the day with a 76.

Seaside took the next six spots on the leaderboard. Senior Connor Merrell had two birdies and led the Gulls with a 79, one stroke ahead of sophomore Curtis Kunde (80).

Kunde had three birdies, including one from 75 yards out after hitting a tree on his second shot on the par four 16th hole.

Four other Seaside golfers each shot an 82.

Freshman Carson Kawasoe’s day featured a 10 followed by an eagle from 110 yards out. He added two birdies to his card. Senior Samson Sibony’s 82 was a bit more traditional with two birdies and a lost ball leading to his only double-bogey.

Senior Mason Shamion had one birdie and the day's best score on the back nine.

“Today showed how balanced we are as a team,” said Seaside coach Jim Poetsch. “All of our guys were within three strokes of each other and all five guys had one side in the 30's. Nobody shot lights out, but everyone came in with a score that helped the team.”

Poetsch said, “I think the best part of today was that every one of them was able to battle through some tough holes. They are starting to learn that a bad shot or a bad hole does not have to lead to a bad round. The more we develop that mental attitude, the better we will become as a team.

“This was also our third tournament of the year and each time we have had a different player lead our team in scoring.”

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