Reno won the first three HDL tourneys of the season but Spanish Springs kept some slim hopes alive of at least earning a share of the conference crown by besting Reno amid cold, snowy and windy conditions last week at Sierra Sage.
Spanish Springs could not duplicate that feat in Tuesday's warmer weather. With calmer winds, and temperatures hovering in the mid-60's, Reno had two players shoot in the 70's and did not count a score higher than 84. Even Reno's sixth and non-counting score was an 86.
Conversely, Spanish Springs did not see a single player post a score in the 70's and it had to count a score of 91.
"It's a few strokes here and there that are hurting us," Spanish Springs coach Nick Wirshing said. "We're struggling with the little things ... Right now, it seems like around the greens is where we're having some problems. I feel like we're doing a decent job staying out of trouble off the tee and avoiding out of bounds. But our short game is lacking a little bit right now. It's something we need to work on the next couple of weeks for sure."
Reno's David Hinitz took home individual medalist honors with his round of 75. His Huskies teammate, Patrick Phelps, finished second in the field, carding a 77. No other player in the field turned in a score of less than 80.
The other scores that counted toward Reno's total were an 82, 83 and 84.
Spanish Springs' best score was the 80 of Anthony Decker, putting the Cougars' golfer third overall. Matt Perera and Cole Shirley both finished with scores of 84. The SSHS squad also counted the 85 of Tommy McAlister and the 91 of Jake Keady. The Cougars threw out the 97 of Owen Bartlett.
"Anthony Decker was even with four holes to go and then had a rough last four holes," Wirshing said. "He should've been near 72. Our other top two guys, they need to be in the 70's and they can do that. Our top three guys need to be in the 70's with our next two being 85 or lower. That's something we can do and I feel like those scores would put us in pretty good shape in most tournaments."
East Sparks school Reed was also in action Tuesday. The Raiders put together a team total of 439, good for third. That score was 15 strokes better than Reed's previous team low of 454, posted at Somersett.
McQueen was fourth with a 466, while North Valleys and Hug did not field complete teams.
Trevor Wood paced the Reed group with an 83. Nate Daylo and Will Rizzuto were next with scores of 86 and 88. Rizzuto's mark was a personal low. Wyatt Koskie and Garrett Marchese rounded out the RHS scoring contingent with a 90 and 92 respectively. The Raiders did not count the 96 of Travis Page.
"I'm really happy with that 439," Reed coach Nick Nemsgern said. "This week in practice we played a ton of holes. Our qualifying has been competitive. We played some match play in practice ... If you have a bad hole, you have to let that go. I think the way we practiced this week helped. That got the competitive juices going.
"The boys were grinding like I've never seen before. They were super intense and focused. The kids really fought for their scores today."
With just one league tournament remaining before the Division I North Championships, which are set for May 6-7 at Red Hawk Golf Club, the teams from both local schools will be looking to shave as many strokes as they can from their games. Spanish Springs will play Saturday in the Norcal Invitational, hosted at Plumas Pines Golf Course in Graeagle, Calif.
"It will be really competitive with a lot of the best teams from northern California," Wirshing said. "We hope that gives us a good opportunity to play good competition. We played in it last year and I think it gave us more focus down the stretch of the season.
"I thought we could've scored a little better than we did today. We kind of went through this last year where struggled a little bit in the regular season and then played well at regionals. So we're hoping that's the same pattern we're on this year."
The last HDL tournament will be hosted by Reed and played Monday at Lakeridge. The event features a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start.
"Lakeridge might be one of the easier courses we play," Nemsgern said. "The greens are perfect and the course is not that long. I expect a lot of low scores. The way we're going, I anticipate our Reed boys beating this number from today. I'm just really proud of the boys for working hard and improving all year."