HARWINTON >> Two teams waiting a combined 70 years for a state golf championship finished first and second in the CIAC Division IV Golf Tournament at Harwinton’s Fairview Farm Golf Course on Tuesday.
Portland shot a phenomenal 306 over the par-72 course for its first state title in 30 years.
Litchfield tied three-time defending champion Morgan for second place with a 328, the Cowboys’ highest finish “in at least 40 years,” said Coach Rob Gollow.
“We finished third last year and the guys said, ‘next year,’” said Highlander Coach Joe Santavenere, whose team won the Shoreline Conference Championship as a warmup for states.
“We looked at the trophy room and said 30 years would be a nice round number to put another one up.”
“We thought the 320s would put us in contention and that’s what we did before Portland shot an amazing score,” said Litchfield’s Chris Parsons. “We are seniors who have played every match. If we can be second, that trophy is our reward.”
Portland junior Nick Piersall paced the tournament with a 69 for individual honors.
“He’s been solid since his freshman year,” said Coach Santavenere. “This year, he turned a corner. Now he expects to be under par.”
The Cowboys got the same kind of leadership from their No. 1, Nathan Leigh, whose 79 tied him for ninth in the tournament and third in the All-State designations on a formula of 70 percent for the regular season and 30 percent for the state tournament.
Piersall’s teammates stayed close with a pair of 78s from James Kelly and John Lucas, an 81 from Jon Twitchell and a great throw-out 84 from Andrew Tammaro (only the top four scores are added for each team).
Litchfield’s Don Protzman and Chandler Boucher had 80s; Parsons had an 89; and Tom Simoncelli had a throw-out 94.
Every one of them had at least one birdie. Protzman had five; Leigh had four.
Coach Gollow was just as proud of the score drops from last week’s Berkshire League All-Star Tournament, where the Cowboys finished second to two-time defending league champion Lewis Mills.
“(Protzman) dropped six shots from the All-Star Tournament; (Boucher) cut five,” said Gollow, while listing the group’s accomplishments.
“They were 44-4 in three years,” he said. “Three of the losses were to Mills by single digits. One was to Northwestern. They won two Berekshire League titles – one outright in their sophomore years, the second shared with Lewis Mills last year.”
CIAC Division IV Golf Tournament
At Fairview Farm Golf Course, Harwinton (par 72)
Teams: 1. Portland 306; 2. (tie) Litchfield/Morgan 328; 4. Holy Cross 330; 5. Somers 332; 6. Immaculate 334; 7. Tourtellotte 344; 8. Old Lyme 346; 9. Coventry 351; 10. Coginchaug 353; 11. Old Saybrook 354; 12. (tie) St. Paul Catholic/Notre Dame-Fairfield 367; 14. Sacred Heart 372; 15. Wheeler 373; 16. Griswold 374; 17. Trinity Catholic 376; 18. Parish Hill 378; 19. East Granby 383; 20. Stratford 396.
Top Individuals: 1. Nick Piersall, Portland 69; 2. Arthur Ouimet, East Windsor 72; 3. Dominic Manning, Somers 76; 4. (tie) Burton Caldwell, Morgan/Jack Woods, Immaculate 77; 6. (tie) John Lucas, Portland/James Kelley, Portland 78; 9. (tie) Nathan Leigh, Litchfield/Jack French, Coginchaug 79.