IOLA -- Fort Scott High School's golf team dropped back a bit in the Southeast Kansas League standings after finishing in fifth place at the Iola Tournament here Tuesday. This was the second of the four SEK designated tournaments.
Bad luck may have played as much a role on the day as the Tigers' higher scores. An incorrect scorecard and a lost ball contributed to some of the team's woes.
The Tigers finished second in the season opener at Independence last week but lost eight strokes as a team, which was enough to drop them two spots into fourth place for the season.
"We were confident and much more relaxed going into the tournament and had improved a bit on various aspects of the game, at least in practice," Fort Scott head coach Ken Klassen said. "Our scores were again bunched together, but instead of low to mid 80s we were all mid 80s. Coffeyville, Iola, and Pittsburg scored better than last week; we tapered off a bit."
The top four teams in the tournament were bunched together tightly. Iola finished with a 331 to win the team title with a score 15 strokes lower than at Independence. Coffeyville dropped 12 strokes off its opening score to finish second here at 333. Pittsburg made the most dramatic drop, losing 55 strokes to finish with at 335 after opening with a 390 at Indy.
Independence, which won its home tourney with a 333, finished with a 336 Tuesday. That was enough to keep it on top of the league standings with a two-tournament total of 669. Iola moved into second place at 677 followed by Coffeyville at 678.
Fort Scott finished Tuesday with a team score of 344 and is fourth in the SEK at 680. Columbus is a distant fifth in team standings at 723.
Individually, the Tigers did not have any medalists but kept two players in the top 10 season standings and four in the top 20. Channing Nielson fought off discomfort caused by an abdominal hernia to finish 11th with an 85.
"To add insult to injury, Channing signed for a score two strokes higher than he actually shot, which according to the rules of golf became his recorded score," Klassen said, noting that his actual score would have put him in eighth place.
Jonathan Allen and Connor Antonetti tied for 12th with 86's and Tucker Horn tied for 16th with an 87.
"Jonathan lost four strokes when he couldn't find his ball, which was hit to the exact middle of the fairway, 65 yards from the green on hole number 17," Klassen said. "The fairway grass for some reason was longer on that hole. I know that's where the ball was because I was following Conner Antonetti's group, one group behind Jonathan's, and I walked right on top of the lost ball. When I saw the ball's markings and the Tiger logo, I knew it was Jonathan's. It was a really unfortunate break. Jonathan hit his re-teed drive out of bounds, and a very solid round became very average."
Blake Weilert finished with a 95 for Fort Scott and Dane Ramsey came in with a 102.
"I was impressed on the guys maintaining their composure," Klassen said. "This discipline and continued work should correlate with success later in the season."
Kaden Macha of Iola won the tournament with a score of 72 followed by Pittsburg's Andrew Joy with a 75, winning a scorecard tie-breaker over Brett Yeubanks of Coffeyville. In season standings, Yeubanks and Macha moved into a tie for the lead with a two-tourney total of 153 with Joy in third at 163. Eric Schlange of Independence, the winner of the season opener, dropped to fourth at 165 after shooting an 89 Tuesday.
Nielson is in sixth place in the SEK with a total of 168. Antonetti is tied for eighth with Iola's Shane Walden and Labette County's Aaron White at 170. Horn and Allen are tied for 11th with 171's.
The next tournament for the Tigers will be at Pittsburg's Crestwood Country Club Tuesday. Tee time will be at 3 p.m. The next SEK tournament is scheduled for Parsons -- though it will be Columbus' tourney -- on April