VASSALBORO – Gorham was a surprise winner in Class A, Falmouth had the best score of any team in winning Class B and Houlton won a second straight title in Class C.

Those were the storylines in the annual state team golf championship, played on a sunny, but chilly and windy Saturday at Natanis Golf Course’s 36-hole layout.

Gorham won out over Brunswick and Deering in a fifth-man tiebreaker. They all tied with a four-man score of 329, but Gorham got the state title because Spencer Lapierre’s 86 was better than the fifth scorer from Brunswick and Deering.

The Dragons were second and Deering took third.

“It’s kind of a surprise,” said Rick Altham, the second-year Gorham coach. “We only have two seniors and the rest sophomores. I didn’t expect it this year, but Mike Arsenault led us with a 78 and the others followed, playing solid golf on a very tough day.”

After an 8 on his next-to-last hole. Arsenault rebounded with a birdie.

“Without him doing that on the last hole, we don’t win,” said Altham.

Altham also said Mike Caron’s 82 was outstanding.

Counting the SMAA qualifier at Natanis, Gorham got in five practice rounds at the course, which helped in the adjustment to the hard and fast greens and the wind.

“We played here Friday and the conditions were worse,” said Arsenault. “We knew we had a chance. We have a talented team and we all kept our composure. You have to go out and play your game and not worry about anything else. Anything can happen.”

Arsenault said Gorham’s 6-4 record was deceiving because a lot of the matches were close.

With the conditions, coaches and tournament officials felt anything slightly under 330 would be noteworthy. Falmouth shattered that with a 315 to win Class B by 12 shots over York, the defending champion.

“That’s a fantastic score,” said Falmouth Coach Spike Herrick. “I was thinking that 320 would be a great score. The kids did really well. We played our qualifying tournament here and shot 324 in the rain. We bettered that this time.”

The Yachtsmen were led by Connor Burfeind, whose 74 was the best round of the day.

Burfeind one-putted his last six holes. He had one birdie and five pars.

“This is my lowest score playing this course,” said Burfeind, a senior. “The greens were fast and hard, but they rolled true. It feels really good to win and get some redemption against York. They won it last year and we split two matches this season.”

Will Bucklin was Falmouth’s next-lowest scorer with a 77. Bucklin, a junior, bogeyed his first four holes but played 1 over the rest of the way.

“It was windy and I was a little nervous at the start,” said Bucklin. “I settled down after that and hit the ball great, although I didn’t putt that well.”

Still, Bucklin made three birdies on the front nine.

Falmouth used an 81 from Taylor Dimick and an 83 from Matt Packard for its total. Nick Franco added an 85.

Deering came in hoping to add a second title in three years, but didn’t have the overall consistency of two years ago or this regular season. Rocco Spizuoco shot a 75 for Deering for the best individual score in Class A. Joe Walp added a 77.

“It’s tough to end like this,” said Coach Bill Goodman. “Last year, we finished second and we lost by a shot a few years ago. I have a great team and Rocco stepped up and shot a 75. I had the two top scores today but it just didn’t work out. That’s golf.”

Houlton edged St. Dominic of Auburn, 327 to 328 to capture its second consecutive Class C title.

The Shiretowners were led by Ian Gervais with a 77.

The boys’ and girls’ individual state titles will be contested at Natanis next Saturday.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]