Pekin didn’t just win the 14th annual Canton Invitational boys golf tournament Saturday at Wee-Ma-Tuk.
The Dragons won on the course where the Mid-Illini Conference tournament will be played Thursday.
Pekin shot 297, eight strokes better than runner-up Peoria Christian (305) and 12 strokes in front of third-place Dunlap (309), in the 11-team Canton Invitational field.
Mason Ghidina of the Dragons was medalist with a 2-under-par 70. Pekin’s Lance Hays finished second (71) in the individual standings and Carter Taphorn was sixth (76). Each earned a medal for a top-10 finish.
Chad DuPage (80) also scored for the Dragons. Jack Halstead (81) and Jacob Hill (86) also competed for Pekin.
“Our goal Saturday was to shoot less than 300 as a team and we did it,” said Pekin coach Brett McGinnis. “If we shoot the same number Thursday, we’ll be in contention for the conference tournament championship.”
Ghidina had five birdies Saturday. But, like Hays, he had a double-bogey in a below-par round.
“We left some shots out there that we’d like to have back,” McGinnis said.
East Peoria (315), Limestone (328), Washington (332), Canton (334), Metamora (340), Chillicothe IVC (361), Olympia (386) and Farmington (425) rounded out the team standings behind the top three.
Each Mid-lllini team except Morton participated in the tournament.
Morton and Pekin will probably head to the Mid-Illini tournament with 7-0 and 6-1 conference dual match records, so the conference championship will be on the line Thursday.
Meanwhile, the young and inexperienced Pekin girls golf team couldn’t escape last place in a 17-team field Saturday in the 15th annual Lady Dragon Classic at Lick Creek.
“We were gracious hosts,” said Pekin coach Chris Neville.
The Lady Dragons shot 482 with just four golfers available. The low four scores on the front nine and back nine counted toward a team’s score.
Summer Dick (116), Madison Raines (118), Megan Nelson (119) and Kaytlin Elliott (129) competed for Pekin. Jaden Rogers withdrew after seven holes because she wasn’t feeling well.
Neville has been finding silver linings all season when his team competes. On Saturday, he noted the Lady Dragons shot 499 the previous weekend at Hickory Ridge in Decatur, so they dropped 17 strokes at a tougher course.
O’Fallon (342) won the Lady Dragon Classic team title by one stroke over Normal Community (343), the smallest margin of victory in tournament history. Oak Park Fenwick (348) was third.
It was the first appearance in the Lady Dragon Classic for O’Fallon and Fenwick.
“We had teams from the St. Louis suburbs, Bloomington-Normal area and Chicago suburbs in our top three,” Neville said. “That shows you the quality of our tournament.”
Fenwick’s Stephanie Mroz was medalist with 1-over-par 73. She won by nine strokes over O’Fallon’s Emily Marrs and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Natcha Koonmee, the largest margin of victory in tournament history in the individual standings.
Dick was named the Kouri’s Pekin Times Star of the Tournament by the Times sports staff. She will receive a $25 gift card from Kouri’s Pub on Court Street.