BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington North and Bloomington South boys golf renewed its rivalry Thursday at Cascades Golf Course.
But Mother Nature emerged victorious.
Rain started to fall about 90 minutes into the match, before groups reached the halfway point. The last group to tee off only completed a few holes. As thunder and lightning arrived, and the storm's intensity increased, it became increasingly evident to both teams that attempting to wait it out would be futile.
The teams rescheduled the match for 7:30 a.m. on June 1 at the same location. The teams will start from scratch that day — the partial scores from the suspended match are being disregarded.
A hidden blessing
For South, No. 4 in this week's IHSGCA rankings, the rain may have been a welcome sign.
Panthers head coach Dustin Carver wasn't thrilled with the way his team was playing before the rain came. He said sophomore Landon "Happy" Gilmore was off to a good start, but the rest of the Panthers struggled from the beginning.
"We got there, and we rushed a little bit. And so mentally, I don't think that we prepared ourselves to go to the first tee. And to me, that's where it all starts, with the first tee," Carver said. "If you're not mentally ready to go, then I think that your entire round will struggle and I think that was the case with with our start today."
Carver elaborated that it had nothing to do with the course at Cascades, and it had nothing to do with the rivalry match. He said the players take the North-South matchup seriously, and it could've created some nerves. That tied back to his point about his team's mindset to begin the match.
So given that rocky start, Carver was happy with the decision to push the match to a later date. But he still felt South would've turned things around eventually if they continued playing Thursday.
"We've had a couple of rounds where we haven't gotten off to (good) starts this year, but we finished strong," Carver said. "I think that we would have (done that Wednesday). Things weren't looking very good mindset-wise, our demeanor on the golf course. We'll get another shot at it, I guess. Sometimes that's part of it."
Cougars steady this season
North head coach Harrison Carmichael typically doesn't ask his players how they're playing early in the matches. He usually waits at least until the second half of the course to check in.
But from what he observed, his team was playing solid golf. But Carmichael knew the Panthers were a formidable opponent, and his Cougars would need to be on top of their games to knock off their rival. He thought his team was playing slightly below that level before the match was suspended.
But for the most part, he was pleased.
"We did have a couple good rounds going. I think Simon (Deliyannis), Brayden (Bunger), and Petre (Lee) were probably playing pretty well," Carmichael said. "From what I saw, most of the kids were making smart choices on how they were playing."
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Carmichael continues to feel his team is in a good spot heading toward the end of the season.
He said the Cougars, as a whole, are getting better every day. Some players have been a bit inconsistent at times, but he's hoping that the heavy upperclassman presence on the team will help to steady those ships.
Carmichael said Deliyannis, in particular, has been the team's biggest constant. The junior earned all-conference honors at this week's Conference Indiana Tournament.
"Simon started off with some high rounds early in the year. I think as the year's gone on, he's figured some things out. He's kind of got his confidence back," Carmichael said. "He's definitely trending in the right direction. Hopefully the team can kind of follow his confident, upward trend."
A glimpse into the future
Cascades Golf Course is once again hosting the IHSAA Sectional this year on Monday, June 6. North and South are both set to compete.
Carver and Carmichael are both already thinking ahead to that event. They used this dual match as a way to preview the course they'll play for sectional. And they'll do the same thing on June 1, when the sectional is even closer.
"I always want them to think about, we're playing the future. We're not playing for tonight," Carmichael said. "This is another round in preparation for making it out of sectionals. Trying to keep the bigger picture in mind. So I think most of them were playing with that goal in mind (on Wednesday)."
The 7:30 a.m. start time that day will more closely mimic post-season play, as well. The sectional tournament is scheduled to tee off at 9 a.m. Wednesday's suspended match began at 3:30 p.m.
So when North and South meet again on June 1, the morning tee times at Cascades will resemble the look and feel of sectional play. Carver thinks that the course on June 1 will play more similarly to the way it will on sectionals than it did Wednesday.
"Our sectional's an early morning start time. So I'm fine with that. I love early morning start times," Carver said. "I think that by (June 1), the course conditions will be will be ideal to the to the kind of the conditions that we'll see come June 6."
Follow Herald-Times sports reporter Seth Tow on Twitter @SethTow, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Water hazard: Bloomington North, Bloomington South boys golf washed out