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Top Sports Stories 2016: Third straight league title for Tuckers

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12/31/2016 6:00 AM |

Its cool-minded approach to things, both on and off the golf course, came in handy for the Mattituck High School boys golf team in the pressure-filled Suffolk County League VII Tournament. The Tuckers not only won their third consecutive league tournament title, but did so in record fashion.

Mattituck broke its own league tournament record with 389 strokes — 27 better than second-place Eastport-South Manor — at Rock Hill Golf & Country Club in Manorville.

Mattituck (12-1) and Eastport (11-1) are familiar foes. For the second year in a row they were co-league champions for the regular season.

Eighteen holes weren’t enough to decide the individual title, which was settled by a three-way, sudden-death playoff hole. Mattituck’s Ryan McCaffrey and Ryan Shuford and Shelter Island’s Nick Young all shot 75s through 18 holes on the par-71 course. McCaffrey prevailed in the added hole with a 5 on the par-4 hole. Shuford and Young both made the final hole in six shots.

Other Tuckers had a good day as well. Alex Burns (78) was fourth, Chris Talbot (79) seventh, Matt Sledjeski (82) 12th and Matt Mauceri (88) 20th.

Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood had a sense that things were going more Eastport’s way. He was wrong. As his players’ results filtered in, “I was like, ‘Holy cow!’ ” he said. “They were actually having tremendous days.”

Ellwood said the bus ride home was a quiet one for the nonchalant Tuckers. “They were so calm,” he said. “I think they expected it.”

Top Sports Stories 2016

Cross-country five-peat

Victory at Daytona 500

League title, 16 years later

Remembering coach Phil Reed

Another deep run for Southold baseball

Bright day for Mattituck girls track

Boyz win national basketball title

Wrestlers win another county title

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