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ALLENDALE — After tying for first place through the opening round of the state Division 1 golf tournament, Northville was going to change a thing in the 18 hours before returning to The Meadows.

“We played well (Friday), so we did literally the same thing we did Thursday night,” Northville coach Matt Lewicki said. “We ate at the same restaurant, we had the same routine, we did the same thing.

“We tried to keep it fun, tried to keep it light and enjoyable for the guys and make it as memorable of an experience for them as we can.”

The most memorable experience of all came Saturday afternoon when the final scores were posted and the Mustangs realized they had won the first boys golf state championship in school history. Players began the celebration by hugging one another, then rushed toward Lewicki for a group embrace.

Northville battled all day with Brighton and a late-charging Rochester Adams team to emerge victorious in a tight three-team duel.

Northville shot 300-305—605, Adams 309-298—607 and Brighton 300-309—609. KLAA rivals Brighton and Northville were tied for first place heading into the final round.

“It’s insane,” Northville senior Mason Sokolowski said. “Everyone had my back. We played really good. It was a good first day. We were able to keep it together today. It’s great to finally have the ring; we got the title. It’s a tough year, we battled at every tournament, but we got the state title.”

Northville’s best finishes before Saturday were third-place showings in 1975 and 2008. The Mustangs were eighth in Division 1 last season, but used four players who competed in at least one round in that tournament.

“We knew the state this year was really tough and there were a lot of strong teams, but we were returning some strong players,” Lewicki said. “The guys played so well. It’s a hard game, and they got it done.”

Northville had four scores in the 70s in each of the two rounds.

Sokolowski was third individually with rounds of 70 and 74, while senior Greg Braun was 11th with scores of 74 and 74. Senior Thomas Forsythe shot 77 and 79, senior Ryan Gallagher shot 79 and 78, and junior Nick Tokarz shot 84 and 82.

“It was a fun day all around,” Lewicki said. “It was nice to be able to battle with the teams we’ve seen all year. I’ve just got to give it up for the boys, the way they played coming down the stretch, the way they’ve played all year. The way they played yesterday and today is just lights-out golf. I couldn’t be more proud of the team and couldn’t be more proud of the guys.”

Defending champion Detroit Catholic Central placed fourth with scores of 314 and 304.

Contact Bill Khan at wkhan@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @BillKhan.

This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Northville emerges from 3-way battle with first state boys golf title

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