Montville's Gaboury secures a share of ECC golf individual title

Thompson — Sam Gaboury considered attending Killingly High School for his senior year, looking to join the golf team.

Montville was expected to have a low turnout this spring while Killingly is a perennial powerhouse in the Eastern Connecticut Conference.

"But that didn't work out," Gaboury said. "I just figured that I had to play the best I can individually and make the states on my own and play my game."

Gaboury's plan has worked out just fine.

He's played his best golf in his final season at Montville, qualifying for the state tournament. He added another terrific accomplishment on Thursday, earning co-medalist honors at the ECC Championship at Quinnatisset Country Club.

Gaboury shared the top spot with Killingly senior Dylan Deotte, both firing a 3-over 75.

The co-medalists have enjoyed playing against each other during their careers.

"I love Dylan," Gaboury said. "We're good friends. I knew it was going to be a competition all the way down to the end. ... We've played each other for the past three years and we've always been close. It's nice to tie with him over anybody."

Gaboury's interesting day included an eagle on the par 5, 14th hole, followed by a triple bogey on the par 3, 15th. He set up his eagle by hitting a pitching wedge from 158 yards out and rolling his ball to within two feet of the hole. He finished his round strong with a par and two birdies.

While Gaboury was just one of two Montville golfers to compete on Thursday, Deotte brought along a few more friends.

With Deotte leading the way, Killingly secured its sixth straight ECC Championship win by scoring 314 strokes.

East Lyme, which finished second with 332 strokes, was a threat after winning a regular season meeting between the two teams. The Vikings made the turn in great shape.

But the Redmen had an edge playing a familiar course. Several Killingly golfers as well as coach Kevin Marcoux are members at Quinnatisset.

Deotte recovered from a bumpy start, standing at 4-over through seven holes. He shot even par 36 on the back nine.

"My coach has always told me that you've got to keep plugging away and in the end it will work out," Deotte said.

Killingly's balance and ability to master the tight, tricky back nine proved to be the difference.

"We knew East Lyme is a good team," Marcoux said. "They beat us during the regular season, so we knew we had our hands full and had to battle for 18 holes, and we did. ... They rise to the occasion when they need to."

The Vikings are a team on the rise. They will lose only one member of their top five. Freshman Logan Rolfe shot a team-best 81 on Thursday.

"We fell short of the goal, but I think in the long run it is going to help us," East Lyme coach Rudy Bagos said.

Maybe next year will be the year East Lyme will break Killingly's tight hold on the ECC crown as well as its own drought. The Vikings last won the ECC championship in 1973.

"It's got to happen at some point," Bagos said of a team knocking off Killingly. "I know he's got a good thing going on over there. They're going to tough for a long time.

"We'll be all right. It's a great group of kids. I'm excited to see what the next few years bring. I know they're already looking forward to it."

g.keefe@theday.com

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