WHEELING - Who knew when Linsly and Steubenville Catholic met earlier this season at Williams Country Club it would be a harbinger of things to come?
Well, most everyone who follows high school golf in the Ohio Valley.
So, there they were Thursday dodging the raindrops at the OVAC Class 3A Championship at Oglebay's Crispin layout. And, just like everyone figured, the Crusaders and Cadets stood atop the leaderboard.
But this time, it was the group from the Woodsdale campus that walked away happy.
Linsly boasted three members of the all-Tournament team and edged Steubenville Catholic Central, 299-302, to win its 16th OVAC golf crown and first since claiming the final of seven straight in 2007.
''I'm really happy for the kids,'' Linsly head coach Mark Zavatsky said. ''We knew (Steubenville Catholic) was going to be tough.
''We played them a few weeks ago and they beat us by two shots, so we knew it would be tough.''
Magnolia finished a distant third with 339. Buckeye Trail (354) was fourth, followed by Tyler Consolidated (369), Fort Frye (371), Barnesville (404) and Monroe Central (412).
The Crusaders' Austin Meronoff repeated as medalist, firing a 2-under-par 69. He was the only golfer to shoot under 70.
''I had a little battle toward the end,'' he said, ''but I hung in and made a few birdies and was happy to be able to come out on top.''
After carding one birdie on the front 9, the sophomore fired three on the back 9.
''I birdied 16 and parred 17,'' he said. ''Then when I birdied 18 I felt pretty confident,'' said Meronoff, who started his round with a pair of bogeys.
Meronoff earned the top individual honor by two strokes, edging teammate Mike Manfresca, who fired a 71. Linsly's Casey O'Korn, David Coram and Jordan Patrick rounded out the all-tournament squad with rounds of 72, 73 and 74, respectively.
And, the good news for Zavatsky is all three should be back next season.
''We still don't have any seniors,'' he said.
As they did last last season when the Cadets lost to Buckeye Trail by three shots. Linsly finished second to Steubenville Catholic for the 2A crown in 2011.
''Our No. 3 and 4 (golfers) were the difference (Thursday),'' Zavatsky pointed out. ''That sealed the deal for us.''
Coram has been the top scorer for most of the season for Linsly, whose roster is stocked with juniors and sophomores.
''David plays in a lot of local events and some Top Flite events,'' Zavatsky said.
Meronoff was disappointed the team didn't take home the top hardware, but was encouraged by the effort with the sectional tournament just around the corner. The Crusaders will be part of the Ohio Division III Eastern District Sectional Tournament at Willandale Golf Club in Sugarcreek a week from Tuesday.
''We came up a little short, but we'll be ready for the tournament,'' he said.
Linsly (299): Casey O'Korn 72; David Coram 73; Jordan Patrick 74; Steve Songer 80
Steubenville Catholic Central (302): Austin Meronoff 69; Mike Manfresca 71; Josh Merriman 80; Jason Bensar 82
Magnolia (339): Peyton Moore 77; Jake Starkey 83; Matthew Durig 84; Shane Mason 95
Buckeye Trail (354): Jed Burga 78; Evan Archer 82; Will Davis 90; Jacob Markel 104
Tyler Consolidated (369): Nathan Kemp 88; Ty Pratt 90; Adam Cooper 95; John Lancaster 96
Fort Frye (371): Brennan Schilling 87; Devin Brooker 87; Brad Martin 96; Maggie Huck 101
Barnesville (404): Sam Leach 97; Jacob Carpenter 98; Aspen Bauman 101; Corey Seneff 108
Monroe Central (412): Evan Blackstone 88; Dustin Graham 89; Bret Tomlin 116; Micah Roberts 119
(Top 5, including ties)
1.Austin Meronoff (SCC) 69; 2. Mike Manfresca (SCC) 71; 3. Casey O'Korn (Lin) 72; 4. David Coram (Lin) 73; 5. Jordan Patrick (Lin) 74