By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
SHAMOKIN DAM -- Shikellamy may have a target on its back as the defending Heartland Athletic Conference champ on the links.
If there is one, it didn't seem to faze the Braves in the HAC opener at Susquehanna Valley Country Club on Thursday. The Braves (5-0) paced the field with a 328, beating out their cross-river rival, Selinsgrove, by 25 strokes.
Midd-West's foursome brought home third with a 77 while Williamsport finished with a 380. Mifflinburg and Loyalsock/Montour rounded out the field with a 444 and 455, respectively.
C.J. Tyler and Dakota Portzline helped to drive the Braves to a victory by each carding a four-over par 74 on the course to tie for first overall.
"I definitely could have played better but it wasn't too bad," C.J. Tyler said. "I could have made up a few shots here and there but overall it was okay."
Portzline was steady out of the gate before finding his groove midway through his round.
On holes eight through 10, Portzline found the bottom of the cup for birdie on each hole, with the pars on each running the gamut from three to five, the par-5 10th being the longest hole of the day.
Portzline birdied another par 5 on the 17th for a 2-under day on the three par-5 holes. The Braves' number two was one-over through his first 10 holes.
"I was a little nervous going into (the round)," Portzline said. "But, I kept it together and then made three birdies in a row so that sort of got things back together."
Braves head coach Ernie Tyler explained that he was pleased to see Portzline have a solid round.
"It's really neat to see Dakota playing like that," Ernie Tyler said. "He's playing well. And he's usually very steady. He's a good player."