BREWSTER — St. John’s Prep coach Brian Jasiak and senior captain Terry Manning knew from past experience that the Cape Cod National Golf Club High School Invitational is often determined by one or two strokes.
Before taking the course Sunday afternoon amid rainy, chilly, and windy conditions, Jasiak and Manning told their fellow Eagles not to worry about starting slowly but instead focus on finishing strong.
The formula paid dividends. Manning and teammates Seamus O’Holleran and Jack Carew all birdied one of their final two holes to help Prep win the seventh-annual invitational with a team score of 231.
The Eagles held off runner-up Hingham (232) and Bishop Stang (235) to claim the program’s third Sioux Campbell Memorial Trophy.
“One of the messages that I delivered, and Terry as our captain delivered in the beginning, was that it usually comes down to a shot or two,” Jasiak said. “If you make bogey early or you make double or triple early, it’s fine. Grind, because it always comes down to the end.
“It’s truly the best teams in the state and the best players in the state, so to win is very difficult.”
Manning carded a 2-over-par 74 to lead the Eagles and finish as the runner-up behind Bishop Stang senior Matt Costello, a UConn commit who claimed medalist honors with a 73. O’Holleran, a freshman, shot a 78, and Carew, a sophomore, finished with a 79.
“It was definitely really bad with the weather,” said Manning, who found his rhythm after making eagle on his first hole.
Manning’s eagle putt came from approximately 5 feet out after he used his 4 iron to reach the green from 220 yards outs.
“I think that’s what really turned it around for me,” said Manning, who began on hole No. 12.
Costello made four birdies to pace the field, which initially included the invitational’s two-time defending champion and 2023 Massachusetts Amateur Champion Ryan Downes of Longmeadow. Downes withdrew from the tournament after eight holes due to a hand injury.
Costello said his medalist performance came despite a slow start.
“I got off to a rocky start but then got back into it and made some clutch putts,” he said. “I kept the ball in front of me and I took control of my swing and the ball for the whole round. I just stayed patient.”
Drew Golden of Hingham finished third with a 76, followed by Weston’s William Goldstein (77).