ONEIDA, Wis. — Like a birdie put that lips out or a potentially great shot that takes a bad hop, Marinette’s Northeastern Conference title hopes came up just short on Wednesday.

Marinette shot a 347 to place second at the NEC Championship. That left the Marines third in the overall standings behind Waupaca and Luxemburg-Casco, who shared the team title.

The silver lining is Marinette’s individual accomplishments. Ty Kretz nailed down NEC player of the year honors with a 79 score on Wednesday at the long, challenging Brown County Golf Club. Pretty impressive, especially for a freshman. Kretz started well with a par-birdie-par on Wednesday, then bladed a 116-yard wedge over the green. He fired a 40 on the front nine, then was 1-under-par on the back nine heading into the 17th hole.

“I made a bogey, so I tried to forget about it going into 18 and I hit a 3-wood off the tee and went right into the woods and ended up making a seven on a Par 4,” Kretz said.

Marine junior Matt Wagner, who shared medalist honors with Kretz on Wednesday, also made the all-NEC first team. Marinette’s Wes Knutson earned honorable mention.

“Ty and Matt actually played better than their scores showed,” according to Marinette coach Cary Waloway. “They didn’t finish real strong.”

Knutson missed Tuesday’s practice round due to illness and was still feeling the effects on Wednesday morning. He struggled through a 48 on the front nine but carded a 41 after the turn.

“I started out hot today making three pars in a row, but it went downhill after that,” he said, adding that he played much better on the back nine.

Chas Ferm scored a 100 and Dan Hengel shot a 112 for the Marines.

Marinette finished three strokes behind Waupaca on Wednesday, and a first-place finish would’ve given the Marines the conference title.

“That’s what’s frustrating,” coach Waloway said. “Every stroke is going to count. They don’t think about that, and I constantly tell them. On the way back every one of them could count every stroke they could’ve saved. But that’s every year.

“We should’ve won it, but should-a, could-a, would-a ... “

Team scores: Waupaca 344, Marinette 347, Luxemburg-Casco 349, Wrightstown 356, Freedom 361, Little Chute 373, Fox Valley Lutheran 379, Oconto Falls 383, Clintonville 401, Denmark 422

Marinette: Matt Wagner 41-38 — 79, Ty Kretz 40-39 — 79, Wes Knutson 48-41 — 89, Chas Ferm 53-47 — 100, Dan Hengel 55-57 — 112