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Jefferson Forest and Hidden Valley had superb seasons, but Jamestown and Tunstall came away with state championships.
(Harrisonburg) Daily News-Record
Cave Spring's T.K. Garrett tees off on hole 16 during his second day competing in the 3A state golf tournament at Heritage Oaks Golf in Harrisonburg on Tuesday morning.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Jefferson Forest golf coach Garnet Manley had one girl on his team this season. He would love to have some more soon.
Thanks in large part to key contributions by female players Emily Salamy and Christina Herbert, Jamestown was able to fend off Jefferson Forest for the 4A state golf championship Tuesday at Heritage Oaks Golf Course.
Buoyed by Salamy’s final-round 71 and a 73 Monday by Herbert, the Eagles spoiled the ending to Forest’s superb season by pulling out a three-shot victory. The Cavaliers finished tied with Powhatan, and in an anticlimatic playoff to settle the runner-up trophy lost in a one-hole playoff to Powhatan.
It marked the third state crown in the past five years for Jamestown.
“Those two rounds [the girls] put up were the difference … that was the whole key to it,” Manley said. “We were concerned about it coming in because a team with girls usually has an advantage.
“That’s tough when they’re [teeing off] 100 yards in front of you,” referring to the 917-yard differential in the girls’ tees from the boys’ markers. But, hey, they played great. I’m looking for some. I’ve got one on my team and hopefully she will be able to do it in a couple years.”
It was bitter pill for a Forest club that hit its season-long team stroke average of 304 each day only to fall short in its bid to win the program’s first state crown.
Seniors Brian Touna and Matthew Stanley could muster only a pair of 77s — far below their season average.
“It’s disappointing,” a misty-eyed Stanley said afterward . “Drop it on my back. It wasn’t a good day. For a senior it was actually double. If I shoot my regular score, we should have won. I just didn’t come through.”
Manley, who personally transported the team from Forest to Harrisonburg for five practice rounds the past few weeks, said it’s golf.
“We hit our average,” he said. “We just needed to play a hair better than that. You can’t argue with it too much.
“We tied for second. Powhatan got the trophy. By that point, the playoff was kind of anticlimatic.”
Cavs junior Zeke Shen finished in a three-way tie for second at 146, five shots behind individual champion Erik Dulik of Dominion.
In the 3A side of the state doubleheader, Hidden Valley also had to deal with disappointment. Despite a career-low 72 by senior John Craghead, who rebounded from an ugly 91 on Monday, the Titans couldn’t muster a second-round run in the team chase. Hidden Valley, which won every major event it played in this season, had to settle for third behind champion Tunstall and runner-up William Monroe.
Of course, Brian Harris’ players had known entering the day that a late charge to the program’s first state title was highly unlikely. The Titans entered the final round 10 shots off the pace, and wound up 22 strokes behind Tunstall.
“No matter about this, I feel really good about this season,” said Harris, in his fifth season at the helm. “This team did a lot of firsts for our entire school, brought a lot of pride to the program. It’s something that we will build on.”
What about Craghead’s incredible about-face? His 19-stroke difference was easily the most decisive turnaround in the two-day affair.
“John had his head hanging [Monday],” Harris said. “I mean he was quiet in the car. We went to the driving range and he was quiet the whole time there, he was quiet at dinner, but he came in and loosened up and played serious today. I couldn’t be more proud of him as a senior to finish it off.”
Titans ace, sophomore Kristin Hearp, followed a first-round 71 with a pedestrian-like 76 to tie for sixth. The putter that sizzled Monday was in a frozen state 24 hours later.
“Six bogeys and all pars, one of those days,” Hearp said. “I couldn’t make a putt.
“This team was a lot of fun. It was a great season. It was just one bad tournament for kind of everyone. I wish we could have done it this year but what can you do.”
Cave Spring seniors Drew Lagan and T.K. Garrett, rebounded from bad opening rounds in the individual race. Lagan shot 71 for 150 to rally to 10th overall on the 3A side. Garrett posted 73 for 158 and took 11th.
Loudoun Valley’s Ian Hildebrand and York’s Connor Rinoski tied at 1-over 141 in the individual chase. Hildebrand, who had a finishing 69, snared the title by winning a one-hole playoff.
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