Only two teams would advance from the North Sub-State Tournament on Monday and the Fort Payne Wildcats were stuck in one of the toughest sections in the state.
Muscle Shoals won the state title last year and only lost one player from that team.
Hartselle won the year before and had all their players back, Northridge shot an even 300 to advance from their region and Southside outscored the Wildcats in the Sectional Tournament.
The task seemed monumental, but Fort Payne fired a 313 to finish behind only Muscle Shoals and advance to the 6A State Tournament next Monday and Tuesday.
“We finished with the lead but I didn’t know if the 313 would be good enough to beat the four teams ahead of us,” Fort Payne coach Mark Scott said. “But when the scores of the top teams started to come in, I began to feel better. Southside and Northridge posted scores higher than ours, but we still had to beat either Muscle Shoals or Hartselle.”
The Wildcats edged Hartselle by six strokes and finished second to Muscle Shoals to advance to the final four for the first time in five years.
Sophomore Harrison Davis led the Wildcats firing a three under par 69. Davis was the tournament’s low medalist and was the only person in the field to finish under par.
“That’s the most consistent I’ve played all year,” Davis said. “I hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation and putted just 30 times. The course was really set up hard. If you made a bad shot, you paid for it.”
Sophomore Dawson Garrett was right behind Davis with a one over par 73, which was the second lowest score in the field.
“When we first started, I was having a hard time hitting the greens and the way they had set the pins I could have gotten in real trouble, but my putting saved me,” Garrett said.
He was able to convert four birdies on the back nine to save the round.
Dylan Evans hit the ball extremely well, but lost his putting stroke. He was still able to post an 80.
Jack Barker registered a nine on one hole and had to settle for a 91 and Brady Moses rounded out the scoring with a 98.