As a powerful storm closed in Monday afternoon on Sand Creek Station, the AVCTL Division II golfers remaining on the course were urged to finish as quickly as possible.
They had already been given carts to help accelerate play, but ultimately neither those nor the storm had an effect on the team title.
Maize South rolled to its fourth consecutive Division II title, as Mavericks golfers took the top three spots in a 21-stroke victory over Andover Central. The Mavericks were Class 5A runners-up last year, eight strokes back of state champion Kapaun Mount Carmel.
Leading the way were two juniors, Wells Padgett and Cale Bontrager. Padgett, second individually at state last year, fired a 2-under-par 72 for medalist honors. Teammate Bontrager, who transferred from Maize High this season, was second with a 1-over 73.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“We’ve had some really great players over the last four years,” Mavericks coach Steve Martling said. “We had a good day.”
A third Maverick, Nick Wagner, the team’s lone senior, won a tiebreaker for third over Andover Central’s Peyton Wilson at 78. Because the coming storm made it too risky to play out tiebreakers, comparative scores on the course’s tougher holes broke ties.
Padgett’s score matched the 70 he fired at the 5A state tournament on this course.
“My game’s in good shape,” he said. “I love Sand Creek. The greens are nice, so if I get on good greens, I can usually play pretty well.”
All three said they liked the condition of the greens.
Padgett said the accelerated play didn’t hinder him.
“I know most college tournaments I’ll be playing in will use carts,” he said. “But that’s playing 36 holes. It really kept the pace up. We finished in 3½ hours, and other tournaments we’ve been playing in have been 5-6 hours.”
Bontrager said he likes playing for his new team. He was 63rd in the Class 6A state tournament last year in Hutchinson, but he said being on this team has helped his game.
“Looking for a little redemption,” Bontrager said. “It’s nice playing on a team with three good scorers.”
He said he liked being able to use a cart.
“It was really nice,” Bontrager said. “I’m not tired at all right now.”
Wagner, who will graduate this year, said he hopes to finish strong.
“We’ve won (league) four years in a row, every year I’m here,” he said. “We’re looking for a ‘three-peat’ in regionals, but we’re focusing on getting it right for state – that’s the one goal.”
Next up for Maize South will be a tough Class 5A regional next Monday at Crestview Country Club.
Andover and Arkansas City, third and fourth, respectively, in the league tournament, will join the Mavericks in the regional along with Kapaun, Bishop Carroll, Heights, Maize and Eisenhower.
AVCTL Division II Tournament
At Sand Creek Station, Newton
Team scores – 1. Maize South, 309; 2. Andover Central, 330; 3. Andover, 336; 4. Arkansas City, 344; 5. Valley Center, 353; 6. Eisenhower, 383; 7. Goddard, 399.
Medalists – 1. Wells Padgett, MS, 70; 2. Cale Bontrager, MS, 74; 3. (tie) Nick Wagner, MS, 78*; 4. Peyton Wilson, AndCent, 78; 5. Patrick Chan, And, 79; 6. Keegan Ellington, AndCent, 80; 7. (tie) Brock Dowler, Ark City, 83*; 8. Zach Sokolosky, And, 83; 9. Tyler Trudo, Eis, 84; 10. Jacob Meeker, AndCent, 86.
* – Comparative scores on the toughest holes broke ties.