The Hilltoppers clipped five strokes off their first-day team total Wednesday, but still finished a whopping 52 strokes behind dominant champion Knox Halls. The Red Devils shot a stunning two-day total of 569, seven strokes under par, and won the Large School event by 19 strokes over Hendersonville and Walker Valley.
Franklin finished fourth in the tournament, which was played at WillowBrook Golf Course in Manchester, seven strokes ahead of Science Hill.
It was the second straight state title for the Red Devils. In 2106, they tied with Science Hill after each team had completed two rounds. That forced a playoff, and Halls defeated Science Hill on the second hole.
Halls had two of the top three individual finishers with Ryan Hall earning medalist honors. He shot 66 and 65 and finished 13-under par for the tournament. Hendersonville Beech’s Michael Benard shot a 64 on day two, but his overall total of 12-under par was one shot short. Jake Hall of Halls was third at minus-7.
Jackson Skeen bounced back from an opening-day 79 to shoot 71 the second time around. The Hilltoppers’ No. 1 golfer tied for 17th place at plus-6.
Also for the Hilltoppers, Sean Anderson shot 155 while Tarun Hoskere and Carter Counts each totaled 158.
Science Hill does have a reason for optimism. The Hilltoppers were playing with no seniors in their lineup.
“I know the guys are down and disappointed,” said Hilltoppers’ head coach Kevin Vannoy. “But we will get another chance next year. We are getting everybody back, and this is a learning experience. We will use it as a positive, and use it as a building block.”