The Paradise Panthers cut 13 strokes off their first-round total Thursday to move up two spots and finish sixth at the 2A University Interscholastic League golf championships.
The Panthers tallied a 343 in the second round at Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin to finish in the top half of the tournament.
“They played better [Thursday],” said Paradise coach Terry McCutchen. “We ended the first day in eighth. Our goal was not to go backward. We edged on a good note.”
The Panthers fired a 366 in the first round and were three strokes back of District 9-2A rival Brock and seven behind Kermit.
Four of Paradise’s five players cut strokes in the second round. Colton Wells gained 12 strokes going from an opening 96 to an 84. Brandon McCutchen went from a 92 to an 84. The team’s lone senior Lucas Heathington turned in an 89 after his opening 95. Hayden Barkley cut four strokes from a 99 to 95.
Colton Horton, who had the team’s best score-169 – was the lone player not to improve in the second round. He shot an 86 after his opening round of 83.
“He hit the ball OK but just didn’t score as well as he could have,” the Paradise coach said. “He hit the ball really good the first day. [Thursday] he couldn’t make a putt.”
Terry McCutchen said as a whole the team had a few too many strokes around the green.
“Everyone came off the final green disappointed but we played as good as we could have in our first trip to state,” he said.
“All but one are back. They are already talking about what to do to get back and improve.”