The Longhorn golf team rallied from a disastrous state tournament opening day to card a second-day 301 — a tally that eventually turned out to be the best team score of the post-season shoot-out.
But the come-from-behind effort wasn’t enough to catch defending state champion Yuma Catholic, which won the state title with a two-day total of 617.
Payson finished as state runners-up with a 625.
Valley Christian placed third at 626 and Phoenix Country Day took fourth at 632.
Entering the May 11-12 tournament at Antelope Hills near Prescott, PHS coach Bret Morse was on target with his predictions that the run for the crown would come down to the schools that finished in the top four.
At the conclusion of the first day, Yuma Catholic was first with a 313 and Payson was fourth at 324.
By improving 23 strokes on the second round, the Horns threw a scare into the defending champs who were eyeing yet another state title.
Scottsdale Christian’s Chris Petefish claimed low medalist honors by posting a 71 on the first day and a 70 on the second for a total of 142.
Tyler Apps was a model of consistency, finishing with identical scores of 74 on both days for a final tally of 148, which earned him sixth-place laurels.
Freshman Dean Harpe placed 14th in the 84-qualifier field with a 156.
During the opening round, Harpe struggled to an 81, but improved the following round for a 75.
Jeffrey Kelley ended up 17th overall. He also experienced difficulties during round one, finishing with an 80. On day two, he shot a 76 to finish at 156.
Anthony Smith was the Payson player who experienced the most difficulties during the opening day. He required 89 shots to finish, his highest score of the season.
His 76 on day two resulted in a total of 165, which was good enough for 38th place.
The state tournament wrapped up a banner season in which the Longhorns won several tournament titles including a nine-team match at Snowflake, the River Valley Invitational and the Wickenburg Invitational.
A win April 30 in a four-way match at Fountain Hills also made an impressive addition to the Longhorn resume.
About the only glitch on the team’s record was a disappointing mid-season defeat to Phoenix Country Day at We Ko Pa near Phoenix.