DUNEDIN — Sterling Bash mustered a bronze-worthy performance to help Mitchell advance at the Class 2A, District 12 boys golf tournament.
With Mitchell, Ridgewood and Palm Harbor University in a three-way battle for the final regional spot, Bash, Mitchell's No. 5 golfer, weathered the windy conditions at Dunedin Country Club to shoot 85 and knock three strokes off the Mustangs' final tally.
Mitchell (321) finished two strokes better than the Rams and the Hurricanes, who each came in with a 323 team score.
"He's my secret weapon," Mitchell coach Rick Hyatt said. "Sterling's been doing that, really, the last half of the season. … Sterling's been clutch."
Kenny Cavender, playing his final district tournament for Mitchell, shot 2-over 74 to pace the Mustangs and advance to his third regional tournament, even after double bogeying the final hole.
"He had a very solid round, and that's even with the double," Hyatt said. "Kenny's been tough all year."
Isaac Schaefer carded 79 and Chaz Heinz added 83 to round out Mitchell's third-place finish.
"I think this is the first time the whole team has been to regionals, so I'm happy about that," said Cavender, a senior. "The last two years I've been by myself."
Despite Jordan Padova's 76 and Jeff Koos' 78, Ridgewood failed to advance after finishing in a two-way tie for fourth. Padova and Koos, however, scored well enough to make the regional field as individuals.
Padova, who finished in a tie for the afternoon's fifth-lowest round, eagled No. 13 after chipping in from 60 yards out on the fly.
Dunedin, led by district medalist Justin Foster, who shot even-par 72, won the team championship with a 302. East Lake (319) finished two strokes ahead of Mitchell to come in second.
Bryan Burns can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Dunedin CC
Team scores: Dunedin 302 (Foster 72, Huston 73, Bernard 76, Jensen 81), East Lake 319 (Hand 77, O'Reilly 80, Dingus 80, Clark 82), Mitchell 321 (Cavender 74, Schaefer 79, Heinz 83, Bash 85), Ridgewood 323, Palm Harbor U. 323, Clearwater 333, Countryside 362, Tarpon Springs 378, River Ridge 379, Gulf 418, Hudson 448
Top 3 (Not among top 3 teams): Cote (PHU) 75, J. Padova (Rw) 76, Koos (Rw) 78