HUDSON — Joe Castellano tried to gather his composure and say the right things.
The Mitchell coach always seems so prepared, so regimented in his approach to matches. Now he was biting his lip, his cheeks bright red.
The Mustangs had a plan this season, but it was derailed late Tuesday despite Mitchell cruising to an easy Class 2A, District 12 title. The Mustangs totaled 313 to qualify for regionals along with East Lake (347) and Clearwater (379). The North Suncoast's lone individual qualifier was Gulf senior Bailey Logan, who shot 7-over 77.
Castellano believed he was hosting the region tourney next week at Mitchell's home course. Playing there would clearly give Mitchell an edge in its bid to return to state for the first time since it tied for 10th in 2004. Instead, the match will be hosted by Wharton at Heritage Isles.
Castellano huddled the girls afterward and explained the oversight. It turns out the Florida High School Athletic Association never received his faxed request to host, and Castellano admits he did not receive confirmation. FHSAA spokesman Justin Harrison said his office communicates with host schools once it receives those requests.
The confusion overshadowed another stellar round from the Mustangs. Despite gusty winds, Megan and Rebecca Van Etten posted the only sub-70 scores to finish first and second with 66 and 69, respectively, at Meadow Oaks. The duo finished 1-2 last week on this course for the Sunshine Athletic Conference tournament.
Logan earned a region berth for the fourth time. Her mom joked with her as the final scores were posted and she realized she had made it.
"Mom decided to call it skin of my chinny, chin, chin," Logan said with a laugh. "All four years I'm waiting for the last group to come in and I just barely make it. In this case it looks like I made it by four strokes."
Team scores: Mitchell 313 (M. Van Etten 66, R. Van Etten 69, Fivecoat 88, Argento 90), East Lake 347 (Patton 78, Espy 84, Gail 92, Genter 93), Clearwater 379 (Gaunt 74, Frank 99, Sacino 100, Willis 106), River Ridge 383, Countryside 409, Gulf 420, PHU 424
Top 3 individuals not among top 3 teams: Wade (PHU) 72, Knox (Dunedin) 73, Logan (Gulf) 77