Early Wednesday morning, Terre Haute North senior Ryan Baker and coach Abe Nasser headed out to the Legends of Indiana Golf Course for a range session.
Baker wasn’t happy with the 85 he shot in Tuesday’s first round of the IHSAA boys golf state finals.
“He was frustrated,” Nasser said.
Problem solved. Baker bounced back with a 2-over 74 Wednesday, helping the Patriots improve their team score by seven strokes.
The Patriots shot 304 as a team Wednesday, giving them a two-day score of 615, good for 13th place in the 15-team field.
“For us to have a team score like we did today, he’s got to play up to his ability,” Nasser said of Baker. “I think that was a really big turnaround for us, having that guy out there doing that.”
Baker’s score wasn’t even North’s best Wednesday. Junior Adam LaGrange shot an even-par 72 after opening with a 78 in the first round.
“I expected that out of him today in a strange sort of way,” Nasser said. “Adam, he’s our best player and our most consistent player, and he wasn’t happy with himself yesterday.
“I think he deserves not to be happy with himself. He came back today and proved today why he was the best and most consistent player all year for us.”
Teammate Evan Perdiew shot his second straight 76, while Sam Pollock shot an 82 and Andrew Behnke had an 87.
“Couldn’t be happier with these guys on how they played today on their last day,” Nasser said.
“Awesome way to go out. Storybook for us,” Nasser added. “Yeah, we don’t win, but we came over here and proved that we belonged in this tournament this week.”
It will be a challenge for the Patriots to return. LaGrange is the only state participant who will be back next year; all told, North loses 10 seniors from this year’s team.
“All these seniors, they’ve put in the work necessary for the last four years to be a good golf team,” LaGrange said. “We kind of underachieved until this year, nice deep postseason run here. I think it says a lot about this group of guys. We’re so together and close and it’s really nice to go out on a strong note.
“Next year, it’s going to be a different experience. We’re losing 10 seniors, so it’s going to be tough. But I’m ready to lead the squad. I think we’ll definitely be respectable and we’ll make a run in the postseason.”
Westfield overcame first-day leader Columbus North to win the team title with a 575, two shots ahead of the Bull Dogs. Noblesville tied Columbus North’s 2-year-old 18-hole record by shooting 283 as a team Wednesday.
Zionsville’s Adam Wood shot consecutive 68s to win individual honors. Greencastle’s Luke Brotherton followed Tuesday’s 76 with a 71 Wednesday to finish at 3-over 147, tied for 24th overall.
IHSAA boys golf state finals
Day 2 Wednesday
At Legends Golf Club, Franklin
Team scores — Westfield 291-284-575, Columbus North 290-287-577, Floyd Central 292-288-580, Jasper 295-296-591, Noblesville 309-283-592, Avon 294-300-594, Fort Wayne Dwenger 302-302-604, Hamilton Southeastern 304-300-604, Evansville Memorial 300-304-604, Pendleton Heights 308-300-608, Carmel 306-305-611, Valparaiso 300-312-612, Terre Haute North 311-304-615, Triton 313-304-617, Warsaw 306-313-619.
Top 10 individuals — Adam Wood (Zionsville) 68-68-136, Devin Jenkins (FC) 68-69-137, Timmy Hildebrand (We) 70-68-138, Will Seger (Jas) 71-67-138, Ryan Rapp (Tri) 70-70-140, Jordan Griffith (Madison) 70-71-141, Michael Makris (Mishawaka Marian) 69-73-142, Keegan McKinney (Av) 71-71-142, Michael Sharp (East Noble) 70-72-142, Michael Vandeventer (CN) 71-71-142.
Terre Haute North (615) — Adam Lagrange 78-72-150, Evan Pardiew 76-76-152, Sam Pollock 76-82-158, Ryan Baker 85-74-159, Andrew Behnke 81-87-168.
Other — Luke Brotherton (Greencastle) 76-71-147 (tied for 24th).