CALHOUN — Dalton’s Bryan Miller shot a 1-under 71 and Eric Sharp, playing No. 4 in the lineup, posted a 1-over 73 and led the Catamounts to a third-place finish in the Class 4A State Tournament on Monday at Fields Ferry Golf Club.

The Cats, who finished second to Northwest Whitfield in the Region 7-4A tournament two weeks ago at Nob North Golf Course, were tied with Marist seven shots behind runner-up Etowah.

Lakeside, getting a clutch 1-over 73 from No. 5 player Tom Hardy, captured the state title with an even-par 288 on the par-72, 6,705-yard layout. Lakeside’s Brian Carter led his team with a 3-under 69.

Coach Jim McGrew’s Bruins and Warner Robins each shot 301 to tie for fifth.

“I hit it solid all day,” the Cats’ Miller said. “But I couldn’t get my putts to fall. I started (on the back nine) with a birdie but hit two bad shots on nine for a bogey after birdies on seven and eight.”

Dalton’s other scores were 77s by Andy King and Logan Cary.

Sharp finished the season with 73s in the region and state tournaments.

“This 73 is better because it came on a bigger stage,” Sharp said. “I hit the ball good all day and mostly putted good. What hurt me was a double bogey on No. 11 (364 yards, par 4) and a double on No. 16 (482 yards, par 5) when I hit into the water.”

Dalton coach Chad Jordan felt the Cats needed to shoot under 300 to “be in the hunt” for the championship.

“Our guys really played good,” he said. “That 298 is nothing to be ashamed of and I’m really proud of them.

“Eric really turned it on at the end of the season. He played well when he had to, and really they all did. Andy and Logan knew we were counting on them and they came through for us.”

Northwest shot 298 to capture the region tournament, but couldn’t find that same team magic Monday.

Freshman Jordan Black did his share, shooting a team-best 1-over 73 for his lowest round of the season by four shots. He played the back side in 2-under 34 that included birdies on Nos. 9, 10, 13 and 16.

“I certainly didn’t shoot what I wanted to on the front and had a couple of three putts, but the back side was pretty good,” Black said.

Playing in his final high school tournament, the Bruins’ Kyle McManus posted a 2-over 74 for his best round this spring. Other scores that counted for the Bruins were 77s by Hunter Keener and Chris Gordon.

The Bruins’ Hudson Keener, who finished tied for second in the 2005 state tourney and won the region two weeks ago, slipped to a 6-over 78 on Monday.

“It was my putting all the way,” he said. “I missed birdies when I had them. I missed some pars when I had them. Putting hasn’t bothered me all year until today.”

Hudson Keener started his round bogey-par-bogey and in one three-hole stretch missed two 5-foot par putts and one 6-foot birdie try. He was three over through 15 but took a double bogey on No. 16, parred the 17th and finished with a bogey on the par-5, 547-yard 18th.

“I was going for an eagle there,” he said.

Said Northwest coach Jim McGrew, “It wasn’t as low a score as we wanted, but I’m proud of the depth this team had this season. Every one of my guys shot in the 70s (Brian McGrew had a 78). We’ve now got two straight top-five finishes in the state and we have to feel pretty good about ourselves.

“Two teams in the top five speaks well for our region.”

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