CANTON -- Creekview is in familiar territory after the first day of the Class AAAAAA golf state championship at Woodmont, squarely in the mix in second place, but 10 strokes back of two-time defending champion Johns Creek.
The Grizzlies shot a 291, and while they were unable to catch Johns Creek, led by Andy Mao’s 8-under 64, they did build a three-stroke lead over third-place Dalton heading into Tuesday’s final round.
“We played well,” Creekview coach Jimmy Thigpen said. “We gave it a fight. We gave some strokes back late, but overall, it was solid. I think we gave ourselves a shot. We just have to come out here (Tuesday) try to put some pressure on Johns Creek and see if we can get out of here with a win.”
Defending individual state champion Jack Vajda led Creekview with a 1-under par 71. Josh Ledford (72) was one stroke back, and Tyler Latimer (73) and Landon Schultz (75) rounded out Creekview’s scorers.
“We have to play loose,” Thigpen said. “We have nothing to lose. We’ve played the course plenty of time. We just have to let it go. I think we have the capability to do it. We put ourselves where we wanted to be. I think we’re in good shape, so I’m excited to see what we can do with it (Tuesday).”
Harrison finished the day in sixth with a 309.
The Hoyas must find a way to pass Lakeside Evans (304), Cambridge (305) and Gainesville (306), but after difficult start, coach Dennis Attaway said he was happy with the way his team finished the round.
“We started out struggling a little bit early,” he said. “We battled back, though, and it says a lot about our resiliency. It’s been our thing this year. We start out slow, but we find ways to battle back.”
Mike Leanos shot 75 to lead Harrison. Drew Soupiset and Logan Attaway each shot 77, and Nick Cunninghan shot 80, as Harrison looks to build off its late-round momentum Tuesday.
“I don’t know if anyone is going to catch Johns Creek, but maybe we got that slow start out of the way (Monday),” Dennis Attaway said. “Maybe we can finish strong (Tuesday) and see what kind of ground we can make up.”
Sequoyah (313) was seventh.
The Chiefs got strong performances from Joseph Trlica (74), Garrett Armbrust (75) and Thomas Brumbeloe (76), but they will need to find another low scorer to make up any ground Tuesday.
Pope (321) was eighth, led by Jack Haller (76) and Carter Nelson (79) but no other player shot less than 83.
Allatoona’s Brenden Blomquist (74) had the third-best score among players who qualified as individuals.