Consistency was the theme for the Carthage boys golf team on Thursday in the Joplin Invitational, with four players finishing within three strokes as the Tigers placed third overall.
Carson Trent led the way with an 85, which tied him for seventh overall; Austin Bunnell and Derek Catron each shot 86 to tie for 11th; MacKenzie Smart added an 87 and Logan Jones finished at 95.
A pair of Big 8 schools led in the team standings with Aurora posting a 337 and Lamar following at 343. Carthage was a shot out of second place at 344, Joplin finished at 348, Republic shot 356, Webb City finished with 419, College Heights added a 494 and McDonald County was a distant eighth at 519.
"Early in the year at the first tournament you never know who's good or not," Carthage head coach Lowell Catron said. "I was glad to see Republic there today, they're in our conference and now they've moved up to Class 4 and they're in our district. I was happy to be paired with Joplin and Republic, and I was actually pleased with our scores and our consistency. It's just been very frustrating this spring. The weather is killing our golf practice and we've gone almost two weeks without any kind of practices at all because of spring break and the weather, so I was really pleased with their scores considering we haven't had much practice."
The weather was also responsible for the postponement of matches scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of this week. Monday's match against Joplin and Webb City at Twin Hills may not be rescheduled, but Tuesday's match against Joplin and Webb City has been rescheduled for April 9.
Catron said he saw a lot on Thursday his team can improve on, and the improvement will come when the team is able to practice more consistently.
"I saw a lot of missed clubbing," he said. "We were hitting over greens or short of greens, and it's just tough scoring conditions this time of year anyway. I think the boys will continue to keep improving."
Because of postponements and cancellations, Wednesday's triangular with Joplin and Webb City at Briarbrook officially teed off the season.
Joplin shot 171, Carthage shot 180 and Webb City shot 200.
Trent led the Tigers with a 40, Bunnell shot 45, Smart shot 46, Catron finished at 49 and Jones added a 50.
Carthage will compete in the Bird Dog Invitational at 8:30 a.m. Monday at Briarbrook in Carl Junction.