Ripley golf finished as the MHSAA Class 4A Boys Golf State Runner-Up for the second year in a row after competing in last week's state tournament held at the Pontotoc Country Club. Pictured from left, Craig Bullock, Jack Conner, Clay Adams, Jake Moffitt, Bo Barefield and Cole Adams.

PONTOTOC • Coming in to the MHSAA Class 4A Boys Golf State Championship, Ripley knew it would have its hands full with West Lauderdale.

The Tigers squeaked past the Knights by one stroke last season in the state tournament to finish as the runner-ups. And despite a long winning streak, Ripley’s fears came to fruition as West Lauderdale bested the Tigers by 15 strokes to claim the 4A title on Tuesday, May 3 at the Pontotoc Country Club.

“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” said Ripley head coach Chad Brown. “West Lauderdale had a good team last year. We saw it first-hand. And like us, they brought most of their guys back so it was going to come down to who played the best over a two-day span. I didn’t think we played bad at all, it was just a matter of them playing a little bit better. That made the difference.”

West Lauderdale shot a team score of 302 in the opening round, edging Ripley by 11 strokes. The Tigers responded with a much better round on Day 2, shooting a 305. But the Knights improved their score as well, shooting a tournament-low 301 to hold their position atop the leaderboard.

West Lauderdale’s Will Thompson shot a tournament-low 67 (-5) on the first day and Ripley’s Jake Moffitt followed with a 70 (-2). Those were the only two rounds under par over the 36-hole tournament.

Thompson finished as the state’s best with a two-day score of 139 (67-72), while Moffitt landed in second with his score of 142 (70-72).

“Jake played awesome yet again,” said Brown. “I really thought he was playing some of his best golf down the stretch and it showed at the state tournament.”

Craig Bullock finished in seventh place individually with his score of 154 (+10) and Clay Adams finished in a three-way tie for eighth place at 156 (+12). Cole Adams concluded the Tigers’ scoring with a 166 (+22).

“I’m still proud of our guys for a second straight year of being the 4A runner-ups,” said Brown. “We’re going to miss Jack (Conner) being out there with us, but everybody else is returning and I think we have a lot of room to grow with those guys that are coming back. We used last year’s second place finish as motivation to get better, and I thought we did that. We won a lot of tournaments this year because of those improvements. Now, we get the chance to make ourselves even better so we can hopefully win the whole thing this time next year.”

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