The Martinsville Golf Club greeted golfers with an open front nine, but quickly sucked up shots with a back nine that became tight and tested the mental toughness of the strikers.
For the second straight year, Greencastle just missed advancing, finishing two shots from out of third place with a 309. Staring at the scoreboard as the numbers filtered in, the disappointment was evident on the face of GHS head coach Donovan Wheeler.
"Well, given the fact that it's two years in a row that we were this close -- it's painful," he said.
Wheeler said he told his team that one of the scenarios that could play out on Monday was that they could play well enough to advance, but get edged by an equally proficient team. That is exactly what happened.
Wheeler also acknowledged that although the circumstances were disappointing, his team should be proud of what they accomplished this season.
"What happened today doesn't take away from what we've done. In the end, this is golf. In the end with golf, the only thing you can do, the only thing you have any control over at all, is putting yourself in a position," he said.
"I feel bad for Luke (Crimmins) right now as a senior because that was his last crack at it, but I'm happy for Wade (Huber). He played a phenomenal round. As far as the others go, we're OK. I figure that in a couple of years, we'll be right back in this thing for another three or four year run," he said.
"In one of those times, things will fall our way. Today is pride and disappointment, satisfaction and frustration at the same time. It's paradox day," Wheeler added.
Huber will be the lone golfer advancing to the Center Grove Regional Thursday. Known as a grinder, Huber put together an impressive back nine score of 36 to secure his spot.
"This is a tremendous day for him because of the kind of golfer he's been all year," Wheeler said. "He's medaled basically three times and the other guys have medaled more. He's sort of been this role player. His job, not just this season, but last season was to scrap, claw and grind. That's been his role.
"Many of us knew he was good enough to do this. I think what he did against South Putnam last Tuesday when he shot 75 and I think this; to do it on the heels of that less than a week later, show what kind of golfer he is. I'm very happy for him and I'm proud of him," Wheeler concluded.
Huber led the Tiger Cubs with a 73, followed by Jimmy Wheeler's 77 and Crimmins' 78. Brad Haussin shot an 81 and Tyler Hopkins came in with an 88.
The Cloverdale Clovers finished the day in 10th place with a total of 345.
Cloverdale head coach Doug Wokoun saw Monday what he had been seeing all season long, a team that performs well, but had a few holes that bite them and make a difference.
"I think that, much like other times, we can go back and look at hole and say, 'If we would have played this hole better, we would have done much better as a team,'" he said. "Sam Jordan shoots a 91 with eight pars, which means that he played some holes extremely well, but not so on some others.
"It's been that way for us all year. We play -- I can't tell you -- probably have a dozen matches where I can even pick the hole out on the course where we're going to have trouble," Wokoun added.
Chris Arnold came to the clubhouse with a score of 75. He was on the cusp of advancing and had to wait until one of the final groups turned in scorecards. Arnold saw his chance of advancing slip away when a score just two strokes lower than his was posted.
Wokoun commented on the composure of his sophomore striker and thought he put together a great round.
"Chris had a great round. He just manufactured par after par," Wokoun commented. "He had to make some tough putts on the front, which he did. On the back, he had probably four birdie putts on the lip of the cup that didn't fall. Chris played very, very well today and he has nothing to be ashamed of.
"Overall, I'm not disappointed. I think our guys gave their best, and for the most part, you could see some good golf shots out there, we just didn't string them together like we needed to," he added.
The CHS head coach spoke about the competitiveness of the sectional and felt for the GHS squad.
"The other thing about that is, this is a very competitive sectional," Wokoun said. "I really feel for Greencastle because they worked really hard to get where they are and to be two strokes short is really a tough thing. I'm really happy to see Wade Huber moving on. He's a good young man and he's worked very hard and he's earned this opportunity."
Following Arnold's 75, Mike Wellington shot an 89, with Keith Hathorn adding a 90, Sam Jordan a 91 and Gary Williams carded a 94.
The 2009 season was a season of improvement for the South Putnam Eagles. The Eagles featured a young squad of golfers that head coach Brian McClure pointed out had made great strides late in the season.
"Dylan (Gilbert) shot very well," McClure said. "That was his best round of the year. He played really well and I'm really proud of him. As far as the team, we came along since conference. I think we shot over 400 at conference and we're down to 373 today. That's a huge difference."
In addition to Gilbert's 84, Alex Eickhoff added a 94, Dean Varvel a 95 and Alex Kelly a 99. Michael Nichols carded a 100 to close out the Eagles' scoring.
The team's youth is an aspect McClure believes will benefit them next season and for seasons to come.
"The attitude is great with this team," McClure said. "We're so young and everybody is coming back next year and I'm just really looking forward to next season and I'm excited about it. I think we'll get better and have a nice year next season. We're happy about where the program his headed."
As with South Putnam, the Cougars of North Putnam are in the middle of a youth movement. And as with the Eagles, North Putnam's head coach thought his team improved as the season wore on.
"I'm fairly pleased," NP head coach Nathan Martindale said. "This is the first sectional for every one of my players, so for them to come into this kind of setting and be able to come out and play fairly well, but for their first sectional it's a great experience. I'm hoping they learn from it for next year.
"We got better and that's the big thing. Our first match we shot a 240 and by the end of the season we were shooting low 200s. We improved in that aspect and with young kids that's all you can ask for," he said.
Greencastle senior Wade Huber will tee off at the Center Grove Regional at 8 a.m. Thursday at Hickory Stick Golf Course.
At Martinsville Golf Sectional
Avon 294, Plainfield 306, Martinsville 307, Greencastle 309, Brownsburg 310, Cascade 323, Monrovia 329, Tri-West 333, Mooresville 340, Cloverdale 345, Bethesda Christian 366, South Putnam 372, North Putnam 399
Greencastle -- Huber 73†, Wheeler 77, Crimmins 78, Haussin 81, Hopkins 88
Cloverdale -- Arnold 75, Wellington 89, Hathorn 90, Jordan 91, Williams 94
South Putnam -- Gilbert 84, Eickhoff 94, Varvel 95, Kelly 99, Nichols 100
North Putnam -- Detienne 96, Marlow 98, Smith 102, Volland 103, Snyder 110
† Denotes Center Grove Regional qualifier