COLLEGE PARK -- After learning that her team had fallen short in its bid for a third consecutive state golf title yesterday, Arundel coach Carol Nutt said to her team, "Oh well, I guess we'll just have to make it three out of four next year."
The Wildcats' two-day team score of 637 momentarily held its own on the leader board at the University of Maryland Golf Course but soon was overshadowed by that of runner-up Sherwood (631) and Class 3A-4A champion Quince Orchard (620) -- both of Montgomery County.
"We didn't do it, but we can't be disappointed," said Nutt. "Score-wise, they played, two days combined, about as well as I would have expected. There are some good teams out there and there was some good golf. That really could have gone any way among those four top teams."
Arundel junior Paul Wills, the Anne Arundel County and District V tournament champion, tied for second behind Quince Orchard's low medalist, Bart Mease. Mease, a 5-foot-8, 130-pound junior, finished with a 2-over-par 73 that gave him a two-round total of 143.
Wills' 74, coupled with Thursday's opening-round score of 72, earned him co-finalist honors with Danny Oddis of Cambridge-South Dorchester (74-72146).
"I'm not making excuses, but it took so long to play that I was waiting for every shot and I couldn't get anything going," said Wills, who finished 1-under on the front and had a two-stroke lead over Mease heading into the final nine holes.
"[Mease] didn't hit the ball that great, but he was getting the ball on the green and he handled the pace a little better than I did. Maybe I was just trying to hard."
Mease, too, was aware of the 5 1/2 -hour pace and that he was trailing Wills by a stroke on the turn, but he said he tried to block that out and stick with his game plan.
"Obviously, I hated to wait, but I still played my own game and tried not to let it affect me," said Mease. "I had a rocky start, but I got it back together and started hitting the ball better."
Old Mill senior Wendy Spry captured low-medalist honors in the 21-member girls competition. Despite her 40-putt round, Spry finished with a 46-4288, giving her a winning score of 174, four strokes ahead of finalist Laura Patterson of Cambridge-South Dorchester and five better than third-place finisher Julie Russun of Queen Anne's.
Perry Hall's Courtney Brett (94-93187) took sixth, and Glenelg's Andrea Bedingfield (95-93188) finished seventh.
"I thought I played poorly, but the pin placements were difficult and the length for women on this course is long, and that made it tough with the wind today," said Spry, who dedicated the victory to her grandfather, Ernie Spry. "I was hitting the ball OK, but once I got to the green, I had a little trouble."
"She's a pleasant transfer," said Old Mill coach Bruce Lawton. "She came in from overseas last February and I had her in class and she said she played. I found out today that she can play."