No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast put a scare into Meridian, making up 10 shots by late in Tuesday's third round at the NJCAA Division II National Preview in Foley, Ala.
The Bulldogs, however, weren't able to close out the comeback, eventually finishing second by five shots.
"We made a run at them," Gulf Coast coach Tommy Snell said. "I think with three holes to play we were two shots behind."
No. 5 Meridian finished at 12-under for the 54-hole event, with Isaiah Jackson beating MGCCC's Brice Wilkinson (Fr. Madison Central/Madison) by three shots for medalist. Wilkinson shot 2-under 70 to finish at 2-under.
The field included five teams from the top 11 in the Bushnell Golfweek NJCAA Division II Coaches Poll. No. 8 Parkland finished third, followed by co-No. 10 Walters State. Co-Lin, the other No. 10, was seventh.
East Central, the other MACJC team in the field, finished fifth.
"We just stubbed our toe those first two rounds and never could get untracked," Snell said. "It's hard to make up that many shots on a good team."
Jackson Wedgeworth (So., West Jones/Soso) rebounded from a 5-over first round, shot 70-72 to close out the tournament and join Wilkinson on the All-Tournament Team.
Colby Entriken (So., Hancock/Pass Christian) had the fourth-lowest round of Tuesday after 78-82 on Monday.
"I was really proud of Colby," Snell said. "He had a really rough second round but shot 1-under that third round. That shows a lot of grit."
The event was played at GlenLakes Golf Club, which will host the NJCAA Division II National Championship in May. Counting Sunday's practice round, the teams played 72 holes, which matches the length of the championship event.
It was Gulf Coast's last event of the fall. In six events, the Bulldogs have two firsts, three seconds and a third.
"There were a lot of positives," Snell said. "We have to work on a few things. We're going into the offseason, and we're ready to do that. We're going to run our stats and see what we need to work on, and go from there."
|1. Meridian||296-286-294—876 (+12)|
|2. Gulf Coast||300-294-287—881 (+17)|
|3. Parkland||308-294-302—904 (+40)|
|4. Walters State||306-311-300—917 (+53)|
|5. East Central||310-314-304—928 (+64)|
|6. Andrew||311-315-310—936 (+72)|
|7. Copiah-Lincoln||311-321-318—950 (+86)|
|8. Mineral Area||328-319-321—968 (+104)|
|9. Coastal Alabama||335-320-347—1002 (+138)|
|10. Ancilla||357-337-341—1035 (+171)|
|2. Brice Wilkinson||72-72-70—214 (-2)|
|5. Jackson Wedgeworth||77-70-72—219 (+3)|
|T10. Colby Blake||73-78-74—225 (+9)|
|T10. Carter Nicholson*||74-79-72—225 (+9)|
|T16. Miles Jackson||80-74-77—231 (+15)|
|T16. Colby Entriken||78-82-71—231 (+15)|
|T28. Graham Evans*||72-82-83—237 (+21)|
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