TUCSON - Paige Peterson meet Marv Levy.
The Desert Vista boys golf team finished as the state runner-up for the third straight season and Peterson has a similar take on the accomplishment as Levy did when his Buffalo Bills lost in the Super Bowl for four straight seasons.
"I would never saw it was frustrating, because I just wanted these guys to play well, and they did," he said. "I'm proud of the team for finishing second in this very competitive field."
The Thunder finished three shots back of Brophy, which won it with a 1-over 561 in the two-day event at the par 70 Dell Urich Golf Course.
None of Brophy Prep's five state tournament participants got a chance to play in last year's event. But many got to watch, and didn't like what they saw.
Determined not to let another opportunity slip away, the Broncos' five junior entrants came out motivated and powered the school to the Division I boys golf championship, the school's first golf title in 12 years.
The Broncos' 561 was three shots better than Desert Vista and four ahead of Hamilton and defending Division I champ Red Mountain.
"We saw what happened last year, and wanted to avoid that," said junior Tyler Kertson, referring to a senior-laden 2010 Brophy team that was among the state title favorites yet finished far back in the pack. "We just wanted to come out fast."
That fast start - which included a hole-in-one by Kertson on the fifth hole on Friday - enabled the Broncos to hold off their challengers on a day when the scores were far higher due to the tees being moved back.
Brophy coach Jon Shores, finishing his 11th year with the team, said his players were out to prove they could have led the school to a title a year ago. To that end, he said he saw clutch contributions from his entire lineup.
Kertson was the top individual on the team, finishing fourth with a two-day score of 5-under 135, while Ryan Theisen was 12th at even par for the tournament.
Theisen and Blake Toolan were especially solid down the stretch, both notching birdies on the 16th hole to essentially clinch the title.
"That's probably what won it for us," Shores said.
Peterson was happy with the Thunder's effort as they were led by senior Cody McManus, who finished with at 136.
"I'm proud of the team for finishing second in this very competitive field," Hamilton said. "I just wanted these guys to play well, and they did."
In addition to McManus the Thunder were led by three sophomores, including Randy Ross, who tied for sixth.
"We'll definitely have a good nucleus for next season," Peterson said.
Mountain Pointe finished a little further back in the pack as the team struggled with 36 holes in two days after playing 9-hole events most of the season.
"Just the desire to get to state was enormous," Pride coach Tony Ramseyer said. "Playing two days is very ... mind-racking. I felt my guys got tired after 16 holes today."
Mountain Pointe's best individual was junior Austin Fletcher, who shot 1-under 141.
"He had a pretty good two days," Ramseyer said. "To finish 1-under in a state tournament is pretty good."
While the team title went down to the wire, the individual medalist honors were taken in runaway fashion by Pinnacle senior Zach Wright. The LSU commit followed up Friday's 8-under 62 with a 63, finishing an astounding 15-under for the championship and besting runner-up Anthony Quezada of Glendale Independence by five shots.
"I was just kind of hitting everything well," Wright said. "My approach shots were going to like within three feet" of the hole. I had a lot of tap-in birdies."
Wright said he also holed three putts of more than 40 feet, two for birdie and one for eagle.
Eleven golfers finished the two days under par, including Hamilton's Ken Iida, who took third place with a 6-under 134.
It was a difficult weekend for the Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe programs as each finished in the bottom half of the team standings in a 10-team field at Aguila Golf Course in Phoenix
The Thunder ended up sixth and the Pride were last.
Individually, Mountain Pointe senior Darian Spivey had the best 36-hole effort as she finished with a 75-75--150 and Sami Springs was the bext best Mountain Pointe golfer at 91-83--174.
For the Thunder senior Kassidy Long-Goheen closed out here career with a 78-74--152 and was backed by teammate Cady Espinoza's 87-84--171.
Petersen is a Tucson-based freelance writer.