KEARNEY, Neb. — Eli Fox lined up for a bogey putt on the 18th hole Tuesday. The Grand Island Central Catholic junior had no clue how important that putt was.

“I just wanted to make it,” Fox said.

Fox eyed the putt, stepped forward and tapped it. The ball hit the edge of the cup, rolled around and fell in.

“I barely made it,” Fox said.

As Fox walked off the green, coach Craig Rupp approached him.

“He came off the green and said, ‘You know you needed to make that for us to win by one,’ ” Rupp said.

No, Fox didn’t know. But that putt gave GICC its second straight Class C state title and fourth in five years. The Crusaders finished the day with a 324 at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course. Battle Creek was second at 325.

Rupp and all the other GICC players and fans around the 18th green knew the situation. Fox needed a bogey for the Crusaders to win. A double bogey and there would have been a team playoff.

Fox finished tied for second with Hartington Cedar Catholic’s Riley Kuehn with a 76. Cambridge senior Preston Carbaugh fired a 74 to take the individual title.

GICC’s Jack Goering tied for fifth with a 77 after a double bogey on the 18th. 

It was Goering and Fox again leading the Crusaders, like they have all season.

“They stepped up today again,” Rupp said. “They just really took the team on their shoulders, but take nothing away from the other three guys. They’ve played really well.”

It was the third state title for Goering, who will play basketball at Hastings College next season. Goering was on the state championship team as a freshman in 2016, then missed his sophomore season with a back injury.

Team scoring: Grand Island Central Catholic 324, Battle Creek 325, Oakland-Craig 349, Lincoln Christian 354, Johnson County 363, Kearney Catholic 367, Kimball 368, David City 372, BRLD 375, Hartington Cedar Catholic 376, Lincoln Lutheran 377, Yutan 378, Doniphan-Trumbull 384, Valentine 401, Perkins County 409


Preston Carbaugh, Cambridge 74

Riley Kuehn, Hartington CC 76

Eli Fox, Grand Island CC 76

Ian Lundquist, Oakland-Craig 76

Jake Hagerbaumer, Logan View 77

Jack Goering, Grand Island CC 77

Luke Stueve, Battle Creek 79

Ty Heimes, Battle Creek 80

Will Elgert, Yutan 81

Griffin Hendricks, Doniphan-Trumbull 81

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