By JOHN SCHWARB
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 1, 2000
NORTH PORT -- Consider this one time when Countryside maybe, just maybe, did not mind losing to Palm Harbor University.
The Hurricanes had clearly the best day of the eight teams at Tuesday's Class 2A, Region 5 tournament, winning with a team score of 304, but the Cougars also secured a berth in next week's state tournament with a second-place 311.
Last week Countryside had the upper hand in winning the district tournament by 21 over the Hurricanes, but at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club PHU struck back, with scores of 73 (Jason Overton), 74 (Tim Sullivan), 77 (James Boothe) and 80 (Jason Elliot).
"I was thinking maybe third or fourth, knowing the way we'd played the last couple of big matches," said PHU coach Ken Clawson. "When I saw them today, on the practice ground, they had an intensity I hadn't seen before. I felt a little heartened right then that we had a shot."
Overton's 73 tied Nicholas Clark of Venice for lowest score.
And Clark made birdie on the first playoff hole to secure the first-place medalist's ribbon.
"It feels good, I almost finally had a fully solid round," Overton said.
"I make my birdies, but then I always make a couple bogeys and shoot about 75. I finally felt really good today and got down there. Seventy-three's a good number."
East Lake's Brad Quiri carded 75 on the 6,670-yard, par-72 layout, as did Countryside's Jimmy Fitzpatrick. The entire Cougars team played consistently though not quite error-free enough, with scores ranging from 75 to 80.
"We're pleased to get there, that's the main thing," said Cougars coach Greg Bryant.
"We're not too happy with what we did mentally on the golf course. Maybe it will help, we've been on top all year long, now it's Palm Harbor's turn -- for a few days. Then we'll come back."
Among the individual competitors, Largo's Jeff Spencer shot 79 and Boca Ciega's Daniel Francis shot 87.
2A DISTRICT 10 REGIONALS
Palm Harbor U. (304) -- Overton 73, Sullivan 74, Boothe 77, Elliot 80
Countryside (311) -- Fitzpatrick 75, Cosper 77, Issel 79, Bellamy 80, Ford 80
Venice (317) -- Clark 73, Collison 78, Coulthurst 82, Plesz 84, Schmidt 84
Sarasota Riverview (332) -- Ward 76, Linde 79, Pisa 88, Stoll 89
Estero (337) -- Steele 78, Baltrusaitis 84, Hunkins, 86, Lewis 89, Scott
East Lake (337) -- Quiri 75, Hill 81, Welsh 82, Peluso 99
Bradenton Manatee (343) -- Berube 79, Spagnola 85, Secret 86, Couscer 93
Sarasota (344) -- Berg 76, Medrak 88, Pflaum 89, Hill 91