"It's good for him," Winfield coach Danny Mullins said of Williams' finish. "He wanted to finish his senior year and golf career at Winfield by taking the team [to states], but he qualified individually. It's the second time as an individual, he also did it two years ago as a sophomore, and it's a good way for him to go out. I think he's really matured this year."
The schools narrowly missed team inclusion as Winfield (242) finished third and Hurricane fourth (243), just three and four shots, respectively, behind second-place Huntington. The Highlanders were edged by just one shot by winner Cabell Midland (238) in an extremely close final result.
"They went and did the best they could do," Mullins said of his team. "Sometimes some other people do a better job and that's kind of what happened today."
The best showing by Kanawha Valley teams at any regional on Monday happened in the Class A event as Charleston Catholic and Buffalo pulled off a 1-2 finish, earning both a trip to the state tournament.
Catholic fired a 233, which would have put it just two shots out of the top two in Class AA, and Buffalo followed with a 240 led by Cory Hoshor's 74. Parkersburg Catholic's Ben Collie (79) and Gilmer County's Austin Cunningham (80) were the region's individual qualifiers.
The Irish have three players with state tournament experience, including last year's Class A medalist, sophomore Christian Casingal, and a runner-up in junior Aaron Persily.
While Catholic coach Bill Gillispie said his team started a little slow on Monday, he was happy with the finish and optimistic about his squad's chances in Wheeling.
"We're pretty confident that our guys have the ability to win this thing," Gillispie said. "We have a few things to iron out, but [the state tournament] is not new to us at all. Aaron has been there twice and with Christian winning it last year and Aaron finishing second, it gives us a little confidence. This is my ninth year and it seems like all nine years we actually play pretty good in Wheeling."
Over the past six years, Catholic has finished first three times and second three times, alternating each year. This time around, the Irish will try to pull off their first repeat title.
The AA event also had some local flavor as Poca punched a ticket to states with a combined 231, just one behind winner Scott. Herbert Hoover's Travis Gibson fired the low round of the day with a 74 and was joined by Nicholas County's Drew Ward as an individual qualifier.
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, ryan.pr...@wvgazette.com, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.