E.A. Sports Today

Golf, tennis update

White Plains girls post their best round of the year to finish second at Goose Pond; Donoho, Oxford players alive in state tennis

By East Alabama Sports Today

SCOTTSBORO – Sophomore Lexee Cunningham played the best her coaches have ever seen her play, White Plains counted three rounds in the 80s and the Wildcats left Goose Pond with a lot of confidence for returning to the sub-state golf tournament there in a couple weeks.

Cunningham eagled her first hole of the day and birdied her last to shoot 81 and lead the Lady Wildcats to a season-low 251 that was good for a tie for second in the Scottsboro Girls Invitational.

White Plains tied with Westbrook Christian. Hoover won the tournament 224. Alexandria shot 272.

It was the Lady Wildcats’ last tournament before sectionals next Tuesday at Gunters Landing. The top teams return to Goose Pond to play for spots in the state tournament May 8.

“It gave us some confidence that if we play like we’re capable, good things are going to happen for us,” White Plains assistant coach Justin Mallicoat said.

In addition to Cunningham’s 81, the Lady Wildcats counted an 83 from Hanna Dyar and an 87 from seventh-grader Baylie Webb. Neither Webb nor Cunningham had seen the course before the round.

They finished strong. Dyar, a freshman, played her final eight holes in 2-over-par. Cunningham played her final eight holes in 1-under.

The Lady Wildcats got off to a good start — 3-under on their first hole — but their key stretch of the round was holes 14 through 17. They went through the stretch in bogey-free 2-under with Dyar and Cunningham both making birdie on 16.

“The finish is what I loved seeing,” Mallicoat said. “We talk all the time about finishing. All three of them found a way. I think, finally, they are starting to understand what they can do and what they can accomplish. It was just the fact they needed to do it and do it in tournament play; they needed that confidence.”

Donoho, Oxford players reach state tennis semifinals: Donoho has three girls singles and a boys doubles team still alive in the Class 1A-3A state tennis semifinals in Mobile.

Emma Wiedmer (No. 2), Virginia Hutto (No. 3) and Marella Hudson (No. 5) all reached the girls semifinals. Hudson won two matches in straight sets.

The Falcons’ No. 2 doubles team of Jake Walker and Norwood Hodges have a date in their 1A-3A boys semifinals.

Oxford has one doubles team left in 6A boys. Jake Hammond, a first-year varsity tennis player, and Chase White have made it to the No. 2 doubles semifinals after winning two matches. White also won a singles match before falling in the quarterfinals.

“It’s a great accomplishment for the entire team,” Oxford coach Jesse Martin said. “They went to state last year and didn’t win a match. All of the boys were excited to have some success in the tournament this year.

“Jake has had a fantastic year. For only playing tennis for three months and being handed his first loss of the season in the quarterfinals of the state tournament says a lot for him. He has had a great year.”

The Pleasant Valley boys, in the state tournament for the first time, won three first-round matches in singles (No. 1 Caleb Kirk, No. 2 Dakota Herron, No. 3 Trent Findley).

Cherokee County’s Cole Curtis and Loftin Worthington are in the semifinals of No. 3 doubles in 4A-5A.

Houston Academy held a slim 41-40 lead over six-time defending 1A-3A state boys’ tennis champion Montgomery Academy and Altamont.

James Tolbert of Montgomery Academy beat Cooper Montgomery of Donoho to advance out of the semis. Monday. He won all three matches Monday to reach the No. 1 singles finals for the first time. He captured No. 2 singles crown in 2016. Braden Read of Houston Academy was playing Alex Cochran of Westbrook Christian in the other semifinal.

Montgomery Academy’s girls held a 40-33 lead over Bayside Academy in the girls’ 1A/3A competition Monday night. Houston Academy was third with 26 points and Altamont was fourth with 25. The Lady Eagles have won the state title eight of the last nine years.

Briarwood Christian held a six-point lead in Class 4A-5A boys. UMS-Wright, winners of the state title for the last eight years, is fourth with 29 points. The UMS-Wright girls, also riding an eight-year winning streak, leads Briarwood Christian 44-42 heading into Tuesday’s final day.

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