E.A. Sports Today

Looking to charge

Donoho’s boys, White Plains’ girls in catch-up mode after opening round of AHSAA golf championships; both expect better days Tuesday

Donoho’s Jacob LeCroy blasts out of a greenside bunker on the back nine of the Lake Course Monday.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OPELIKA — When Garrett Burgess was a player he used to not mind being a few reasonable shots back going into the final round of a tournament. It allowed him to be more aggressive with his play and make the leaders play to win.

As a coach he’s hoping his Donoho golf team follows his lead Tuesday as it tries to chase down an AHSAA Class 1A-2A boys state championship.

The Falcons had a “somewhat mediocre” day on the Lake Course at RTJ-Grand National Monday that may be just the set up they need for a final-round charge. They shot 316 as a team to stand in second place, nine shots behind two-time reigning 3A champion Westbrook Christian going into Tuesday’s final 18.

“It probably did us well to play somewhat mediocre today,” Burgess said. “It’ll give us a chance tonight to regroup and basically just be aggressive and not worry what tomorrow holds.

The Falcons counted a 77 from Jacob LeCroy, 79 from Buddy Ray and 80s from Jack Svensen and Harrison Hughston. Holden Abernathy (87) rounded up the lineup. Westbrook Christian had three scores in the 70s, led by John Hilliard Catanzaro, whose even-par 72 is tied for the overnight individual lead.

“I love where we’re at rather than being in front by 1 or 2; it’s easier to win from behind than it is to hold a lead,” Burgess said. “It seems like whenever you play from behind you can make things happen whereas it seems like only bad things can happen when you have the lead.

“So, I like where the boys are. I think they’ll sleep well knowing they’ve got a better round in them tomorrow than they did today. Had we played really good today and been one back or a few up, it would be probably a little different situation coming into tomorrow whereas now it’s ceiling high and we can play a lot better than we could today.”

White Plains coach Chris Randall is feeling the same about his team after the two-time reigning champion Lady Wildcats posted 262. They sit in third place, 11 shots out of a tight race at the top in 4A-5A girls. Trinity leads 251, with UMS-Wright a shot behind.

The Lady Wildcats counted an 82 from Hanna Dyar, an 86 from Lexee Cunningham and a 93 from Baylie Webb. Dyar played her final eight holes in even par with two birdies; Cunningham followed each of her three blow-up holes with either a par or a birdie.

“I really believe we’re going to play better tomorrow,” Randall said. “Is that going to be enough to overcome the (deficit)? I don’t know, but I believe we’re going to play better … They’re not putting too much pressure on themselves; they’re more determined than anything. They like being in a good battle. It’ll be fun to see what they’re made of. They’re definitely not out of it.”

Back on the boys side, Donoho nudged a few shots closer to the lead and for a few moments thought it caught a big scoring break when Westbrook’s Jared Patterson was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.

It cost the Warriors Patterson’s 82 (he can still play Tuesday) and they had to count an 86 in its place — to go with three scores in the 70s.

Upon further discussion in the scoring area, it was determined Patterson counted a 6 instead of a 7 on the par-3 15th, failing to account for a swing he made with an intent to hit a shot. He was playing in a group with Ray, but Ray was not his marker; Burgess was observing the play on the hole from his coach’s cart.

“I didn’t want to do that, that was hard for me,” Ray said. “It’s not fun doing that, but I just don’t think that should have happened.”

Patterson and Ray spoke by the scoreboard after the ruling was made and left amicably.

Among the individual competitors, White Plains’ Nathan Griffin shot 87 and P.J. Sotelo 88 in boys 4A, Oxford’s Kayla Huckeba shot 90 in 6A girls and Alexandria’s county champion Abby Stevens shot 79 in girls 4A-5A.

Huckeba’s round was highlighted by a hole-out from 120 yards for birdie on Lake No. 2. Stephens birdied her second hole of the day and was 1-under through five. She also birdied her final hole of the day.

Catanzaro’s round was highlighted by a stretch on the back nine that included four straight birdies to get him to 2-under. He fell back to even par and a share of the lead with Ike Alexander of Mars Hill with a double bogey on the par-3 17th.

Team scores

Westbrook Christian 307
Donoho 316
St. Luke’s 332
Altamont 392

Individual Top 10
John Hilliard Catanzaro, Westbrook 72
Ike Alexander, Mars Hill 72
William Wethington, Westbrook 74
Jackson Bowman, Westbrook 75
Dylan Moulton, Kinston 76
Connor Sells, St. Luke’s 77
Jacob LeCroy, Donoho 77
Buddy Ray, Donoho 79
Jack Svensen, Donoho 80
Harrison Hughston, Donoho 80
Cody Maddox, Marion County 80
Jacob Wiginton, Shades Mt. Christian 80

Team results
WESTBROOK (307) – Jackson Bowman 75, John Hilliard Catanzaro 72, Jared Patterson DQ, J.P. Pirani 86, William Wethington 74.
DONOHO (316) – Holden Abernathy 87, Harrison Hughston 80, Jacob LeCroy 77, Buddy Ray 79, Jack Svensen 80.
ST. LUKE’S (332) – Dawson Farni 81, Chase Foster 89, Cooper Humphrey 105, John Norris 85, Connor Sells 77.
ALTAMONT (392) – Julian Collier 86, Buddy Gardner 102, Malcolm Larkin 112, Robert Luke 92.

Team scores

Trinity 251
UMS-Wright 252
White Plains 262
Arab 275

Individual Top 10
Sophie Burks, Trinity 71
Karlee Allen, Northside 76
Abby Stevens, Alexandria 79
Lauren Graham, UMS-Wright 80
Erika Allen, Northside 81
Hanna Dyar, White Plains 82
Emma Pittman, Trinity 83
Lauren Gilchrist, UMS-Wright 84
Reagan Malone, Arab 85
Robyn Blakey, Leeds 85

Team results
TRINITY (251) – Sophie Burks 71, Mary Grace Etheredge 97, Emma Pittman 83, Tatum Willis 116.
UMS-WRIGHT (252) – Lauren Gilchrist 84, Lauren Graham 80, Maizie Summersell 88, Brooke Swain 96.
WHITE PLAINS (261) – Allison Arenth 98, Lexee Cunningham 86, Hanna Dyar 82, Baylie Webb 93.
ARAB (275) – Reagan Malone 85, Grace Narrell 86, Anna Ray Stidham 153, Autumn Tidwell 104.

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