E.A. Sports Today

LeCroy finishes strong

Donoho sophomore scores two eagles on back nine, shoots season-best 69 to finish T-3; Falcons finish second as team

By East Alabama Sports Today

OPELIKA – Jacob LeCroy has been waiting all season for a round like he had Tuesday. It finally came through on the biggest stage, in his final high school tournament of the year.

The Donoho sophomore shot a final-round 3-under-par 69 on Grand National’s Lake Course – with two eagles on the back nine — and shot up the leaderboard to finish tied for third in the Class 1A-2A boys state championship.

It was his first sub-70s round of the season. It lifted him into a tie with first-round co-leader Ike Alexander of Mars Hill at 2-over 146 and helped the Falcons finish second as a team behind runaway three-time champion Westbrook Christian.

The Falcons shot 334 to finish at 650. Westbrook Christian shot a final-round 3-over 291 to finish at 598.

“I finally broke that barrier; it was really good,” LeCroy said. “I’ve been hearing from a lot of people I play with that all it takes is one or two rounds and you start figuring out what to do. It changes everything once you get a couple.

“I didn’t do anything stupid. I played like I’ve played all year, but I didn’t make a mistake today and I made more putts. I had to figure out that feeling.”

Westbrook’s John Hilliard Catanzaro posted a 9-under-par 63 (32-31) to win medalist at 135. His round featured six birdies, two eagles and a bogey. The Warriors also got a 69 from individual runner-up William Wethington.

Catanzaro and LeCroy played in the same pairing. They had a best-ball score of 11-under 61 (30-31).

“That was an unbelievable round, one of the greatest rounds I’ve ever seen played in person; it was unreal,” LeCroy said. “He didn’t get lucky, he hit golf shots. It was really hard to keep up with that. I was trying my best; through six holes I was even par and was five down.”

But then he joined the fun. He turned in 1-under with birdies at 5 and 9, and then eagled both par-5s on the back. The eagle on No. 12 came after hitting a 7-iron from 172 yards to about 10 feet and the other on No. 14 came on a chip-in through a small patch of fringe that would have left him a birdie if it didn’t duck into the hole.

He had never made two eagles in a round before. “It was awesome,” he said.

“Jacob played really good and I was ecstatic for him,” Donoho coach Garrett Burgess said. “He was due for a sub-par round like that for a long time. He’s played well enough basically all year to shoot under par, but somehow he shoots 76, 79 with five or six three-putts; you just wanted to pull your hair out. It was nice to see him put all the things together. I think this is kind of an icebreaker for him to pull some rounds together.”

The Falcons also counted an 82 from Jack Svensen, 90 from Harrison Hughston and 93 from Buddy Ray. While they were clearly the next-best team in the field, they just didn’t have enough firepower to overcome their nine-shot deficit when the Warriors’ top two players were shooting 12-under-par.

“There’s not a whole lot you could do,” Burgess said. “Now that everything is over with, I think (second) was a good outcome for us. I hadn’t been part of the team that long, but I’ve had a lot of parents and other people say compared to where we were last year to come and finish second this year was unbelievable.

“We were lucky enough to be there and have somewhat of a chance to possibly do something special. I have high hopes for our team next year. I really think the team wants to do a lot of good things. I think they all know in the back of their mind that next year could be our year. We’ve got a really good shot competing at the highest level next year.”

Among the individual competitors, White Plains’ Nathan Griffin shot 84 to finish at 171 in boys 4A and teammate P.J. Sotelo shot 95 to finish at 183.

AHSAA GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP
CLASS 1A-2A BOYS

Team scores
Westbrook Christian 307-291—598
Donoho 316-334—650
St. Luke’s 332-332—664
Altamont 392-416—808

Individual Top 10
John Hilliard Catanzaro, Westbrook 72-63—135
William Wethington, Westbrook 74-69—143
Ike Alexander, Mars Hill 72-74—146
Jacob LeCroy, Donoho 77-69—146
Jackson Bowman, Westbrook 75-76—151
Dylan Moulton, Kinston 76-79—155
Jacob Wiginton, Shades Mt. Chr. 80-76—156
Cody Maddox, Marion County 80-77—157
Dawson Farni, St. Luke’s 81-77—158
Connor Sells, St. Luke’s 77-82—159

Team results
WESTBROOK (307-291—598) – Jackson Bowman 75-76—151, John Hilliard Catanzaro 72-63—135, Jared Patterson DQ-83, J.P. Pirani 86-63—169, William Wethington 74-69—143.
DONOHO (316-334—650) – Holden Abernathy 87-100—187, Harrison Hughston 80-90—170, Jacob LeCroy 77-69—146, Buddy Ray 79-93—172, Jack Svensen 80-82—162.
ST. LUKE’S (332-332—664) – Dawson Farni 81-77–158, Chase Foster 89-90–179, Cooper Humphrey 105-106—211, John Norris 85-83—168, Connor Sells 77-82—159.
ALTAMONT (392-416—808) – Julian Collier 86-105—191, Buddy Gardner 102-103—205, Malcolm Larkin 112-116—228, Robert Luke 92-92—184.

CLASS 4A BOYS
Team scores
UMS-Wright 284-298–582
Oneonta 304-301–605
Haleyville 320-328–648
Westminster Christian 356-338–694

Individual Top 5
J.P. Cave, UMS-Wright 70-69–139
Andrew Graves, UMS-Wright 66-76–142
Stewart Miller, Oneonta 70-73–143
Felix Ronderos, UMS-Wright 72-74–146
Will Patrick, Oneonta 77-71–148
Rily McRoy, Westminster 73-75–148
Others
Nathan Griffin, White Plains 87-84–171
P.J. Sotelo, White Plains 88-95–183

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