E.A. Sports Today

LeCroy, Donoho lead at state

Donoho starting to put it together in state finals, grabs first-round lead in Class 1A-2A boys; LeCroy holds share of individual lead

By East Alabama Sports Today

MUSCLE SHOALS – Garrett Burgess has been waiting for his Donoho golf team to deliver a round like Monday’s this whole second half of the season. The Falcons couldn’t have come through at a better time.

The Falcons may have been winning tournaments in the run-up to the state tournament, but not really playing as well as they could. They put it together in the opening round of the Class 1A-2A boys state tournament at RTJ-The Shoals and opened a comfortable lead going into Tuesday’s final round.

They shot 308 as a team and lead defending champion Westbrook Christian by 20 shots with an eye toward beating the Warriors as badly as they lapped the Falcons last year.

“You could tell they all realized what’s at stake,” Burgess said. “There were a little bit different mannerisms out there on the course today compared to the last little bit. They did a lot of stuff in the practice rounds to get ready for this. It looked like they were really focused for 18 holes.”

Jacob LeCroy was the sharpest. He hit 17 greens in regulation, shot 3-under-par 69 and shared the overnight individual lead with Red Bay’s Codey Cleveland.

LeCroy had three birdies and an eagle in his round on The Schoolmaster course. The eagle came on a 10-foot putt at No. 9 and got him to 1-under at the turn. He nearly holed out for another eagle on 11 and tapped in for birdie, had a three-putt bogey on 12 (lipping out a four-footer for birdie), and then birdied 15 from 20 feet and 18 from four feet to close.

“I played really good today, really good,” LeCroy said. “I had a lot of good putts for birdie early in the round, but didn’t make a putt the first eight holes. I’ve got hope for tomorrow. It could have been better today, but I’m not complaining.

“My brother said he wasn’t coming unless I was in contention. I guess he’s coming now.”

The Falcons also counted a 77 from county champion Harrison Hughston, a 79 from Buddy Ray and an 83 from Jack Svensen. Ray closed his round with a birdie-par finish.

“That was huge,” Burgess said. “We knew Buddy and Holden (Abernathy) were the ones we were going to have to count on; one of them had to play good.”

CLASS 4A BOYS

White Plains shot 313 as a team and is solidly in second place, 15 shots behind leader UMS-Wright going into the final round.

Gage Miller’s 74 was the Wildcats’ low round; he’s currently fifth individually. The freshman had 16 pars and two bogeys.

The Wildcats also counted a 79 from sub-state medalist Kenny Okins and 80s by Nathan Griffin and Wesley Jenkins.

Oneonta’s Cole Davidson birdied three of his last four holes and four of his last seven to shoot 32 on the back to complete a 6-under 66 for the individual lead.

CLASS 3A BOYS

Pleasant Valley, playing in the state tournament for the first time since 2005, shot 463 and was fourth behind Glencoe. Ethan Johnson posted the Raiders’ low round, an 88 that included two bounce-back birdies.

“We didn’t have our best day and the kids were disappointed, but it was a great experience for our older kids and a great learning experience for Damon (Parr),” PV coach Ronnie Preston said.

CLASS 4A-5A GIRLS

County champion Lexee Cunningham shot 79, Hanna Dyar 83 and Baylie Webb 84 as White Plains posted a team 246, good for third place, 12 shots out of the lead and seven shots ahead of fourth-place Trinity.

Cunningham made back-to-back birdies on 7 and 8 to get back to even par in her round and was even through 12 holes.

Randolph’s Michaela Morard is running away with the individual race after a course-record 64 on the 5,328-yard Schoolmaster course. She had six birdies in a row at one point and nine in her last 11 holes – and she started her round with a double bogey.

CLASS 6A GIRLS

Oxford, playing in the state tournament for the first time, posted a 281 as a team and stands in third place behind leader Muscle Shoals (239) and Hartselle (248).

Kayla Huckeba posted the Lady Jackets’ low round, an 86 that included a pair of birdies. Anna Bolton shot 94 and Kaylee Reaves counted a 101.

“I think we were a little tight at first; we kind of struggled a little at first,” Oxford coach David Weeks said. “It is what it is. I’m proud that we’re here; this girls are proud that we accomplished this.

“I think we can go out tomorrow and be relaxed and just play and not have to be so tight. I think we’ll play a lot better tomorrow.”

GIRLS 1A-3A

Glencoe’s Lauren Cole shot 5-over 77 and is tied for fourth, three shots out of the individual lead. Her two teammates struggled and the Lady Jackets shot 317 as a team.

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