E.A. Sports Today

One in the hand

Brantley edges Donoho to win 1A-2A substate at ACC, but may have choice to make, LeCroy medalist; White Plains wins 4A substate, Okins co-medalist

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
The second-year Brantley golf team left Anniston Country Club Monday afternoon with an intriguing dilemma brought on by the convergence of success of the school’s spring sports.
The Bulldogs won the Class 1A-2A South substate title by 11 shots over second qualifier Donoho, the defending state champions. 

But whether they make it to the first tee in the state tournament at Prattville next week remains a mystery.
The Bulldogs baseball team hosts Sweet Water in the Class 1A South championship series Wednesday and a win there sends them to the state finals at Paterson Field the same day as the golf tournament.
All five Brantley golfers play on the 27-7 baseball team and three of them are starters – No. 1 Jake Kilcrease (pitcher/shortstop), No. 3 Tucker Kilcrease (second base) and No. 5 Carson Jones (first base). They shot 77, 84 and 87, respectively, Monday.
If both teams qualify for their respective finals and the Bulldogs choose baseball, the golf tournament would be a three-team championship – Donoho and North qualifiers North Sand Mountain and Red Bay – Marvin Chou of the AHSAA said. 
Brantley shot 334 as a team on ACC’s par-70 layout. Donoho shot 345. Elba was the third-place team (373). Donoho’s Jacob LeCroy was low medalist with a 2-under-par 68.
Substate directors have until 10 a.m. Wednesday to send qualifying rosters to the Alabama Golf Association. Withdraws can occur after that time. 

“We’re just going day by day,” Bulldogs golf coach Roland Jones said. “I just told them (before the round) go out and do their best because nothing’s given. We hadn’t won a baseball game and we hadn’t won here. I want them to go out and do what they can to see and then we’ll just have to see what happens with the baseball. It’ll be tough to walk 18 holes and then go play a state championship baseball game. We’re probably going to have to choose one or the other.”
Jake Kilcrease said the players would favor baseball since the golf team played in the finals last year (finishing fourth).Jones said nothing would be decided until they meet with the state and school administrators. If Sweet Water (22-10) takes the baseball series, the point is moot. 

“It’s fun having that problem, to be good at two sports,” Kilcrease said. “We’re not going to play both. We’re going to play the baseball because we got to go to state last year in golf, so we’re going to take the baseball.”
Regardless whether Brantley goes, Donoho knows it’s going to defend its crown. In addition to LeCroy’s 68, the Falcons also counted 78 from county medalist Harrison Hughston, 90 from Holden Abernathy and 109 from Sam Payne.
“I don’t know if we’ll even see the scores from the (North) until we get to state … so we won’t know if we’ve got a shot until after the first round of the state,” Donoho coach Garrett Burgess said. “Our team isn’t as strong as it was last year but I think maybe if everybody can show up at the right time and do what they need to do I think we’ve got a chance to still win again. Everybody’s just got to do their part.”

Sectional and substate titles eluded LeCroy last year on his way to the state title, but he claimed both legs of the state triple crown this year. His round Monday was highlighted by four birdies, including three in a four-hole stretch coming around the turn.
“I was hoping I could make it with the team and I wouldn’t have to worry about making it individually,” the South Alabama signee said. “I wasn’t planning on having to make it individually, honestly. I was expecting our team to get in. I’m excited about defending. That’s obviously something I want to do, that way I can prove what’s going on, and hopefully I can do that.” 

Class 4A North Boys

SILVER LAKES – Kenny Okins bounced back from a slow start to win a piece of medalist for the second year in a row and lead White Plains to a substate championship repeat. It was the Wildcats’ eighth tournament win of the season.
The Wildcats shot 304 as a team, 16 better than Brooks, who beat Oneonta in a playoff for the second team spot.
“It was just a really clean day,” White Plains coach Chris Randall said. “We gradually increased the lead every few holes.”
Okins shot 1-over-par 73 to share medalist honors with Madison Academy’s Teagen Miller; there was no playoff. Okins was 3-over after five holes, then battled back to get to even par before bogeying his last hole. 
“It’s pretty cool being co-medalist for the second time in a row,” Okins said. “I missed a chip on 18, kind of aggressive with it trying to get under par, but it’s pretty cool doing this two years in a row.”
In addition to Okins’ 73, White Plains counted 74 from Andrew Miller, 77 from Gage Miller and 80 from Wesley Jenkins. Andrew Miller birdied 18 to tie Oneonta’s Will Patrick for third and beat Brooks’ reigning 5A state champion Justin Olive by one. The Wildcats didn’t count lone senior Gavin Burrage’s 82, but he finished 1-over on the back nine.

This will be White Plains’ seventh trip to the state tournament in the last eight years.  The Wildcats have finished second twice.

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