Three area boys prep golf teams found themselves in a 1-2-3 finish Saturday at the Nob North Invitational.
The winner was a newer face.
North Murray, a third-year program, won by one stroke over Dalton and six strokes over host Northwest Whitfield.
In girls competition, Cahoun won, with the host Lady Bruins runners-up.
For the boys, the Mountaineers scored a 320 to top established programs and regular region title winners Dalton and Northwest. LaFayette (342), Calhoun (346), Cartersville (349), Southeast Whitfield (393) and Coahulla Creek (398) rounded out the field in the first-year tournament at the Cohutta course. Ringgold had one golfer compete and so was not eligible for team honors in six-play, four-count format for boys teams.
Brandon Parrish, Colby Hipp and Ryan Ensley each shot 6-over-par 78 for North Murray with Tyler Duckett (86) rounding out the team’s scoring. Adrian Patino (88) and Tanner West (96) also competed for North Murray.
Mountaineers coach Keith Robinette was happy with the win, but said his team can shoot better.
“We shot 307 earlier in the year,” he said. “We’re usually at the 310 or 315 area. My big thing is getting three guys in the 70s and one in the mid 80s.”
Hipp said each Mountaineer had “a few bad holes that could’ve been better,” but it did not factor into where the team finished.
“We posted four scores that were good enough to win, and that’s what matters,” said Hipp, a junior, who added this is the Mountaineers’ first senior group — Parrish, Ensley, Duckett and Patino are in their final season — and watching the program grow to new heights has been a pleasure.
“The majority of our team actually started out as freshmen at Murray County. I’m glad that I got to play with them my entire high school career.”
Northwest coach Jim McGrew said team scores were “around 10 strokes too high” and attributed it to the wind. Even with a battle against weather conditions, he still believes his Bruins could’ve had a stronger showing and maybe even a win.
“With the way we entered the turn, I was hoping to get closer to 310,” he said, “but we didn’t play as well on the second nine holes.”
Scoring for Northwest were medalist Sam Speights (76), Silas Ledford (80), Trevor Goodman (82) and Ethan Hayes (88). Clay Kittle (98) and Tyler Linder (101) also competed.
Coach Chad Jordan was more focused on his team playing well after a sluggish start than the fact that the Catamounts came up just short.
“To be honest with you, we didn’t start out great but the guys really battled back,” he said. “North Murray is a really good team and for us to be with them is good.”
McLean Davies and Spencer Peters led the Cats with rounds of 78, and Patrick Sims (79) followed. Jacob Brown, William Duffie and Will Smith all tied at 86 for Dalton’s fourth counting round.
“A lot of different guys have shown they can score,” Jordan said. “We had three guys in the 70s and we just need to get that fourth.”
Southeast’s scorers were Andrew Head (90), Ryan Collins (97), Eric Sosebee (102) and Trey Terry (104). For Coahulla Creek, Tyler Lindsey and Alex Canady shot 91 and Ian Conway, Austin Cole and Austin Lansing each shot 108. Storm Whitfield (112) also competed.
The Bruins also had a JV team compete and score a 376. Chad Flanders (85), Wesley York (90), Nathan Ensley (95) and Chip Brown (106) had counting rounds. MaKray Kyer (110) also competed.
Sims, Davies, Peters, Parrish, Hipp, Ensley and Speights all earned all-tournament honors.
In the girls tourney, a four-play, two-count format, Northwest (185) finished seven strokes behind Calhoun (178). Cartersville (191) was third, ahead of Atlanta’s St. Pius X (230) and Coahulla Creek (244).
The Lady Bruins’ scorers were Marlee Bingham (91) and Taylor Boyd (94). Alicia Cole (99) and Whitney Graves (119) also competed.
“The way we’ve been playing, breaking 200 has been our goal,” Lady Bruins coach John Linder said, noting that even though Cole’s round did not count it still was a significant number. “It has been maybe four or five years since we’ve had three girls in double digits. This is a good showing, especially a week and a half before region.”
The Lady Colts’ scorers were Abbi Tate (120) and Dallas Coker (124). Madison Zerbe (136) also competed.
Calhoun’s Kaitlyn Smith was the medalist with an 86. She was joined on the all-tournament team by teammate Amber Parker (92), Cartersville’s Katie Knight (90) and Boyd and Bingham.
• Dalton’s Brendie Rockholt shot an 8-over 80 as the Lady Cats took third at the Brookwood Invitational in Snellville.
Rockholt teamed with Ashleigh Peters (93) for a 173 to finish 18 strokes behind state power Milton (155), which won the event at Summit Chase Country Club.
• Northwest 7, Sequoyah 5: The Bruins are starting to give coach Todd Middleton fits, but as long as they keep winning extra-inning games, it makes it easier to take.
Northwest won an extra-inning contest for the third straight outing, rallying from a 5-3 deficit in the top of the seventh to force the extra frame and keep pace in the playoff race in Region 7-4A.
A two-run Sequoyah error with the bases loaded in the top of the eighth gave the Bruins (13-8, 9-6 Region 7-4A) all the cushion they would need as Andy Whisenant pitched a scoreless bottom half of the inning to secure the win with four innings of relief pitching.
“I would rather it be easier, but I will take it any way I can get it,” Middleton said.
Down 5-3 in the seventh, Nick Stavrow singled to lead the inning off and Luke Hensley followed with walk. Edwin Hernandez followed with an RBI single, and after loading the bases with a walk, the Bruins tied the game when Matt Allen drew a walk to force extra innings.
Allen had pitched the first four innings of the game, giving up two earned runs on four hits while striking out five.
Northwest is part of a four-team pack battling for either the region’s third or fourth seed for the state playoffs.
Stavrow was 3-for-4, while Brady Middleton, Kain Gibson and Hernandez each had a pair of hits.
• Southeast Whitfield finished in a 1-1 tie with Science Hill in the Chattanooga Christian tournament on Friday night, but the Raiders rebounded for a 3-1 win over the hosts on Saturday.
Christian Lopez scored the only goal for the Raiders (12-0-1) on Friday night, while Marcos Arredondo had two goals and Alex Rosillo had the other goal in the win on Saturday.
• Chattahoochee boys 2, Northwest 0: The Bruins (9-4, 6-2 Region 7-4A) had their winning streak snapped on the road on Friday, ending the run of victories at seven straight, and two Bruins had to go to the hospital with injuries.
Chattahoochee scored once in each half. Northwest, which had outscored opponents 50-2 during the winning streak, was kept out of the net this time.
“We had several more good chances but their keeper made some great saves,” Northwest coach Ryan Scoggins said.
At around the 35th minute, Northwest’s Adrian Rodriguez and a Chattahoochee player went up for a ball and Rodriguez received a head butt to the skull, said Scoggins, who went with Rodriguez to the emergency room. Scoggins said there were no symptoms of concussion and never a loss of consciousness but the Bruins defender received 11 stitches.
Later in the game, Jorge Solorzano also received an accidental head butt to the back of the head and had to be taken to the same hospital to have five staples put in his head to treat the injury.
The win drops the Bruins below Chattahoochee in the region standings via tiebreaker. Northwest has two region games remaining and can finish anywhere from fourth to second.
“If we win out and finish 8-2, and if Rome can knock off Chattahoochee on Tuesday, their record would finish 7-3,” Scoggins said. “So we’d have a shot at the No. 2 seed but we need Rome to help us out.”