After the District 5-A/AA high school golf tournament, Boyd-Buchanan junior Madison Balthrop and senior Lauren Foster both expressed a fondness of playing the Chatata Valley course in Cleveland. But actually there didn't seem to be much doubt about that, since they finished first and second there in the girls' portion of the tournament.
As a result, the Lady Buccaneers were also the team champions, registering a 168 on Monday. Sequoyah was second with a 180 and Polk County was third at 182. Sequoyah won the boys' title with a 319 - 13 strokes ahead of second-place Boyd-Buchanan, which finished six ahead of third-place Collegedale Academy.
Sequoyah also had the boys' medalist in Ben Brackett, who shot a 3-over 75. Collegedale's Thomas Hayes and Silverdale Baptist Academy's Logan Melton tied for second with 78s with Hayes taking the runner-up spot on the first playoff hole.
The top three boys' and girls' teams, along with the top five individuals not on those teams, move on to the Region 3 tournament Thursday, starting at 9:30 a.m. It's also at Chatata Valley.
"I like playing here," Balthrop said. "We played pretty well here in the region two years ago."
Region champions advance to the state tournament in Manchester.
"I like our chances," Foster said. "We've played here a couple of times before and played a practice round Sunday. I think we're ready."
Balthrop wasn't particularly excited about the way she hit the ball Sunday. But she put the knowledge she picked up to good use on the way to Monday's winning round of 83.
"My drives helped a lot, compared to my practice round," Balthrop said. "Ball placement on my drives was much better. That allowed me to concentrate on trying to make greens in regulation."
Foster shot 85 and Sequoyah's Olivia Raper was third with an 87. Polk County's Lauren Passmore (90) and Heather Ellis round out the girls' top five.
Sequoyah's Kody Hampton and Bryce Mitchell and Boyd-Buchanan's Jack Wood tied for fourth on the boys' side with 80s. Hampton got fourth and Mitchell took fifth in a playoff.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.