CHATTANOOGA — After Mother Nature postponed the match Tuesday, Walker Valley finally got to open the new high school golf season Thursday with a trip to the Moccasin Bend course in Chattanooga.
Four Mustangs broke 40 to secure a 149-158 victory over Boyd-Buchanan, but the unbeaten Lady Bucs were able to edge the Lady Mustangs by a single stroke — 83-84.
“To have four scores in the 30s, and our fifth was a 40, is a great way to start the season,” proclaimed Walker Valley coach Bob Williams. “We had some good, solid play with plenty of birdies and even an eagle.”
Mustang junior Garrett Cantrell not only birdied the first par 5 he saw but then completed his low-medalist round with a five-foot putt for eagle on his second for the day’s top score with a 1-under-par 35.
“Garrett had a great round. Really solid,” declared coach Williams.
Junior Hunter Carroll helped out with a 1-over 37, while senior Zach Kilby was just one stroke back at 38. Both Carroll and Kilby played in the TSSAA Championships last fall as the Mustangs finished sixth in the state.
“Hunter played great and I was really proud of Zach,” the Mustang coach praised. “Zach had a triple-bogey on his third hole but he didn’t give up. He came back strong with three straight birdies to close out his round.”
Freshman Dillon Lillard rounded out the Mustang scoring with a 3-over 39. “Dillon had a couple of three-putts and still broke 40,” Williams remarked. “He sure didn’t show any nervousness for his first high school match.”
Junior Jordan Leggett shot a 40 in the nine-hole match, but his score wasn’t needed as the victory had already been wrapped up.
Trent Mansfield was the only Boyd-Buchanan (1-2) player to break 40 as he turned in an even-par 36. Ashton Evans fired a 40, while Reed Smith and Jack Wood both shot 41 for the Bucs.
After helping the Lady Mustangs to a state runner-up finish last fall, Katie Bishop got her junior season off to a strong start with a 1-over 37 for medalist honors in the girls’ match.
“Katie birdied the last hole and had a good, steady round,” Williams assessed. “You hate to lose by one stroke but the other girls will come around as the season goes along.”
Freshman Katie Medley carded a 47 and senior Brittani Pederson a 48 for the other Lady Mustang scores (only the top two are counted).
Boyd-Buchanan got a 41 from Lauren Foster and a 42 from Maddie Balthrop to move to 3-0 on the season.
Walker Valley will travel to Springbrook Monday for a three-way 18-hole match against District 5-AAA foes Rhea County and host McMinn County.