All but one of the nine scores in the 30s Tuesday at the countywide high school golf match belonged to the two winning teams.
The Cleveland High girls and Walker Valley boys completely dominated the tri-match action at the Cleveland Country Club.
The Lady Raider duo were both at the top of their game, combining to shoot just 1-over-par as they ran away from the competition by 15 strokes, while the Mustangs had to throw out a pair of 39s as all half dozen north side linksters broke 40 in an 11-shot win.
“Our girls can really be good when they both play their best on the same day,” Cleveland coach Nick Cantrell said of senior Heidi Barringer and freshman Rheagan Hall, who are now 5-0 on the young prep season. “The previous two matches I have had one in the 30s and the other not. Today they played like they are capable of playing all the time.”
The Lady Raiders completed the CCC front nine holes in just 73 strokes to beat Walker Valley for the first time in seven years. Tasting defeat in a match for the first time this season the Lady Mustangs (4-1) shot an 88, which was just enough to edge Bradley Central’s score of 90.
The tables were turned in the boys’ play as the Mustangs combined for a 6-over-par 144 to move to 5-2 on the season and hand Cleveland (4-1) its first loss. The Blue Raiders were able to card a 161, while the Bears came in at 204.
“Six scores in the 30s, with three of them coming from freshmen, that’s pretty special,” praised Walker Valley coach Bob Williams. “We are capable of that every time out. That’s what we’ll have to do to be at the level we need to be at to get back to where we want to be (TSSAA state tournament).”
All three county teams will be back on the links Thursday as Cleveland will host McMinn county at CCC, while Walker Valley travels to Windstone to face East Hamilton and Bradley will take on Ooltewah at Brown Acres.
Cleveland swept the girls play Tuesday with Hall shooting an even-par 36, while Barringer was 1-over with a 37.
“They both hit the fairways and greens today, which makes this game much easier,” related Coach Cantrell. “They didn’t have to struggle to make pars.”
“You have to give the Cleveland girls credit to play like they did is tremendous,” commented Coach Williams. “We haven’t seen that in a long time.”
The Lady Mustangs got a 43 from junior Katie Medley and a 45 from sophomore Kelsey Cassada. “ We didn’t play our the best today, but that’s golf. Sometimes you have an off day. You just come back out tomorrow and stick with it.”
Bradley sophomore Olivia Williams had a strong outing with a 4-over 40 in the three-way match, while classmate Blair Terrell rounded out the Bearette score with a 50.
“Olivia played well and had the third lowest score among the girls. She’s had a good summer and is carrying that into the fall for us,” declared new Bradley golf coach Don Burke. “We have three sophomore girls and they are working hard to get better.”
Leading the way for the Walker Valley boys, junior Dyan Lillard had an even-par half round, while freshman Parker Grey was right on his heels with a 1-over 37. Sophomore Corey Rollins turned in a 2-over 38, while senior Kyle Limburg and freshmen Cade Puryear and Nick McCracken each posted 39s.
“All six of those guys work out there (CCC) or play there a lot, so its a course they’re very familiar with,” remarked Coach Williams. “Even with the good scores, they felt like they left some shots out there. I’m proud of them. They did a great job today and are working hard to get that kind of consistency.”
“When you’re throwing out two 39s you’re pretty much guaranteed to win,” commented Coach Cantrell. “They (WV) have a lot of talent 1-6.”
In just his third high school match, freshman Drew Linkous earned low-medalist honors and led the Cleveland crew with a 1-under-par 35.
“Drew had been around 40-41, but had a great round today,” praised Coach Cantrell. “He has been a huge help this year, especially for a freshman. I usually don’t expect freshmen to be able to come in and contribute like he has.”
Junior Tucker Jones shot a 41 and sophomore Allen Swetman added a 41 for the Raiders. Freshman Chase Oliver got into the varsity scoring for the first time with a 43 to round out the Cleveland tally.
Bradley was led by junior Tyler Parris with a 42, while sophomore Jake Durgin shot 50, freshman Bailey Timmons 53 and junior Matt Maynard a 59.
“We’ve got three sophomores, a freshman and two juniors, so not a lot of experience,” related Coach Burke as both Bradley squads are 2-5 so far this season. “Tyler is playing well and the other guys are getting better, but it’s going to take a little while to get where we need to be. A lot of these guys haven’t been playing golf very long.”