KINGSPORT — Science Hill had four scores in the 70s capture the Big Seven Conference Plus Four Golf Championship on Tuesday at Cattails at Meadowview.
Led by a 70 by individual medalist Jackson Skeen and getting strong play throughout the lineup, the Hilltoppers beat Tennessee High 297-303 for team honors. Highlighting the strong effort, Science Hill’s No. 6 player Hendrix Price finished with a 75, despite getting his ball picked up by a rival player and scoring a triple-bogey on the eighth hole.
“It was a team effort,” Science Hill Kevin Vannoy said. “I’m really proud of Hendrix. He had some adversity, where somebody picks up his ball and everybody identifies it. He triples that hole when he should have been 1-over, but he comes in with a 75 which was big for us. It’s been a dogfight between us and Tennessee High all year going into the district and the region. I expect more of the same next Monday.”
Skeen, who sank a four-foot putt to be Tennessee High’s Jet Tickle on the third hole of a playoff, said it was a challenging day with a wind blowing directly in the golfers’ faces much of the day.
“Every hole, you had to play a tough shot,” Skeen said. “The wind only died down about two holes and it was tough all the way around.”
Skeen prefers playing on smooth and fast greens and didn’t get much of a chance to warm up before playing on greens that had been aerified a couple of weeks before. He said it took him a few holes to get adjusted to the slower greens. Once that happened, his putts started falling and he shot a 34 on the back nine.
“My putting definitely pulled me through today,” he said. “The irons are usually the best part of my game, but today, my putting was on. The greens had been punched about two weeks ago, and a couple of places were shaky, but other than that, they rolled really good. It took me about 4-5 holes to get adjusted to the actual speed. When I got that, everything was going well.”
Sean Anderson finished with a round of 74 and Gavin Nickels added a 78 for the Science Hill team score. Also for the ’Toppers, Tarun Hoskere posted a 79 and Carter Counts finished at 81, which didn’t count towards the team total.
Tennessee High received a 73 from Jack Tickle and a 78 from Stone Cozart with an 82 by Davis Hall rounding out the Vikings’ scoring.
Dobyns-Bennett finished third in the team standings at 315. A couple of the plus-four schools, Sullivan East at 348 and Sullivan South at 367, rounded out the top five.
On the girls’ side, Ivy Foran came through with a 74 to count alongside either of the 82 scores posted by Noelia Adkins and Isabella Adkins and lift Tennessee High to a 156-158 win over Dobyns-Bennett. The Lady Indians were led by Individual medalist Isabella Vanderbiest, who shot a 72. Sullivan South finished third at 165, followed by Science Hill at 181 and Daniel Boone at 184.
The teams will meet again next week at the District 1, Larger Schools Championships at Tri-Cities Golf Course.