MORRISTOWN — Under ordinary circumstances, Daniel Boone played well enough to win Monday’s Region 1-AAA championships at Millstone Golf Club.
However, Dobyns-Bennett’s Neil Delwadia was anything, but ordinary.
The D-B senior shot a 5-under round of 67 to lead the Indians to a 297-302 win over Daniel Boone.
Jefferson County placed third at 306, while Science Hill was fourth at 307.
Behind Lacie York’s 73, Sullivan South rallied late to beat Science Hill 152-155 for the girls’ team title.
Delwadia’s round included four birdies and an eagle on hole No. 8. It gave him a five-stroke win over Sullivan South’s Cayman Ratliff for low medalist.
“My driving was a little inconsistent, but I didn’t make any huge mistakes,” Delwadia said. “I made a lot of putts and good approach shots.
“I just wanted to play aggressive because it could be my last match in high school. I didn’t think about qualifying for state or winning as an individual — I just wanted to play well.”
It was a tough pill to swallow for Boone’s veteran squad which included seniors Hunter Salts, Zach Hancock and Jalen Bridwell. The one bright spot was Taylor Smith’s round of 73 which qualified him for next week’s state tournament as an individual.
“It’s a kick in the gut not to win, but I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Trailblazers head coach Scott Martin, whose squad was rounded out by Jesse Broughton. “We’ve had a phenomenal year. With the exception of the Morristown Invitational, we’ve beaten everybody we’ve played at least once.
“We managed to make it through the district to the region which was a breakthrough for us. But, these guys thought they could come down here and win. We came down here and played well. It took a 67 to knock us out.”
The result was still in doubt until the final score was posted. Once it became official, it gave Dobyns-Bennett’s T.J. Ross a regional title in his first year as head coach. He added the team had extra motivation with former coach Eddie Durham in the hospital fighting an illness.
“It was big motivation with him in the hospital,” Ross said. “We had a couple of kids come out and said, ‘Let’s win one for The Goose.’ I just got off the phone with him and he excited and happy.
“I think it had a little to do with it, to get a little motivation behind you when you’re playing. That helps out a little bit.”
Andrew Simonsen posted the lowest score (74) for Science Hill, while Codie Campbell, the team’s lone senior, finished his high school career with a 78.
However, it was a disappointing day for the Hilltoppers after winning last week’s District 1-AAA title by 12 strokes.
“The consistency hasn’t been there,” Science Hill head coach Kevin Vannoy said. “We played well enough at the district to win it, but we didn’t play up to our capabilities today. Most of the guys are juniors and hopefully we can use this as a learning experience to propel them into next year. “Hopefully, we can take a negative and turn it into a positive.”
There was a little better news on the girls’ side where Science Hill’s Allison Woodward and Eliza Chang qualified for next week’s state tournament as individuals.
Woodward shot a 77 for the day, but was 4-over for the final three holes as the Lady Rebels overtook the Lady ‘Toppers for the team title. Chang posted a 78, while Caroline Rhea added an 81 which didn’t count among the team score.
“There are some individuals who are semi-happy,” Vannoy said. “We’re sad we didn’t make it as a team, but I guess making it as individuals will be some consolation.”
Other individual berths were earned by Cassidy Gibson of Cocke County and Alexandra Strong of Jefferson County on the girls’ side, and by Justice Murphy of Seymour, Todd McGill of South-Doyle and Ratliff on the boys’ side.