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Science Hill romps to Big 11 golf title

Jeff Birchfield • Updated Aug 23, 2018 at 5:43 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — How low can the Science Hill boys go?

The Hilltoppers shot a 283 to romp to a 22-stroke win over Tennessee High on Thursday in the Big 11 Conference golf championships at Tri-Cities Golf Club.

Individual champion Jackson Skeen led the way with a 2-under 69. Teammates Tarun Hoskere finished with a 70, followed by Sean Anderson with a 71 and Gavin Nickels at 73. Carter Counts and Ross Boehling each shot a 79, which didn't count toward the team total.

"When you look at 283, obviously that's a great score," Science Hill coach Kevin Vannoy said. "Jackson with the 69 and Tarun with the 70, those were great rounds. Sean had to play through some adversity to get to 71. That showed some mental toughness. The others coming in with scores under 80, that's a good, positive sign."

Skeen won individual medalist for a second straight year. He has been playing tournaments throughout the summer, going to places like Ohio to face different competition. Strong with his approach shots, he started out Thursday's round with a 33 on the front nine and felt his overall score could have been lower with some luck on the greens.

"I missed a couple of putts where it should have been lower," Skeen said. "But it was a good round, for sure. I hit the ball really well onto the green. I left myself a lot of (scoring) opportunities, for sure."

He made enough birdies and his teammates made sure the other schools were not a threat to Science Hill's dominance.

"We have a really good team this year," Skeen said. "We're going to Crossville and Hendersonville this weekend (to play in a pair of tournaments). We're going to see what we're made of."

Jack Tickle finished with a 71 to lead the second-place Tennessee High, which finished four strokes ahead of Dobyns-Bennett at 309.

Zac Fletcher had a 75 to lead the Indians, while Taylor Kilgore, Spencer Correll and William Karst all finished at 78. Luke Lett at 85 and Matt Barnicki, 89, registered scores that didn't count toward the team total.

Nick Brock was 2-over 73 to lead Daniel Boone to a fourth-place finish. The Trailblazers' 327 team score included Hunter Adams and Casey Whiting, each at 84, and Noah Little with an 86.

Elizabethton was sixth at 349 with a 78 by Carson Peters and an 83 by Cooper Tipton. Seth Bible fired an 85 to lead David Crockett. Unicoi County finished last in the competition, but the Blue Devils improved 76 strokes from the previous year despite not having Buffalo Valley anymore as a home course. The Devils have been practicing at the nine-hole Erwin Elks course, which has just two par-four holes.

GIRLS TOURNAMENT

Dobyns-Bennett won the team title by one stroke 149-150 over Tennessee High as Isabella Vanderbeist, who is committed to Alabama, shot a 72, and Katrina Scott added a 77.

Vanderbeist tied Kara Carter of Sullivan South for the team championship, but Carter won a scorecard playoff when both players decided they didn't want to go to a playoff hole.

South, which had an 88 from Erin Music, finished third at 160, followed by Science Hill at 176 and Daniel Boone at 180.

Lillian Qin and Grace Smith each posted 88 scores for Science Hill, while Boone got an 89 from Jenna Brannum and a 92 from McKenzie Miller.


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