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North Greene tops University High for small school boys title

Pat Kenney • Sep 30, 2019 at 9:37 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A little afternoon rain shower did little to dampen the spirts of the Cumberland Gap girls and North Greene boys in Monday’s Region 1 Small School golf championships at the Elizabethton Golf Club.

Lady Panthers senior Carly Downhour captured her third-straight Region 1 crown with a 3-over par 72 and led her team to its second-straight Region 1 title. Cayden Walked posted a 95 for Cumberland Gap.

The Cumberland Gap girls posted a winning score of 170 with Claiborne next at 206.

Huskies freshman Aidan Collier started his high school golf career is style by shooting a 3-under 69 as North Greene cruised to the Region 1 title after shooting a team score of 321. University High, which won the district tournament at the same course a week earlier, finished second at 341. Lucas Lowe led the Bucs with an 81, Matthew Carter and Daxx Carr had a pair of 85s, while Garrett Gentry and Ayden Connell each shot 90 with only one of those scores counting towards the team title.

For Downhour, who has committed to play next year at Tusculum, an even-par front nine set the tone for her round.

“I played the front nine really well,” said Downhour. “On the back, when it started to rain, I struggled a little.

“The key for me today was keeping the ball in play and trying to hit it close on the greens,” added Downhour.

Cumberland Gap coach David Walker had nothing but praise for Downhour and his team.

“She (Downhour) is a gem,” said Walker. “She did her job and that’s what gave us the cushion to win the team title.”

North Greene’s Collier made the turn at even par then turned on the jets over the final nine holes.

“I was up and down on the first nine,” said Collier. “But then everything turned around on the back and I started hitting it better and making some putts.”

Collier birded the 10th, 12th and 18th holes on the inward nine and edged runner-up Hunter Harman from South Greene by one shot.

The Huskies’ Rickey Compton and Jeshua Crawford both shot 77, which, combined with Collier was more than enough to win the team trophy and earn a berth in next week’s TSSAA state tournament in Manchester.

“We shaved between 30 and 40 shots off our score in the district tournament,” said North Greene coach Jason Lowe. “We worked hard all week trying to get each guy to improve on his weakest shots and today that all paid off.”

Harman (70) was joined by Cumberland Gap’s Peyton Wilder (73) and Hampton’s Izaak Hill (79) as individual state qualifiers.

Individual girls who qualified for state included South Greene’s Chloe Kinser (93), Claiborne County’s Lucy Shockley (98) and West Greene’s Mackenzie Evans (103). Evans earned her state berth after a playoff for the final spot against Madison Painter (103) from Chuckey-Doak.

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