Polk County will send three individuals to the state tournament, with all-stater Lydia Triplett, plus fellow senior Evan Ball earning their third trip to the TSSAA championship, while junior Emily Massengill will be making her first appearance at the prestigious event.
“I thought we were prepared. We played well in the district and again in a practice round here (at Valleybrook), but today just wasn’t a good day overall for us,” bemoaned Adams. “I’m proud of our three who are going to state, especially Emily making it for the first time, but team wise, our boys didn’t play well today.”
After having the region event delayed a day due to rain, Tuesday’s conditions included a very soggy course, while playing in a constant drizzle throughout the round. Boyd-Buchanan won the girls title by a 179-180 margin, despite Triplett claiming low-medalist honors with a 7-over-par 79.
“Lydia played great,” declared Adams. “She had one bad hole that cost her five strokes, but she shot 3-over on the other 17 holes. She won low-medalist by four strokes and was the only girl to break 80. Only two others shot in the 80s.”
Triplett stumbled on No. 12, hitting one shot in the water, plus having to take another penalty stroke after going out of bounds, before three-putting for a 9 on the par 4 hole. She bounced back with a par on the following hole before going on to finish strong.
Massengill finished in a thee-way tie for the final two individual state berths and then claimed a spot in Manchester after a playoff. Massengill, Sequoyah’s Olivia Raper and Ryley Watson, of McMinn Central, each shot 101 in regulation, with Massengill and Raper advancing.
“This (the state tournament) will be a great experience for Emily, and give her something to build on for her senior year,” proclaimed Adams.
Boyd-Buchanan claimed the region crown with an 87 from Madison Balthrop and a 92 from Lauren Foster. Meigs County’s Kaitlyn Sneed earned second low-medalist honors with an 83 to claim the other individual berth.
“We’ve got two of the three individual spots that are going to state, but we just missed out on the team berth,” commented Adams.
In the boys’ action, Ball earned fourth low-medalist honors after placing second in a three-way playoff. The Wildcat senior tied Sequoyah’s Ben Brackett and Paul Houk of McMinn Central with an 82 on the first 18 holes. Brackett took third on the first playoff hole and Ball claimed fourth on the next.
Polk County took fifth in the team competition as senior Cameron Bean carded an 87, classmate Jake Burrows adding a 96 and sophomore Michael Rongey coming in at 93 for 357, 25 strokes behind region champion East Hamilton.
“The conditions weren’t good today but we didn’t play very well regardless,” assessed Adams.
East Hamilton will be making its second straight trip to the TSSAA tournament after Christian Silvers claimed low-medalist honors with a 78, while teammates Justin Miler (83), Ian Newman (84) and Tucker Venable (87) all shot in the 80s.
Thad Smith of Hixson won the second low medal with a 79, giving him an individual berth to the state.
Coach Adams summed up the Polk County effort if the region by stating, “I’m happy we won the district, but things just didn’t go our way today. If ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ were candy and nuts we’d all be happy.”