May 20, 2014

Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.

“There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

Playing with a four-player roster without a single upperclassman, the Lady Cats posted all four rounds in the 80s to finish with a team score of 259 to finish two shots behind state winners Columbus. All four of the Dalton golfers finished in the top 20 of individual scorers in the four-play, three-score format of the tournament.

Mable McKone and Ashleigh Peters finished in a tie for 11th individually after shooting 14-over-par 86s. Baylee Mitchell was in a tie for 14th with an 87, and Carson Roberts finished tied for 18th with an 88. Roberts, who finished as the Region 7-4A tournament medalist at Dalton Golf & Country Club in April, had battled a back injury to make it to state.

“All four of the girls were in the 80s and that shows strong improvement throughout the team and throughout the year,” Hallsworth said. “It seemed like Baylee posted a lower score each time she played this year. That balance is strong with those four and the future is extremely bright for girls golf and the team as a whole. I am very proud of them and they have worked hard this season and it shows.”

Waynesboro Country Club played host to both the Class 4A and Class 3A girls tournament, and Hallsworth said having both classes there made for a long day.

“It was a 45 minute to an hour and 15 minute wait at hole No. 16,” Hallsworth said. “After that, we know where we left some strokes on the course — No. 18. You can imagine after playing that many hours, 18 was multiple putts, and it was just exhausting. Overall, I am proud of them. Columbus had a pair of seniors on the team, and we are still just sophomores and juniors.”

While the Dalton girls were in the mix, it was a disappointing day for the Dalton boys at the Class 4A boys tournament at Westlake Country Club in Martinez. The Cats finished ninth in the 16-team tournament with a team total of 328. After winning the state sectional with a 311, Dalton coach Hunter Johnston said his team expected a better finish in the state tournament. Marist won the tournament for the second straight year, finishing with a 296.

Dalton was led by Landon Hicks, who shot a 7-over 79. Other scorers for the Cats were Davis Kirk (82), Allen Behr (83) and Jacob Brown and Addison Lambert, who each shot 84. Miller Lovingood also played for Dalton, finishing with a 95.

“If there is anything that will teach you to be humble, it is the game of golf, and it certainly did that to us today,” Johnston said. “The guys were upset that they didn’t do what they thought they should do. It was a frustrating day for us. We felt good going into the round and felt like it set up for us well. We just didn’t perform.”

Northwest Whitfield’s Ethan Hayes — playing as an individual qualifier — tied for 17th overall with a 78. North Murray’s Hallie Sheram finished tied for 42nd in Class 3A with a 101.

Murray County’s Amber Lewis was tied for 38th in the Class 2A tournament at Point South Golf Course with a 105, and teammate Rebekah Wildes finished 55th in the 66 girl field.

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