, Muskogee, OK

May 6, 2014

Four boys teams packing backs for state tournament

Phoenix staff report

— After the wind had stopped blowing and the dust had settled at all the boys’ golf regionals, Fort Gibson, Tahlequah, Stigler and Keys earned berths in next week’s state tournament.

Fort Gibson carded the lowest round of golf since coach Gary Hendrix has been head of the program in capturing the Class 4A regional on Monday at Peoria Ridge Golf Course in Miami.

The Tigers posted a 303 in their opening round before carding an even-par 288 for a 23-stroke victory over host Miami, who finished with a 614 two-round total. Metro Christian was the third team that qualified for next week’s state tournament with a 632.

“It’s pretty amazing to me,” said Hendrix, who last week coached the girls to this week’s state tournament  which begins Wednesday at the Lake Hefner South Course. “I was very pleased, Everybody played pretty well.”

Individually, Wesley Jackson led Fort Gibson with scores of 73 and 69 for a 2-under 142, finishing second in the individual standings. Dalton Rhoden shot 78-70 for 148, Kade Rodgers posted 74-75 for 149, Jordan London shot 78-74 for 152 and Rayne Cox posted 83-77 for a 160.

“It was a little bit windy,” Hendrix said. “The course was set up, I think, relatively easy. All the pin placements were in very accessible spots – pretty much in the middle of the green. That made it easy to score.”

The Class 4A state tournament is three rounds and begins next Monday at the Lake Hefner North Course.

5A at McAlester

The Tahlequah Tigers are headed to state for the first time after putting up scores of 310 and 318 to win at McAlester Country Club. Tahlequah brought home the regional title by three strokes over Bishop Kelley.

Jake Johnson led the way with rounds of 74-77 for a 151 total to tie for second individually. Blake Berry shot 77 and 82, Blake Cochran posted back-to-back 80s, Hunter Pennington went 85-79 and Kyler Arnall came in at 79 and 91.

“It was very difficult because of the wind,” said Tahlequah coach Nick Baker. “The greens were crusty and fast and everyone had trouble. But we are headed to state.”

3A at Verdigris

Stigler and Keys are also headed to state. The Panthers, making their third straight trip to state, won the Class 3A regional at Scissortail Golf Club in Verdigris with rounds of 329 and 302 for a total of 631 while Keys grabbed the last spot with a 678. Rounding out the field headed for state are Idabel (645), Valliant (658), Inola (664) and Lincoln Christian (668).

Individually, Luke VanCleave and Mason Dobbs from Eufaula are headed to state, finishing in the top six among players from non-qualifying schools. VanCleave posted a 156 to finish third while Dobbs was fifth at 170.

“We’re going nuts,” said Stigler coach Chris Risenhoover, “Going in, I would say Idabel and Lincoln Christian would have been the favorites. But we all played well and did it."

Stigler was led by Lane Stanfield with a 151 with Levi Moss (152), Robbie Turner (162), Gibson McAlvain (166) and Tyus Mitchell (177) rounding out the Panthers’ scoring. Shea Heble had the low two-round total for the Cougars, with a 149 to finish second individually, while Zach Rogers (173), Kris Beres (177), Larry Caviness (182) and Alex Thompson (191) completed Keys’ scores.

6A at Stillwater

The Muskogee Roughers finished seventh at the regional at Karsten Creek with rounds of 336 and 308 for a 644. Individually, Harris Jones led the way with a 156 total to qualify as an individual as well as teammates Spencer Smythe (83-74–157) and Connor Scott (84-77–161). Tanner Felts and Austin Jones tied at 173 to complete Muskogee’s scoring.

4A at Poteau

Checotah, Hilldale and Wagoner participated in the regional at Wolf Ridge and all three failed to advance. Individually, Hilldale’s Chandler Puckett and Tanner Ingle  plus Checotah’s Brice Terry move on as individuals from non-qualifying teams as Puckett posted a total of 146 to finish second individually, Terry shot 160 while Ingle came in at 165.

 The Hornets had a team score of 676, one shot shy of Ada’s 675 for the final spot. Poteau wino the regional with a 624 while Sallisaw was second at 629.

No team scores were available for Checotah and Wagoner.

2A at Pryor

In Class 2A, the Gore Pirates saw their golf season come to an end after shooting a two-round total of 759 at Pryor Creek Golf Club. Will Clifton shot rounds of 96 and 88 for a 184 with Coby Byrd (95-93), Dalton Adams (98-94) Laine McDaniel 96-99) and Chris Harris (105-105) to complete Gore’s card.