Thursday October 22nd, 2020 4:52PM

Golf: NHall girls capture 1st-ever Hall County crown; GHS boys win 5th straight

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
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GAINESVILLE — There were plenty of smiles, but it didn’t have the ultimate feel that history was being made.

The North Hall girls golf team did just that Wednesday capturing their first-ever Hall County Championship. But judging from coach Rodney House, the victory still left plenty to contemplate.

“I thought we played well as a team but I don’t think we’re a finished product right now,” House said. “It’s great to be able to win this for the first time. It means a lot to us. But we’re also trying to get better for the rest of the season.

“You have to have more than one person to step up and I thought Lyric (Sanford) and Willow (Hill) and Jolie (McCauley) all three played well over the two days. But everyone could have shot lower as well. Our expectations are higher now.”

Junior Mikayla Dubnik led the Lady Trojans firing a 1-under par 71 to bring home the individual title for a second consecutive season. Sanford, a senior, shot a 91 to take third and North Hall, which finished with a 258, placed four -- Hill (98) and McCauley (99) -- in the top eight.

“We worked and practiced hard all week to prepare for this (tournament),” Dubnik said. “It feels great for us to win this as a team and I feel like we’ve improved a lot since last year but we still have some work to do.”

The Lady Trojans finished 32 strokes ahead of second-place Flowery Branch (290) with Gainesville (294) taking third. West Hall was fourth at 338 and Cherokee Bluff fifth posting a 381.

In the boys' tournament, Gainesville continued its dominance winning its fifth straight championship. But for a second straight year, the Red Elephants were pushed by second-place Cherokee Bluff. The Red Elephants carded a 302 to the Bears’ 325, powered by a 1-2-3 finish on the individual board.

Sam Patterson won his first-ever individual title shooting a 2-under 70 with teammates Zayne Hilderbrand, the 2019 champion, taking second with a 74 and Wiley Hickerson posting a 78 for third. Bears’ teammates Palmer Weaver and Mason Hill both fired 79s to tie for fourth.

“First, I’m just super proud of Sam,” Gainesville coach Clay McDonald said. “He put in a lot of work in the offseason. He’s been playing well. This is the second tournament (Longhorn Invitational at Legacy) he’s won.

“As a team, the barometer is always 300 so a 302 is good. We started well but Chattahoochee is a tough but fair course. We knew Cherokee Bluff would push us and they did.”

Chattahoochee Golf Course, March 9-10
Final Results

Individual Top 10
Sam Paterson, Gainesville, 70 -- low medalist
Zayne Hilderbrand, Gainesville, 74
Wiley Hickerson, Gainesville, 78
Palmer Weaver, Cherokee Bluff, 79
Mason Hill, Cherokee Bluff, 79
Price Embry, Gainesville, 80
Caleb Vancil, Cherokee Bluff, 81
Ethan Simonson, Riverside, 81
Hunter Wilkey, West Hall, 83
Tyler Stauffer, West Hall, 84

Team Scores (for those with qualifying scores)
Gainesville 302
Cherokee Bluff 325
North Hall 356
Riverside 377
Lakeview 494
Chestatee 407
Johnson 429
Flowery Branch 447

Individual Top 10
Mikayla Dubnik, North Hall, 71 -- low medalist
Karina Collins, Gainesville, 84
Lyric Sanford, North Hall, 91
Emily Bergdoll, Flowery Branch, 94
Rachael DeVall, West Hall, 94
Willow Hill, North Hall, 98
Savannah Keifer, Flowery Branch, 98
Jolie McCauley, North Hall, 99
Lea Bergdoll, Flowery Branch, 100
Shelby Benjamin, Chestatee, 102

Team Scores (for those with qualifying scores)
North Hall 258
Flowery Branch 290
Gainesville 294
West Hall 338
Cherokee Bluff 381

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