Staff Reports

GLENCOE — Paul Mattox didn’t want any confusion.

The sectional golf championship that Holly Pond High won a week ago: That wasn’t a fluke.

With a big boost from Mattox, Holly Pond was able to get the point across Tuesday at Silver Lakes.

Mattox fired a team-best 75, leading the Broncos to a sub-state title — not to mention a spot in next week’s Class 3A state tournament in Prattville.

“Paul was upset with himself after the county tournament,” Broncos coach Mark Cornelius said. “He had been struggling earlier in the year, and he was pretty tore up about it. “But he’s worked pretty hard … really worked on his game.

“This was really big for him. He came out played the best round of golf he’s shot all year. That was really big for his confidence.”

One week after shocking rival Good Hope in the sectional — Holly Pond’s first tournament win over the Raiders in years — the Broncos did it again at sub-state. Cornelius’ team fired a 321 to claim the North 2 championship.

Holly Pond edged Good Hope by two strokes. The Raiders shot a 333 to finish in a tie for second with Glencoe.

Even though Good Hope didn’t win the event, the Raiders still qualified for the state tournament.

“We qualified. That’s the main thing,” said Good Hope coach Danny Welborn, whose Raiders will be making their 12th straight appearance in the state tournament. “Holly Pond just flat out beat us. They played a better round then we did and they deserved to win.

“But I’m just glad our guys qualified. That was the goal and we reached it. Now we’re going to get ready for state and see if we can play the way we’re capable of.”

Mattox was a big reason why Holly Pond took first place. The Broncos senior finished the tournament in a three-way tie for second place.

Holly Pond also got a strong round from Shane Briscoe, who fired a 78 to put the Broncos over the top. Zach Floyd and Drew Adams finished with a pair of 84s, while Austin Rowell shot an 85.

“Shane Briscoe is another senior that played really well for us,” Cornelius said. “Both of our seniors stepped up and played really big.

“We’ve been playing pretty good golf during the last few weeks. And when we won the sectional last week, that really boosted our confidence. Ever since then, our guys have really believed in themselves.”

Dustin Schwaiger and Caleb Neighbors led Good Hope with a pair of 76s. Eli Marty finished with an 85, while Matthew Easterwood shot 86 and Tucker Livingston shot 87.

According to Welborn, Marty was around par midway through his round. But when fatigue started to set in after the 13th hole, the Raiders seventh grader began to tumble.

“I was following him, and it just looked like he got tired late in his round,” Welborn said. “You could tell fatigue was setting in.

“We’ll probably get out and walk a little bit more, see if we can help him overcome that some before next week. We’ll also get out and play a few practice rounds, try to fix some things we need to work on as a team.”

Fairview finished fourth overall in the Class 4A tournament, but the Aggies did have one player qualify for state as an individual.

B.J. Albright shot a 74, securing a spot in the state tournament.

Jordan Fulmer shot an 80 for Fairview, while Blake Lancaster shot 85. Dustin Bentley shot a 98.

“B.J. is pretty excited,” Aggies coach Kurt Knight said. “This is a big deal for him.

“We were hoping to qualify as a team, we just fell short. But we also have a lot young guys coming back, so we’re stocked for the future. Our future should be very bright.”

The state tournament will be held March 11-12 at the Robert Trent Jones course in Prattville.

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