Catholic’s Lewis wins LKC Tournament crown
ELIZABETH, W.Va. –Two strokes were the deciding factor, as Ritchie County edged St. Marys (232-234) to win the Little Kanawha Conference Championship on Monday afternoon from the Mingo Bottom Golf Club. The win comes a year removed from when the Blue Devils dispatched of the Rebels, as RCHS head coach Marsha Knight waited anxiously for St. Marys’ final golfer to make it back to the clubhouse.
“The anticipation from waiting is exciting. It’s probably going to come down to a couple strokes,” Knight said. “I’m just trying to stay calm until we hear the final scores.”
The Rebels saw all-LKC performances from Dalton Edwards (76), Anthony Rader (80) and Logan Hilkey (83), and that was enough to defeat SMHS and its all-LKC golfers, Brandon Lawhon (74) and Grant Barnhart (76).
“(Edwards) was solid out there, and he was due to play well. I’m really happy that he’s been putting in the time, and it’s paid off for him, today,” Knight said. “I feel really good. When we left here last year, St. Marys beat us by 16 strokes. To win it is just a tribute to how much time and effort our kids put in.”
Though Parkersburg Catholic did not have a big enough team to compete for the team title, Blake Lewis (72) saw a 13-stroke improvement from last year to take home top honors in the LKC. He also went from the very end of all-LKC honors in 2019 to the top in 2020.
“I thought the conditions were alright. The fairways were kind of patchy,” Lewis said. “The greens were good. They were rolling out pretty fast. I think the competition was very stiff out there today. I’m just happy I came out on top. I made a couple birdies, got myself back to even and kept it going from there. I think it’s going to give me a good bit of momentum going into regionals next week, knowing that I can go up and post scores like that. Hopefully, I can throw another one up there, next Monday.”
Williamstown achieved a podium finish with 346, just sneaking past Roane County by one point. The Yellowjackets saw Xavier Caruthers (78) and Gavin Bosgraf (80) also repeat their all-LKC showings from a year ago. Roane County had its best production come from No. 2, Emerson Simons (80), who tied with Williamstown’s Bosgraf. Garrett Simon wasn’t far behind him, as his 83 also garnered him all-LKC honors. That 83 tied him RCHS’s Hilkey and Braxton County’s Beau Liston for the final spot on the list.
For St. Marys’ Lawhon, his round mirrored what he did at this event in 2019, as he improved by five strokes from last year. He reflected on his afternoon and what it means going into regionals.
“I came in looking for what I did last year, and I did pretty much that,” he said. “I was pretty good up until hole 16. I got a bad bounce, but other than that, I was pretty flawless. I’d say this boosts our confidence. We didn’t play badly, but the loss kind of stings. We’ll be back. I feel good about regionals. Everybody has their days, and I’ve just got to do my best.”
Braxton County rode Liston’s 83 to a top-5, as the Eagles came out on top of sixth-place Wahama, 376-382. Wahama’s top two scores by Connor Ingels (93) and Brycen Bumgarner (94), were close to those of Calhoun County’s Jaden Swearingen (92) and Chase Blair (93), as the White Falcons claimed sixth over the Red Devils (386) by four points.
The rest of the scoreboard was jammed together with the final three teams separated by 12 points. Tyler Consolidated (394) was led by Landon Miller (90) and Mason Nichols (91) to land eighth over Sydney Baird (91) and Webster County (396). Gilmer County (406) finished last, but key performances by Adam Stewart (86) and James Mohr (88) left them flirting with all-LKC honors on the afternoon.
LKC Tournament at Mingo Bottom
TEAM SCORES: Ritchie 332; St. Marys 334; Williamstown 346; Roane 347; Braxton 376; Wahama 382; Calhoun 386; Tyler Consolidated 394; Webster 396; Gilmer 406
Ritchie: Dalton Edwards 76; Anthony Rader 80; Logan Hilkey 83; Andrew Freeman 93; Cole Darnold 97
St. Marys: Brandon Lawhon 74; Grant Barnhart 76; Brayden Hall 93; Ethan Bennett 91; Kyle Jones 103
Williamstown: Xavier Caruthers 78; Gavin Bosgraf 80; William Barniak 96; Trevor Powell 111; Baylor Haught 92
Roane Garrett Simon 83; Emerson Simons 80; Cole Ellis 89; Bryson Watson 96; JW Stover 95
Braxton: Beau Liston 83; Tyler Stalnaker 101; Adam Dobbins 98; Kaylee Criner 125; Kameron Key 94
Wahama: Conner Ingels 93; Brycen Bumgarner 94; Ethan Gray 102; Ethan Mitchell 97; Mattie Ohlinger 98
Calhoun: Jaden Swearingen 92; Chase Blair 93; Josie Montgomery 102; Landon Bennett 99; Drue Goad 114
Tyler Consolidated: Mason Nichols 91; Landon Miller 90; Chandler Ash 104; Isaac Melvin 109; Jesse Griffith 129
Webster: Sydney Baird 91; Zac Carpenter 101; Colton Short 98; Reese Williams 106; Peyton McCourt 108
Gilmer Adam Stewart 86; James Mohr 88; Logan Arden 109; Mya Hough 123
Catholic: Blake Lewis 72 (Medalist); Evan Cowan 107; Carter McMinn 124
Ravenswood: Cameron Taylor 103; Jacob Coberly 101; Mason Freeman 132
Wirt: Will Conrad 125
All-Tournament: Brandon Lawhon, Grant Barnhart (St. Marys); Blake Lewis (Catholic); Emerson Simons, Garrett Simon (Roane); Dalton Edwards, Anthony Rader, Logan Hilkey (Ritchie); Xavier Caruthers, Gavin Bosgraf (Williamstown); Beau Liston (Braxton)