Salisbury is runner-up in CCC golf; Antosek is co-medalist
CCC Golf Tournament
By David Shaw
SALISBURY — Salisbury’s boys golf team failed to reshape the Central Carolina Conference landscape in Tuesday’s conference tournament.
But the Hornets did finish second for the second consecutive season, carding a 332 team score at the pristine Country Club of Salisbury.
“Second place, it’s what we expected,” coach Lucas Hatley said after Salisbury outplayed everyone but defending champion West Davidson (318). “We were second in all but one (regular-season) match this year, so it’s a comfortable second.”
Salisbury also placed second with 1,210 total strokes this spring, good enough to secure one of CCC’s three berths in the 2A Midwest Regional tournament on May 2. North Rowan (357) placed third in yesterday’s tournament and fourth in total strokes (1,312) — and qualified four individual golfers for the regional.
“We knew there was a big enough gap between third and fourth that we were not going to finish in the top three,” said Cavaliers’ coach Kelly Everhart. “It was out of reach before we even got here. ”
Salisbury at least had a shot, but needed a lights-out effort and didn’t get it. The Hornets were paced by co-medalist Alex Antosek, an all-conference junior who fired a 76 (37-39) on the par-71 course. He birdied the eighth and 10th holes and spent most of the match staying out of harm’s way.
“It was a consistent round more than anything,” said Antosek, who joined teammates Hank Robins and Simon Post on the All-CCC team. “I had a really good front nine and a couple of mishaps on the back. But I played the course smart and took what it gave me.”
Antosek used a terrific wedge shot to reach the green at No. 8, then sank a six-foot putt for birdie. On the par-4 10th hole, he struck a long drive that settled just 40 yards from the cup. Later, he parred six of the last nine holes to finish tied with West Davidson’s Will Goins for the day’s low score.
“Alex was good last year,” said Hatley. “This year, he’s next level. That’s what happens when you put in the time and effort to get better.”
Robins, a freshman, played a strong second half to finish with a 78 (39-39) — his best 18-hole score this season.
“I was 7-over par through eight holes,” Robins reported. “But I recovered in time and went even over my last 10. I knew I had to be more consistent.”
“Hank has been nipping at Alex’s heals all season,” Hatley noted. “So as a freshman, I’m really impressed with his score.”
Other Salisbury scorers were Post at 88 (42-46), Walker Hartpence with a 90 (47-43) and Harrison Parrott at 121 (60-61).
Hatley, a Davie County graduate, called West Davidson “a bunch of nice guys,” before adding: “I think they’re losing three of them next season. We’ll definitely put up a good challenge to them next year.”
North was led by junior Jonathan Britton, its No. 5 player who carded a season-low 79 (38-41).
“Yeah, but I was No. 1 on this team last year,” he said. “It’s just that I’ve been struggling this whole season.”
Britton was at his best on the par-3, 165-yard sixth hole, where he recorded his only birdie.
“I hit a 7-iron dead on the flag — and I thought it was in,” he recalled. “I ended up hitting a two-foot tap-in for birdie.”
Everhart was simply awed by Britton’s well-struck tee shot. “I thought it had a chance of going in,” he said. “I truly did. It was right there, but ended up stopping about a foot past the hole.”
Other North finishers included junior Will Anthony at 89 (47-42), senior Steven Thurston with a 93 (51-42), Felix Espinal at 95 (49-46) and sophomore Spencer Everhart coming in at 98 (49-49). All but Espinal qualified for the regional.
“That’s where we’ve been most of the season,” said Everhart. “We’ve had five guys who consistently score in the 40s in a nine-hole match and break 100 in an 18-hole match.”
NOTES: The Midwest Regional will be held at Oakwood Country Club in Wilkesboro. The top three teams will qualify for the state tournament May 8-9 at Pinehurst. … Three of Thomasville’s players withdrew from the tournament. … West Davidson’s Nic Lamberth was the CCC Player of the Year, based on total strokes.
318 — West Davidson (Goins 76, Lamberth 79, Foster 79, Morgan 84, Hughes 88.
332 — Salisbury (Antosek 76, Robins 78, Post 88, Hartpence 90, Parrott 121.
357 — North Rowan (Britton 79, Anthony 89, Thurston 93, Espinal 95, Everhart 98.
361 — East Davidson (Hedgecock 86, Warrick 90, Sechrist 92, Leonard 93, Campbell 99.
417 — Lexington (Thornhill 96, S. Worley 100, J. Worley 110, Wertman 111, Pulizzotto 121.
DQ — Thomasville (Beamon 102, Whitside 112, Simmons WD, Bryant WD, Whitaker WD)