PILOT MOUNTAIN — One day, 18 holes, same champ.
The final meet of the regular season in golf was held Monday morning at Pilot Knob Park, with the golfers of the Northwest 1A Conference teed off at 10:30 a.m. to play the entire course, after a season of playing just nine holes in each meet.
The end result was the same as every other conference meet, with a decisive victory for Mount Airy. The Lady Bears won both the conference title (based on aggregate stroke-play) and the conference championship meet for the third consecutive season.
Mount Airy junior Alyssa Cox, who won all five of the nine-hole conference meets and is undefeated this fall, won the conference crown by 19 strokes over North Stokes’ Hailey Sheppard, the only other golfer to break 100 on the 6,225-yard course, which once again played very tough, as it had when the teams met here on Sept. 25 to play nine holes. Cox won medalist honors by shooting 41-39 — 80. Sheppard shot 52-47 — 99, and the Lady Bears’ Mattie Noonkester finished third, shooting 53-47 — 100.
Cox was named as the Northwest Conference Player of the Year for the second year in a row. Joining her on the All-Conference team for the Lady Bears were Noonkester, a freshman, and senior Bailey Flippen. The trio made up the top three scorers for Mount Airy in nearly every meet of the season. Teams could play more than three golfers per meet, but only the top three counted as part of the team score.
Kayden Jenkins and Abbi Jackson also competed for the Lady Bears
East Surry finished second overall, shooting 310 as a team on its home course, 18 strokes behind the Lady Bears. Madison Bowman and Elizabeth Carson each shot 102, tying for fourth overall as individuals. Eliza Hart shot 106 to round out the qualifying scores for the Lady Cardinals. Jamie Smith shot 107 and Brooke Hege 115. At the end of the meet, Bowman, Carson and Smith were all named All-Conference.
North Stokes entered four golfers on Monday, and finished 10 strokes back of East Surry in third place. Jade Britt shot 107 and Lorin Sizemore 114 for a total of 320. Rachel Martin also competed for the Lady Vikings.
South Stokes was hurt by its top golfer, 2016 state qualifier Rachel Fenner, being unable to play. The Sauras’ Mallory Tedder led the way at 111, with Salem Washburn and Anna Kate Cheek making up the rest of the lineup for a team score of 348.
The teams and their top golfers will now move on to the NCHSAA 1A/2A state playoffs, with regional play being held next week. All four NW1A teams, as well as Western Piedmont 2A champion Surry Central, are part of the Central Regional this season. East Wilkes is the host school for the regional tournament, which will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 17 starting at 8 a.m. at the Cedarbrook Country Club in State Road.
The state championship meet will be held on Oct. 23-24 at Longleaf Golf and Family Club in Southern Pines.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.