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Hall County Golf Championships: Gainesville boys, North Hall girls repeat at Chattahoochee
Gainesville's Brigham Ralston chips to the green on No. 13 during the Hall County championships on March 22, 2023 at the Chattahoochee Golf Club. Photo by Lee Heard For The Times

The final round of the Hall County golf championships featured a strong finish by the Gainesville boys and North Hall girls to take team titles, along with a marvelous two-day showing for an 18-hole total of 4-under-par 68 by Lakeview Academy junior Tanner Stephens. 

However, one of the most impressive efforts was likely by Cherokee Bluff’s Alisa Pressley, who won with a final-round 39, after a knee injury during the first round Monday at Chattahoochee. 

Playing well from the beginning, Pressley said her knee started to become a problem, making it hard to walk or line up putts. 

It certainly made playing the final nine holes questionable, after a 43 on the first nine holes. 

However, she buckled down and avoided any major mistakes to win by four shots over first-round leader MaKayla Jones of North Hall. 

A sophomore, Pressley is now the back-to-back Hall County champion. 

“The key was being level-headed,” Pressley said. “I flew with the bad shots and worked with the good shots.”

Meanwhile, Stephens was well in control of the lead for the low medallist on the boys side after posting the only score in the red (35) on the first round. 

He capped it off with a stellar 3-under-par 33 on the final nine to take the low-medallist honor. 

Stephens was hot early, making a biride on No. 1, but it was his finish that sealed the deal. 

Lakeview Academy’s junior birdied 3 of his final 5 holes, which includes making a 45-foot putt for birdie on No. 18. 

“With the start I had, I knew if I shot a 2-under that I’d have a pretty good chance to win and I shot 3-under par,” Stephens said. 

Meanwhile, the Gainesville boys turned a two-stroke lead after the first day into a 10-shot win over second-place Lakeview Academy. 

While its the 28th county championship for the Red Elephants boys, it’s the first for coach Jason DeJiacomo, who took over the program earlier in the school year. 

Paced by second-place finisher Brigham Ralston, a junior, Gainesville had 4 of the top 5 finishers. 

After Ralston, who shot a two-day 73, 2022 champion Colin Henderson placed third (75), followed by a tie for fourth place by Henry Kopydlowski and Nick Greene (76). 

“It’s exciting to come out here and win,” DeJiacomo said. “We had expectations to come out here, take care of business and they did just that. They showed a lot of grit. They didn’t get off to the best start, the gap really closed with Lakeview, but the kids showed grit down the stretch.

“I hope this is a confidence boost for our program.”

On the girls side, the North Hall girls repeated with a two-day score of 275, which was two shots better than it won with in 2022. 

Also in the top five for the Lady Trojans were Lilly Mallis in third place (88) and fifth-place Morgan Whidden (101). 

Cherokee Bluff’s Samantha Roper was fourth overall with a final score of 93. 

Next year, the Hall County championship will shift over to Royal Lakes as part of its regular rotation. 

Hall County championships

Final results

Boys Team

1. Gainesville 300

2. Lakeview Academy 310

3. Cherokee Bluff 320

4. North Hall 322

5. Flowery Branch 373

6. Chestatee 393

7. Johnson 431

8. East Hall 467

9. West Hall 494

Girls Team

1. North Hall 275

2. Cherokee Bluff 279

3. Flowery Branch 341

4. East Hall 347

5. West Hall 356

6. Gainesville 367

7. Johnson 417

Boys Individual

Top five

1. Tanner Stephens Lakeview Academy 35-33-68

2. Brigham Ralston Gainesville 37-36-73

3. Colin Henderson Gainesville 37-38-75

T4. Henry Kopydlowski Gainesville 38-38-76

T4. Nick Greene Gainesville 39-37-76

Girls Individual

Top five

1. Alisa Pressley Cherokee Bluff 43-39-82

2. MaKayla Jones North Hall 41-45-86

3. Lilly Mallis North Hall 45-43-88

4. Samantha Roper Cherokee Bluff 49-44-93

5. Morgan Whidden North Hall 50-51-101

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