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Gainesville boys, girls capture Region 8-AAAAA golf titles
Pep Brown shoots 2-under par to win boys individual title
Gainesville High’s Lawson King chips onto the ninth green at Chattahoochee Golf Course during the Region 8-AAAAA golf tournament Thursday morning.

Region 8-AAAAA championships
at Chattahoochee Golf Club
Boys results

1. Gainesville    293
2. Flowery Branch    303
3. Heritage    333
4. Apalachee    338
5. Cedar Shoals    391
6. Clarke Central    402
7. Winder-Barrow    410
8. Salem    434

Top 10 individual

1. Pep Brown, Gainesville    70
2. Nathan Williams, Gainesville    72
3. Eric Little, Flowery Branch    73
4. Kameron Williams, Flowery Branch    74
5. Lawson King, Gainesville    75
T6. Reeves Bell, Gainesville    76
T6. Spencer Ralston, Gainesville    76
T6. Jackson Bishop, Gainesville    76
T9. Colby Stone, Flowery Branch    77
T9. Cody Johnson, Apalachee    77

Girls results

1. Gainesville    242
2. Winder-Barrow    318
3. Apalachee    339
4. Clarke Central    365
5. Flowery Branch    370

Top five individual

1. Savannah Rainbolt, Winder-Barrow    78 (tiebreaker)
2. Meg Callahan, Gainesville    78
3. Morgan Reese, Gainesville    81
4. Madeline Harr, Gainesville    83
5. Ashleigh Bishop, Gainesville    87

Even with a victory in the Region 8-AAAAA golf meet, the Gainesville High boys had to get back on track after a slow start Thursday at the Chattahoochee Golf Club.

The Red Elephant that deserves much of the credit for the back-nine surge is sophomore Nathan Williams with his 3-under score and four birdies that earned him a second-place individual spot at even-par 72.

Gainesville senior Pep Brown repeated as low-medallist in region with a two-under 70 as the Red Elephants took home the third straight team region championship with a 293 score totaled among its top four placers.

Flowery Branch finished second, 10 shots back of Gainesville.

“I’m really pleased with how we finished the day,” Gainesville coach Bryson Worley said. “We were shaky coming out today because we were overexcited to play after three weeks without a match.”

With the win, Gainesville is headed to the state meet on May 20 at Pine Lakes in Jekyll Island, looking to repeat after taking home the Class AAA state title in 2012.

“Our expectation is to go down there to state, play as well as we can and hopefully win the state title,” Williams said.

The Gainesville girls grabbed the region title handily with a 242 among its top three scores. Meg Callahan finished second individually from the Lady Red Elephants at 78 after falling in a two-hole playoff for the individual title against champion Savannah Rainbolt from Winder-Barrow. The Lady Bulldoggs finished second in the team standings with a 318.

Morgan Reece carded an 81 for Gainesville, Madeline Harr finished with an 83 and Ashleigh Bishop shot an 87.

“The girls were terrific today,” Gainesville girls coach Clay McDonald said. “There’s not a lot of other words you could use to better describe it.

“This is just a great group of girls and I don’t have to worry about much with them. They are all well behaved, make good grades and are all motivated to come out here to practice and get better.”

The Gainesville girls also have three weeks to prepare to defend their state title, this season on May 20 at Indian Mounds of the Jekyll Island Golf Club.

Even though the Red Elephants boys made a big push late to secure victory, Brown actually started fast with birdies on each of the first two holes. Then on the par-3 12th, his tee shot lipped out and left him with a two-foot putt for birdie. Brown said all of his birdie putts were from four feet or closer. After finishing the front nine at 6 over, Gainesville played the back nine at 2 under as a team.

Gainesville was strong from top to bottom. Lawson King carded a 75 for the Red Elephants. Reeves Bell, Spencer Ralston and Jackson Bishop all finished tied for sixth individually at 76.

Flowery Branch, which will play in the state sectional qualifier on May 6 at the Westlake Country Club of Augusta, was paced by Eric Little (73), Kameron Williams (74), Colby Stone (77) and Jordan Windish (79). Also qualifying for the sectional event is Apalachee’s Cody Johnson with a 77.

After playing 18 on the girls side, there was a tie between Gainesville’s Callahan and Winder-Barrow’s Rainbolt.

The Lady Bulldoggs’ Rainbolt clinching the win with a delicate 20-foot putt for birdie on No. 2, after both made par on the first playoff hole.