Eastside squads take lead in Newton Cup

COVINGTON - The Eastside boys golf team had three of its four posted scores in the 70s in the first round of the Newton Cup at The Oaks Course on Tuesday.

Even though the Eastside girls also hold a lead, it's only one stroke as the Newton girls are breathing down their necks. The Lady Eagles posted a 100 followed by Newton with a 101 and Alcovy with a 113 for nine holes.

The Eastside boys posted scores of 71, 74, 77 and 80 for a 302 over 18 holes. Newton is in second place with a 382 followed by Alcovy with a 395.

"It kind of surprised me a little bit," Eastside boys coach Jay Cawthon said. "I figured we'd be in the low 300s but not quite that low. To have three scores in the 70s is impressive and to have one shot from having all four in the 70s is pretty impressive by a young team."

Eastside senior Taylor Smith led all players with an even-par 71 as Newton's Landon Cheek was two strokes back with a 73.

Taylor led by as many as four with two holes remaining, but Cheek had a strong finish with birdie, birdie to pick up two strokes.

Scoring for Eastside were freshmen Ace Cook (74), Tate Miller (77) and Nick Green (80).

"That's the way we've been playing all year. We have a lot of young guys. We have three freshman in our top six. They look up to Taylor," Cawthon said. "Taylor Smith sets the bar and they're all trying to reach that level of golf and they've been improving all year."

While Newton's Preston Bundy and Cheek were able to keep pace with Smith and the Eastside team, the rest of Newton didn't fare as well.

Bundy was second on the Newton team with an 81 followed by Morgan Page and Warren Inge who both had 114s.

Alcovy showed its youth and inexperience as Garek Cochran led the group with an 87 followed by Jeffrey Hexom (101), Travis Aiken (103) and Oran Allen (104).

The boys will finish the second leg of the Newton Cup on April 14 at Indian Creek, where they will play a modified-alternate shot format.

In the girls match, Eastside started with a two-stroke advantage as Maggie Smith posted low-round 47 followed by Newton's Ashley Anthony's 49.

Both teams were tied with a 104 as Newton made up the difference with Adrienne Kitchen's 55 and Eastside's Illysa Johnson's 57.

But the Eastside girls were able to grab a one-stroke lead when Caitlin Newman posted a 53, one better than Newton's Lydia Mikula's 52.

"I thought they played great. I was real pleased with the No. 3 and No. 4. Our No. 1 and No. 2 are consistently good," Newton girls coach Kay Wright said. "But I'm seeing some nice improvement from my No. 3 and No. 4."

Scoring for Alcovy were Rebecca Wilson and Yancey Clark with scores of 57 and 56.

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.