Mitchell's low round paces N-C to match win

While Newton-Conover golfer Lee Mitchell may be the “new kid on the block,” he certainly didn’t play that way Monday.

The senior, who came to Newton-Conover from Alabama, shot a 1-under-par 34 on the back nine of the Jackson Course at Rock Barn to medal and lift the Red Devils to a big non-conference match victory.

Mitchell, who played in a group with Maiden’s Thomas Lilly and Bunker Hill’s Tyler Lail, held his own against two of the top CVAC golfers in 2011.

Mitchell’s round included birdies on holes three, seven and nine.

“I just hit my fairways and greens,” Mitchell said. “I made a couple of putts. I bogeyed the last hole by short-sighting myself. I was definitely ready to start playing with Thomas and Tyler. They are great players. I’m ready for conference play to start now.”

Lilly and Lail each carded rounds of 1-over-par 36, tying them for fourth place in the final standings.

“I think I hit the ball pretty well,” Lilly said. “I putted all right. I just made a couple mistakes. I missed a short putt. I hit the wrong club on No. 6 and hit it into the water. Overall, I thought I played a good round.”

Lail, the reigning player of the year in the CVAC, said early struggles dampered a good day on the course.

“I hit the ball solid,” Lail said. “I just made some mistakes on No. 2 and 3. I got off to a bad start with a few bogies. I made a birdie on No. 8 and got it back a little bit. I just struggled right out of the gate.”

The second-best round of the day came from the Red Devils’ Alex Hefner, a transfer from Bandys.

Hefner shot an even-par 35, which earned him sole possession of second place.

Combined with solid performances by Hayden Bandy (37), Garrett Edwards (40), Chris Ziogas (41) and Perry Davis (43), the Red Devils defeated two-time defending CVAC champion Maiden, 146-154.

“We respect Maiden’s players and know they come to play,” said N-C coach John Echerd. “We came out and played our best today. We think we can give them a run at the conference. Even though this is a non-conference match, we take pride in shooting as low as we can in any match we play in.”