CARY — A long putt on No. 11 put Green Hope sophomore James Mishoe at ease. He had lipped out a few similar tries earlier in the day, but this was a spark.
“He really started clicking then,” Falcons coach Mike Robinson said.
The sophomore wrapped up Tri-9 Conference player of the year honors with his 3-under round of 69. And that helped the Falcons sweep the hardware, winning the conference championship after their win at MacGregor Downs Country Club Monday.
In Tri-9 boys’ golf, the end-of-year 18-hole tournament is not separate from the rest of the regular season. Athens Drive and Green Hope entered the tournament tied atop the standings, meaning whichever team finished higher would win the Tri-9.
Green Hope fired a 293, while Athens was third with 305. Holly Springs was second at 302.
“I think it’s good to have some pressure,” Robinson said. “You don’t always like it, but it is what it is.”
Green Hope has now won the past 11 conference championships following Apex’s title in 2002. Athens Drive has won a conference title since then, but it was in the old Triangle Alliance Athletic Conference.
“We didn’t want to be the first team to lose conference in 11 years,” Mishoe said. “We knew if we won here it would give us good confidence going into regionals.”
Holly Springs and Cary finished third and fourth, respectively, in the conference overall and will head to next week’s 4A Mideast regional.
The top four individuals from the other five teams – Apex’s Zach Smith, Middle Creek’s Carter Thompson and Lee County’s Walker Brinker and Sam Bradley – also qualified for the tournament.
The Tri-9 also named its all-conference teams, which are the 12 players who average the lowest per-nine-hole scores. Mishoe’s average of 36 was tops, followed by Holly Springs’ Tim Conover (36.6), last year’s player of the year.
“I’ll take 69 anyday,” Mishoe said.
Conover and Smith shot 1-under 71s, while Green Hope senior Patrick Jahn (73), Athens Drive’s Kevin Campbell (73) and Cary’s Barrett Fitzmorris (74) rounded out the top six.
Cary (324), Apex (325) and Lee County (326) were neck-and-neck for fourth through sixth at the tournament.
The all-conference list, starting with the lowest stroke average, was: Mishoe, Conover, Smith, Athens Drive’s Eric Bae, Campbell and Seth Meade, Green Hope’s Mike Siek and Kevin Wiles, Brinker, Cary’s Nick Ciampa, Jahn and Athens Drive’s Blake Lowengruber.
Cary’s Carl Chaney was voted coach of the year by his peers.
Green Hope 293
Holly Springs 302
Athens Drive 305
Lee County 326
Middle Creek 331
Panther Creek 343
Top 6 rounds
James Mishoe, Green Hope, 69
Tim Conover, Holly Springs, 71
Zach Smith, Apex, 71
Patrick Jahn, Green Hope, 73
Kevin Campbell, Athens Drive, 73
Barrett Fitzmorris, Cary, 74
Green Hope 94
Athens Drive 90
Holly Springs 66.5
Lee County 49
Middle Creek 30.5
Panther Creek 27
Blake: 919-460-2606; On Twitter: @JMBpreps