Cookeville, DeKalb County Win District 7-2A Tournaments; Slatten Shoots A 66

by Rusty Ellis

The Cookeville Cavaliers and DeKalb County Lady Tigers were among the teams punching their tickets into the region tournament on Monday, as both teams took home District 7-2A Championships.

On the boys side, the Cavaliers were led by Parks Fowler’s 71 and Brant Kardatzke’s 72. Owen Hill added a 75, and Ty Harrison shot a 79 to round out the team.

Gavin Godsey shot a 76 to lead Upperman (332) to a second-place finish, while Thomas Houston’s 81 paced third-place Stone Memorial (336). Those two teams will join Cookeville in the region tournament.

Other individuals that earned berths in the tournament were Warren County’s Will Sporalsky (76) and William Davis (81), DeKalb County’s Bradley Hale (81) and William Blair (82) and White County’s Lucas Dickerson (82).

Both Kierstyn Ealey and Sarah Tinsley of the Lady Cavs will each compete at the region tournament as individuals as well.

As for CHS head coach Larry Pitts, he says it’s always a good accomplishment to make it to the region tournament, and that it’s a testament to how far both of his teams have come.

“I’m super proud,” Pitts said. “Our girls are inexperienced this year…Sarah (Tinsley) has moved in from Arkansas and Kierstyn is a freshman, but they’ve worked hard all year. They work on their own and they work hard in practice…they boys have played solid all year. Brant’s played really well all year and Parks has been up-and-down, but today he let things happen and it worked out for us.”

And now both of his teams will continue play for at least one more tournament with a chance to make it to Sevierville.

“I’m looking forward to next week,” Pitts said. “When it comes down to the region tournament, it doesn’t matter how you did the rest of the year, it’s win or go home….it’s the best team that day that goes to the state tournament.”

For the girls, DeKalb County led the field with an overall score of 160, as they were led by Alison Poss’ 79. Chloe Boyd shot an 81 to round out the team’s score.

Upperman (173) finished in second place, led by Mylie Herron’s 86, while Warren’s Lauren Slatten shot the low-round of the day at 66 to lead third-place Warren County (182).

Other individuals advancing include Stone Memorial’s Sarah Bass (77), White County’s Keely Cunningham (98) and Cumberland County’s Kelly McCartt (92).

DCHS head coach John Pryor has watched his girls team play steady all season long, and Monday’s accomplishment was one he says he always felt was possible for them.

“My girls have just been solid from the beginning of the year to now and I’ve never stopped believing in them,” Pryor said. “Alison Poss has been putting in good scores, so I expected her to do well. Chloe Boyd has come on really strong as a freshman…I think they shot 154 at the Early Bird Tournament and they shot a 160 today. I think this team will be ready for the region tournament.”

As far as how the team feels going into the region, there’s no hiding that Pryor and DeKalb’s goals are clear: they want to get to State.

“We want to win the region, and I like our chances,” Pryor said. “Upperman was good today, and Lauren Slatten was phenomenal, but I like our chances. I’m hoping we can go down there and punch our tickets to Sevierville next week.”

Full scores from the tournament can be found below.