LOCAL COLLEGE/PREP ROUNDUP: Darton struggles in opening day of District IV golf tournament

Bill Jones III

Bill Jones III

MELBOURNE, Fla. — Bill Jones III would like a mulligan.

The Darton golf coach watched his Cavs, who are ranked No. 5 in the NJCAA, stumble in the first two rounds of the District IV Tournament, which they need a Top-7 finish in to advance to nationals for the 11th year in a row.

Darton shot a 605 Monday, leaving the Cavs in fourth place and 21-shots behind leader Brevard.

“We came in here to win, and it’s going to take a major miracle for us to have a chance to win,” Jones said. “We weren’t as disappointed as we were embarrassed. We had expectations coming in. We played this course really well earlier in the spring, and I thought we would play well (Monday).”

Darton’s Joe Sakulpolphaisan, who is the No. 1-ranked junior golfer in the country, is 4-over after two rounds and in fifth place.

Sakulpolphaisan is nine shots behind individual leader Jake Stirling from Meridian.

It was a struggle for Darton’s other four golfers — Chase Jones (10-over), Austin McNeill (11-over), Shad Tuten (14-over) and Nick Green (20-over).

Also in front of the Cavs are No. 1 Meridian (589) and No. 8 Central Alabama (599).

Darton is hoping to turn things around for the final round, which begins this morning at 9:10.

ASU’s Smith earns conference award

Albany State University outfielder Patrick Smith has been named the conference’s East Division Player of the Week.

Smith, a native of Lithonia, went 5-for-7 from the plate with a home run and two doubles in three games, finishing with a .714 batting average and a 1.429 slugging percentage for the week.

The 5-foot-10, 168-pound junior scored three runs and drove in another nine runs with one stolen base.

Smith, who was perfect in the field, also had a .750 on-base percentage while helping the Rams finish the week with a 2-1 record, taking two of three in a weekend series against conference-foe Benedict

Westwood advances in GISA state tourney

MACON — Westwood’s Sydnee Smith smashed her way into today’s GISA Class A state girls tennis semifinals with back-to-back 6-0, 6-0 wins in the first two rounds of the state individual tournament on Monday.

She is now poised to win her fourth consecutive state title today.

Smith could be playing teammate Savannah Jones, who also advanced with back-to-back 6-0, 6-0 wins on Monday, in the title match today.

Both of Westwood’s girls doubles teams also advanced to the semifinals as Ashley Bush and Claire Collins won 6-0, 6-0, and 6-2, 6-3, and Callie Smith, Sydnee’s sister and an eighth grader, and Mary Parker Westbrook advanced with 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-0 victories.

Randolph Southern’s doubles team of Brook Taylor and Hannah Peavey advanced to the semis and will face Smith and Westbrook.

Westwood’s Garrett Elmore advanced to the boys singles semifinals (6-0, 6-0, and 6-2, 6-2) and the boys doubles team of Will High and Dylan Larkin made it to the semifinals with 6-0, 6-0, and 6-3, 6-0 wins on Monday.