IRONTON, Ohio — As the Ironton Invitational resembled an eight-team Ohio Valley Conference tournament, the young Gallia Academy Blue Devils placed in the top half.
That’s because the Blue Devils, as part of Monday’s annual event at Ironton Country Club, fired a team total of 375 to finish fourth out of seven squads which fielded full clubs.
In addition to those seven, all of which are members of the OVC, Portsmouth sported three golfers and thus did not post a team score.
Gallia Academy, along with Coal Grove, also had “B” teams compete — as only Portsmouth and the Blue Devils’ “B” group did not have four players.
The Gallia Academy “A” list almost took third, trailing Rock Hill (374) by a single stroke.
Four players are needed to post a team score, as Coal Grove garnered the team championship with a runaway tally of 339.
Fairland finished as the runner-up at 363, followed closely by Rock Hill and Gallia Academy’s 375.
Chesapeake at 393, Ironton at 447 and South Point at 485 rounded out the team scores.
For the Blue Devils, the squad’s sole senior —Kaden Thomas —fired a 77 to earn match medalist runner-up.
Thomas trailed only medalist Trevor Deere of Coal Grove — with a 76 — for the lowest round of the day on a rainy and dreary Monday.
As part of a front-nine 37, Thomas birdied three holes before shooting a 40 on the back.
He was joined on the six-man all-tournament team by Deere, Logan Reed of Rock Hill, Clayton Thomas of Fairland, William Sturgill of Portsmouth and Jed Whitworth of Coal Grove.
Reed and Clayton Thomas each shot 82 —one shot better than the 83 by Sturgill and Whitworth.
Reece Thomas with a 90, Cooper Davis with a 99 and Hobie Graham with a 109 were the other three Blue Devil cards.
Jason Haywood, with an 84, helped push Rock Hill to be one stroke better than Gallia Academy.
Jacob Lemley of Chesapeake posted an 84 as well.
Gallia Academy’s “B” team tallies were a 113 by Elijah Blazer, a 114 by Nick Mayes and a 116 by Bo Saxon.
The Blue and White will host this year’s OVC tournament on Sept. 22.
The Blue Devils return to the road, and return to invitational action, on Wednesday at Waterford.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106