The Hibriten High men's golf team made a gallant charge at the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference championship in the regular-seaosn finale Monday afternoon. The Panthers, who began the day trailing Hickory by 16 shots for first place, fired a team-score of 309 on their home course, besting the field by
six shots. Hickory finished fourth with a team score of 321, 12 shots off the lead.
Despite their struggles on Monday, the Red Tornadoes staved off the Panthers by winning the conference title by four strokes (1873-1877). Alexander Central, which finished in second place on Monday with a 315, was the No.1 seed among the Class 4A schools in the league. Watauga finished seventh with a 338.
Tanner Pearson of Alexander Central was the leading medalist as he fired a 72. Austin Northern, who has qualified for regionals, paced the Pioneers with an 82. Matt Byrum and Cameron Taylor the Pioneers each had an 85; Dylan Cook had an 86. Now Taylor will be involved in a sudden-death playoff today in an attempt to make the regional field. Regional play begins May 7.
JOHNSON AGREES TO FA DEAL WITH RAVENS
Linebacker Austin Johnson, who played at Hickory High, has agreed to a free-agent rookie deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Johnson, an inside linebacker, led the University of Tennessee with 81 tackles last season. He also had four intercepitons. Johnson, who originially signed as a fullback, switched to linebacker as a junior in 2010. He made 44 stops that season. Johnson was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Academic Team from 2008-10, and he was named the Pat Tillman Award winner at the East-West Shrine Game in January.