Poole wins HCC Tourney, Eagles place third

May 13—CICERO — Zionsville senior Gavin Poole didn't come into Monday afternoon's HCC Tournament thinking he would be the medalist in the elite field.

But after a 2-under 33 on the back nine, the Eagle golfer was able to do just that, shooting a 1-over 72 to earn medalist honors and help the Eagles to a third place finish.

"I was definitely not expecting that, but it is nice to come away with it," Poole said on Monday. "I'm feeling pretty good (with my game). Every time I play I just want to go out there and have fun, and am going to try to do that the rest of the year."

Poole is the first medalist in the tournament from Zionsville since Drew Wood in 2018.

He said he got off to a little bit of a tough start, but was able to turn things around right before the turn.

"I didn't play super great on the front, I hit some horrible shots, especially on two and three," Poole said. "My tee shot wasn't great on 8, but I was able to get it out of the heather and that's when it really started to turn around. I just told myself to play my game and it would work out."

Poole has been a steady presence in the Eagles' line-up all year, averaging in the mid-70s for the third-ranked Eagles.

Head coach Adam Wood said Poole was locked in over his final stretch of holes and was deserving to be the medalist.

"I'm really proud of him," Wood said. "He hit a lot of superb golf shots, and that's what it takes to have a round like that and win a conference like this — you have to play high quality golf. He has a very happy-go-lucky demeanor, and today was very much the unflappable Gavin Poole that I like to see. He's been playing some great golf."

Top-ranked HSE won the conference title with a 296, followed by sixth-ranked Westfield with a 306.

The Eagles came in with a 311, two shots ahead of ninth-ranked Noblesville.

"We have had a couple of tough tournaments in a row with the wind, and Bear Slide is another course where you can never really let your guard down," Wood said. "I think the guys managed it fairly well, we were just a little off in some areas, which is OK. I think some of them will be honest with themselves and say ' I could have been a couple shots better' which is OK and what I like about them — they are competitive and they like to play good golf and win trophies when they can."

Along with Poole, freshman Brycen Tisch earned all conference honors in shooting a 78.

He was in a three-way tie for 10th.

"He and I were talking after the round and he even felt like there were a few shots he could have been a little better," Wood said. "Which is why I love him. Brycen has a terrific future ahead of him and all conference as a freshman is certainly an accomplishment to be proud of. The sky's the limit for him and we'll keep working on how to get there."

Max Steiner shot an 80 and Andrew Wall an 81 for the Eagles.

Bryce Conlee shot an 82 and Anthony Vechiarella shot an 87.

The Eagles are off until Saturday when they play in the Lafayette Jeff Classic at Battleground.

Wood said it can be a tricky time of the year with the end of classes and finals, but is confident in the way his team will manage it.

"The process is the same," Wood said. "You go, compete, analyze your performance, diagnose it, train it and go compete again. For us, it won't change a lot. We obviously want them to put a very high priority on their academics as we approach finals, but these guys work really hard. They will stay focused and keep working the process the best they can."

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @Will_Willems.