BELLEFONTE Logan Liles didn’t realize just how pivotal his 6-foot putt was.
The Lewis County sophomore-to-be calmly sank it to cap off a fine round with a birdie in the Ashland Invitational at Bellefonte Country Club.
Because of that hole No. 10 result, he edged Madison Central’s Gavin McKune by a stroke for medalist honors on Monday.
Liles, whose group began play on No. 11 with a shotgun start, pointed to No. 1 as his biggest boost.
“I went driver, 4-iron to (within) 5 feet and made eagle,” said Liles, who carded a 2-over-par 72. “It was definitely the highlight of the day.”
Madison Central captured the team title. Fourth-year coach Kyle Congleton played at Bellefonte in the AJGA Bluegrass Junior, but this was the first time he brought his alma mater to a competition there.
“I hadn’t been up here in seven or eight years,” said Congleton, a five-year golfer for the Indians before a four-year college career at Eastern Kentucky. “I love being in Ashland.”
McKune, a sophomore, was listed as Madison Central’s fourth golfer. He, Cooper Eberle, Warren Thomis and Clay Pendergrass all shot in the 70s.
“We’re very young, immature and inexperienced, but I have a great group of kids who work hard every day and love playing golf,” Congleton said. “I don’t even have a kid on the team who can drive.”
Eberle, Pendergrass and Thomis reside on the same street, so they’re a tight-knit trio.
Eberle has a local tie. Linda Biggs, his grandmother, has lived in Ashland for 42 years. She tallied every stroke from her golf cart while watching her grandson on Monday — and accidentally marked down an extra hit.
“I was one off on Cooper’s score, to his advantage,” she said with a laugh.
Jason Eberle, Cooper’s father, is the club pro at Gibson Bay Golf Course in Richmond. His wife, Stacie, is an Ashland graduate. Elizabeth Eberle, Cooper’s younger sister, also golfs.
Sophomore Connor Calhoun, Ashland’s top player, frequently receives tutelage from Jason Eberle. Calhoun and Cooper Eberle first met at a tournament at Gibson Bay when they were 8 years old.
Calhoun finished in third place at Bellefonte with a 75. He recorded back-to-back birdies on his first two holes.
“I’d like to make more birdie putts inside of 10 feet or so,” said the lefty. “I think I missed a couple today or I could’ve had a lower score.”
Greenup County senior Drew Stultz had some fun with Pendergrass on No. 18. Both handle the driver well.
“We had a little friendly bet going on who can hit the longest drive, so I tried to just have fun coming down 18 because it’s the last time I’ll play here in a high school tournament,” Stultz said.
It paid off. Stultz unleashed a monster tee shot before grabbing a wedge to chip it close enough for a comfortable birdie putt.
Stultz paced second-place Greenup County with a 76.
1. Madison Central (306) — Gavin McKune 73, Cooper Eberle 76, Warren Thomis 78, Clay Pendergrass 79, Blake McGinn 84.
2. Greenup County (324) — Drew Stultz 76, Dylan Stultz 80, Brett Bentley 83, Jadon Gordon 85, Griffin Keeton 85.
3. Mason County (325) — Mason Butler 75, Kaden Grooms 83, Evan Shumacher 83, Spencer Magee 84, Logan Shepherd 85.
4. Pikeville (331) — Cameron Roberts 76, Jordan Ratliff 80, Daniel Ratliff 87, Jon Bryant 88, Colin Street 97.
5. Paul Dunbar (339) — Cam Ringler 79, Robby Neal 80, Logan Hill 88, Ryland Johns 92, Craig Livesay 92.
6. East Carter (364) — Isaac Walker 84, Cody Fouts 90, Brice Harris 93, Mathew Tomolin 97, Titus McClone 99.
7. Russell (376) — Gunner Cassity 84, Max Waddell 93, C.J. Bartram 96, Torin Kirk 103, Brody Kilburn 106.
8. Ashland (378) — Connor Calhoun 75, Hunter Messer 91, Parker Miller 99, Liam Ferguson 113, Parker Williams 123.
9. Elliott County (440) — Aaron Adams 103, Eli Griffith 105, Cameron Adams 112, Gatlin Griffith 120.
Individuals (no team) — Logan Liles (Lewis Co.) 72, Billy Gussler 77, Nick James (W. Carter) 80, Jason Lee (Dunbar) 87, Bryce Snapp (Madison Central) 87, Zack Ring (Mason Co. ) 90, Boone Gibson (Greenup Co.) 94, Christian Parker (Rowan Co.) 95, Avery Sartin (Lewis Co.) 96, Lucas Crooks (E. Carter) 105, Dylan Street (Pikeville) 107, Braydon Dehart (W. Carter) 111, Evan Napier (E. Carter) 113, Brady Blevins (Greenup Co.) 114, Kyle McComis (Ashland) 120, Alex Deborde (Boyd Co.) 125, Brody Shearer (E. Carter) 126, RJ Veach (Greenup Co.) 129.