Last spring, Gordon Lee's Jessica Hickman stepped up in golf's postseason and turned in a state runner-up finish for the Lady Trojans.
One year later, Hickman is picking right back up where she left off.
The senior carded a nice round of 79 at the LaFayette Golf Course on Tuesday afternoon to capture her first individual Area 3-A championship and lead Gordon Lee to yet another team championship.
"I played better than I thought I was going to play today," Hickman explained. "I started off really well playing the back nine (first), although I kind of fell apart a little bit on a couple of holes (on the front nine). But I still did better than I thought I would do."
Hickman, who had a 79 at Nob North a week ago to earn low medalist honors at the Heritage Five-Star Invitational, said her game was all starting to come together at the same time.
"Usually, I hit my irons well, or I've got a good short game," she said. "But here recently, it's all starting to click and I'll have good iron play and a good short game at the same time."
"Jessica started out a little slow this year," Gordon Lee head coach Derrell O'Neal said. "She had to miss a couple of matches, but here at the end of the year, she is literally killing the ball. She's hitting it as straight as she's ever hit it. She shot a 79 today and, except for a couple of holes, she would have shot an even lower score. She's has shot exceptionally well in our last two tournaments and just done really well."
The Lady Trojans finished the day at 163. Senior Macall Miller shot an 84, as did freshman Cora Mount, while sophomore Alexandria Maynor finished with a 97. The lowest two scores were counted towards the team total.
Miller and Mount tied for second individually.
"The girls have worked very hard to get here and they've done a great job in getting to this point," O'Neal added. "We've got four girls that can all put a score up at any time and that's what's going to help us at state. I think, with a two-day tournament, we've got a legitimate shot to put up some scores."
Hickman added that she was "excited" about her team's prospects for the Class 1A Public School state tournament, which will be held May 22-23 at Southern Hills in Hawkinsville. The Lady Trojans won a share of the title in 2017 and were the runners-up last spring.
"I think we're going to do really well," she said. "All four of us have been playing really well recently, so if one of us has a bad day, the others can pick it up for us. I think we're going to do well there."
Drew Charter School finished with a score of 187, 24 strokes off the pace set by Gordon Lee.
Windham, Gordon Lee finish second
The two schools would flip-flop the order in the boys' tournament. Drew Charter, whose previous season-low was 350, was firing on all cylinders as they finished at 322, led by Anthony Ford's 73.
Gordon Lee shot 354 to take second place. Tucker Windham led the way with a 73 of his own, followed by Jacob Carlock (84), Ben Richardson (97) and Sam Norton (100). The four lowest scores were used to determine the team total. Weston Beagles (105) and Gavin McAlister (107) also teed it up for the Trojans.
Mount Zion-Carroll (373) and Bowdon (450) rounded out the team standings.
Ford and Windham would face off in a sudden-death playoff for the individual title that began on the par-4 18th hole.
Both golfers found trouble off the tee and had to chip back into the fairway. Their third shots would find the green, but while Windham was on the right edge of the green, hole-high and a good 20 feet from the flag, Ford put his third shot from 12 feet away from the cup, leaving him a mostly straight and slightly uphill putt.
Windham ran his par putt about three feet past the hole, but Ford rolled his ball directly in the dead center of the cup for the winning par.
Both teams qualified for state, which will be held May 20-21 at Southern Landings in Warner Robins.