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Wilson native named ACO Player of the Year but ties for 7th at ACO’s World Singles Championship

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Tyler Poythress will have to wait at least another year to lay claim to the coveted American Cornhole Organization “King of Cornhole” title.

The Fike High graduate, coming off Player of the Year accolades in the ACO regular season, took the No. 1 overall seed into Saturday’s ACO double-elimination World Singles Championship at Owensboro Convention Center.

But after winning his first four matches to reach the quarterfinals of the winner’s bracket, Poythress stumbled and won one losers bracket encounter before running into a familiar foe in No. 18 seed Caleb Avery — one half of the brotherly tandem that eliminated Poythress and teammate Jay Corley in Friday’s ACO World Doubles Championship en route to a third-place finish.

Poythress fell behind early against Avery and never led, falling 21-9 to end his tournament and tie his best-ever singles finish of seventh in three trips to the event.

In defending his No. 1 seed in the first half of Saturday play, Poythress defeated No. 128 Noel True of Kentucky, No. 65 Sean Short of Ohio, No. 97 Robert Morris Jr. of North Carolina and upstart No. 112 seed Trellis Cisco of West Virginia in the opening four matches. Poythress faltered against No. 25 seed Jordan Langworthy of Kentucky and was sent to the losers bracket, where he knocked out another Kentucky player in No. 14 seed Phillip Haydon.

However, with fellow Tar Heel Avery in wait, Poythress could not find the big inning against Avery’s clutch pitching. Poythress had an opportunity to get at least five points back at one juncture, but on his final throw of the inning, Avery hit an “air mail” shot that knocked two of his own bags in the hole and foiled any built-up momentum.

North Carolina’s Jamie Graham, as the No. 94 seed, defeated No. 5 Ryan Windsor of Illinois in two games to win the King of Cornhole crown for Season XII and finished the tournament without a loss. It’s the first King of Cornhole win for a North Carolina player in the event’s history.

Matt Guy, owner of seven of the ACO’s 12 World Singles championships and the No. 2 seed behind Poythress, was halted in the loser’s bracket final by Windsor.

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