CGA wins LaPorte Sectional; Glenn takes 3rd
LaPORTE — Culver Girls Academy made the most of its new sectional realignment on Friday.
The Lady Eagles carded a 349 at Beechwood in their first year after transferring out of the Warsaw tourney to the LaPorte Sectional, beating out the field by a convincing 43 strokes to end a 14-year sectional championship drought.
LaPorte shot 392 for runner-up honors in the team standings, while John Glenn earned its second straight team regional berth just a stroke back, and Knox finished sixth with a 475 score.
CGA, LaPorte and Glenn advance to the Lafayette Jefferson Regional next Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Battle Ground Golf Club in Lafayette.
“It was a nice day for the girls, it was a nice day for me,” said CGA girls golf coach Fred Haase. “We haven’t really competed for a sectional title since my daughter Caroline was here. It was an end to a long drought, and I think everyone was pretty happy and pretty relieved after the day was over.”
CGA’s top three finished as the top three overall at the tournament as first-year Canadian import Tavia Maurovic shot 80 to earn individual low-medalist honors at par 74 Beechwood, LaVille transfer Lauren Read and Mackenzie Toth both carded 86, freshman Hannah Brumback shot 97, and Makenna Morsches turned in the team’s fifth score of 112.
Sitting at 173 at the turn, the Eagles already had the championship in the bag.
“When you have three scores like that it really puts you in the driver’s seat,” said Haase. “We were 26 strokes up after nine holes so at that point I think a lot of the pressure was off, and it made the back nine a lot more relaxing and fun to watch.”
Just last year, Glenn earned its school-first team regional berth. Now the Lady Falcons are headed back.
Junior Morgan Eggleston carded a formidable 43 on the back nine at Beechwood on her way to a team-low 92 for Glenn, freshman Anna Schmeltz shot 95 in her first-ever sectional tilt, Madeleine Silvey continued a strong late season push with a 102, Emma Reese remained consistent with a 104, and Presley Gee finished with a 112 — a score that would have pushed Glenn over the top of LaPorte had the Falcons shaved off one of their top four strokes to tie with the host Slicers.
With everyone back from last year’s regional-qualifying team, this year’s berth was less of a surprise for Glenn.
“Last year was kind of a surprise, and we weren’t sure if we were going to make it; it was unexpected and exciting. This year, I don’t want to call it pressure, but the expectations were a little bit different,” said head coach Randy Schmeltz. “I think the girls really felt like maybe we could do this again because they had such a good time last year. They really worked hard to get back again this year.”
In addition to Friday’s second straight ticket out to Lafayette Jeff, Glenn finished the regular season with an impressive 17-5 record. Team chemistry and a healthy competition among players has been the key to the Falcons’ success this year, says Schmeltz.
“There’s still lots of room for improvement. It helps if you get one girl shooting in the 90s, then you get two girls shooting in the 90s, then you get three or four that want to shoot there,” he said. “I think that’s a strength, that team chemistry — they all want to push each other to go a little lower and a little lower. So that’s a goal: We all want to go down to that regional and shoot a little bit better than what we did here today.”
With two of the state’s top-ranked teams expected at the Battle Ground next week in Valparaiso and Lafayette Jefferson, Glenn and CGA will be competing for the third spot out to the state finals at the Legends in Franklin on Oct. 4.
It’s a bit of a long shot, but anything’s possible says Haase
“I’m guessing it’ll take our best round of the year. Our 349 today was our best round of the year, and I’m guessing it’ll take something even better than that to get out of the regional,” said the CGA boss.
“I don’t think we can compete with Valparaiso and Lafayette Jeff… but I think if we can shoot down in the high 330s, which will take us not making some of the mistakes we typically make, who knows? I’d say that will give us a chance.”
Knox was led Friday by Miranda Shepherd’s 106, meanwhile. Sarah Coad finished close behind with a 11 score, while Kindrick Joseph shot 120, Jenna Landrum shot 138, and Elizabeth Krueger carded 144.
• LaPORTE GIRLS GOLF SECTIONAL
At Beechwood (Par 74)
Team scores (Top three advance as a team): 1. Culver Girls Academy 349, 2. LaPorte 392, 3. John Glenn 393, 4. Michigan City 439, 5. New Prairie 440, 6. Knox 475, 7. Marquette 623
Low medalist: Tavia Maurovic (CGA) 80
Top three individuals from non-advancing teams: 1. Elizabeth Smith (MC) 99, 2. Alexis Wagner (NP) 99, 3. Tara Seizys (MC) 100.
CGA (349): Tavia Maurovic 80, Lauren Read 86, Mackenzie Toth 86, Hannah Brumback 97, Makenna Morsches 112.
GLENN (393): Anna Schmeltz 95, Emma Reese 104, Madeleine Silvey 102, Morgan Eggleston 92, Presley Gee 112.
KNOX (475): Sarah Coad 111, Miranda Shepherd 106, Kindrick Joseph 120, Jenna Landrum 138, Elizabeth Krueger 144.