For The Tribune
Seymour junior Hannah Thompson will be Jackson County’s lone representative in the girls golf regional at Country Oaks Golf Course in Montgomery this coming Saturday.
Thompson shot 53 and 45 for 98 strokes to tie Mariah Deaton of Salem for low individual qualifying score at the Bedford North Lawrence Sectional at Otis Park Golf Course this past Saturday.
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BNL was the favorite to win the sectional, and the Stars easily placed first with a score of 362 for their third straight sectional title.
They were led by sectional medalist Bailey Gilmore with a 79. She was the only player in the sectional to break 90. The Stars played three freshmen and no seniors.
Springs Valley was second with 416, and Mitchell was third with 418.
Brownstown Central was fourth at 428, Seymour finished with 432 and Trinity Lutheran placed sixth at 476.
A year ago, Thompson tied teammate Brittany Trimnell for a regional qualifying spot. But rather than have a playoff, Thompson elected to let Trimnell advance since she was a senior.
“I can’t control my emotions,” Seymour coach RaeAnn Wintin said after learning Thompson had advanced. “That’s a great score for her.”
Bailey Goben of Seymour nearly advanced, only to lose a playoff to Samantha Gilstrap of Eastern (Pekin) after both girls shot scores of 102.
Next for the Owls was Andrea Axsom at 103, while Jenna Ebler shot 129 and Kara Rice had 141.
Wintin said she was proud of Goben and Ebler, who shot personal bests.
Ebler lowered her score by 17 strokes from the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament at Otter Creek in Columbus a week earlier.
“That is a personal best for (Ebler),” Wintin said. “I can’t ask for more than improvement and shooting your best score at sectional. I can’t be unhappy with that. This is a really challenging course, a difficult course. We play here a lot, and I’m glad we do. We get experience on it that not everybody does.”
The Owls shot 221 on the front nine and 211 on the back nine, and Wintin said she had a feeling her team would post a lower score on the back side.
“It’s kind of a weird thing because a lot of people will wear out, get tired when they play 18,” she said. “Some people’s scores are higher on the back than they are on the front. In the past, we’ve done better on the back than we have on the front, so I think that’s a good attribute of our team.”
Wintin said the Owls showed improvement in different areas.
“It was a little bit different for everybody,” she said. “They’ve been working on different things. A lot of the girls worked on their putting this week, and it really showed. They had a lot less three-putts. Overall, their drives were better today.”
Brownstown coach Brandon Allman and Trinity coach Greg Personett knew their teams would have to lower their scores on the back nine over what they posted on the front, but their golfers were not able to do that.
The Braves shot 212 on the front and 216 on the back, while Trinity went from 235 on the front to 241 on the back.
Regan Campbell was low for the Braves on the front with a 51, then came in with a 54 for a total of 105.
Kaela Tormoehlen shot 54 on the front and closed with a 49 for a 103 and missed getting into a playoff by one stroke.
Emma Zabor was next for the Braves at 109, while Breonna Bottorff shot 111 and Shelby Stuckwisch carded 114.
Jessica Fleener led the Cougars on the front side with a 56, and Demi Oakes shot 57, but neither player was able to shoot lower on the back, as Oakes finished at 112 and Fleener at 124.
Morgan Gabbard shot 119 and Macy Taylor 121 to round out the Trinity scoring.