Spanish Springs, the defending HDL champion, which finished third at state a year ago, had to settle for a second-place finish in Wednesday’s initial HDL tournament of the fall season, at WildCreek.
McQueen won the team title at WildCreek, turning in a team total of 364, 20 strokes better than Spanish Springs (384).
Reno (413) and Reed (452) finished third and fourth respectively. North Valleys and Hug had individuals compete, but did not field enough to post a team total.
McQueen’s Kelsey Roberts and Reno’s Denise Wilkerson both finished with scores of 85 to tie for individual medalist honors.
Sophomore Trae Jones paced the SSHS scoring contingent with a 91. Stephanie King and Sammi Sorensen chipped in scores of 94 and 96. Senior Devan Gaddis had the final counting score for the Cougars, a 100.
Competing schools must total their four best scores and throw out their two lowest. The Cougars did not count the 106 of Kirsti Fettas or the 109 of Joanna Perry.
“The conditions were great and the course was in good shape,” Spanish Springs coach Victor Sherbondy said. “We have a really young team. We have an awful lot of work to do, especially on our short game. We left a lot of putts out there.
“But the girls know we will improve as the season goes on. You never want to peak too early and we didn’t come anywhere near our potential today.”
For Reed, the Raiders turned in some high scores, but RHS coach Danielle Fleiner knows her largely inexperienced team is a work in progress.
Carlee Payne’s 98 was Reed’s top score. Andi Lee and Maggie Saudners were next with a 115 and 116 for the Raiders. Reed had two players score 123, Haley Kutz and Amanda Vranken. One was counted and the other thrown out. Reed’s final non-counting score was the 144 of Keirsten Ashford-Wellman.
“I’m not happy at all with that. The girls are better players than that,” Fleiner said. “But it was the first time some of them have played 18 holes and WildCreek is not an easy course, especially when it’s your first tournament. It’s challenging.
“We can’t make silly mistakes. Those add up quickly. Course management is a big key for us. It’s a big piece and one some of our girls need to learn faster than others.”
Both Reed and Spanish Springs, as well as the rest of the HDL’s schools, will compete in the second conference tournament of the fall campaign, Tuesday at RedHawk. Tee times begin at 11:30 a.m.