The SSHS squad posted a team total of 346, three strokes better than its previous season best total of 349, shot at RedHawk two weeks ago. Spanish Springs, which has won three of the five HDL tournaments this fall, has finished no lower than second in a league tournament this season.
Reno and Elko won the first two HDL tournaments of the season but have been looking up at Spanish Springs the rest of the way. Reno and Elko wound up with team scores of 352 and 368 respectively Wednesday. Spanish Springs would have to finish fifth next week to miss out on the HDL’s regular season title. That would require a school other than Spanish Springs, Reno and Elko to crack the top three and that has not happened yet this season.
“It looks good for a league championship,” Spanish Springs coach Victor Sherbondy said. “Our 346 today was a good team number, but I know it’s still not quite to our potential. I think we’re capable of going into the low to mid 330s. We’re getting closer to where we need to be as regionals near in a couple weeks.”
All four individuals who counted scores toward the Spanish Springs team total finished in the top eight at Sierra Sage. SSHS seniors Brittany Best and Rachel Martin, who had won the past two HDL tournaments, both carded 85s Wednesday to finish in a three-way tie for third place.
Cougars junior Tess Jones and sophomore Devan Gaddis managed rounds of 86 and 90 to finish sixth and eighth overall. Genessee Roberts and Rochelle Mikkelson had scores of 95 and 112, which did not count toward the Spanish Springs total.
“I feel pretty good about our day,” Sherbondy said. “We’re playing more consistent golf and we’re a little more confident. I think all the girls played more relaxed today. It was nice to see lots of smiles … We didn’t spray the ball all over the place and end up in the sagebrush. We also had some good putting stats.”
Elko’s Christina Kralich garnered the individual medalist honors thanks to a score of 74. Reno’s Veronica Becher was second with an 82.
The Rail City ’s other 4A High Desert League school, Reed, settled for fifth overall with a 413. The Raiders needed a top team four finish to keep their hopes alive of earning a team berth into the upcoming Northern 4A tournament. While those dreams were dashed, it was hard for RHS players to get too down. The 413 total was their lowest of the fall season’s five HDL tournaments.
“I was happy with the way the girls played,” Reed coach Danielle Fleiner said. “Some of the girls had huge improvements … The 413 was our lowest so that’s really good and exciting.”
Lindsey Porter and Jocelyn Motter paced Reed’s effort, turning in scores of 96 and 97.
“I was happy with that score because it was cold out and I had not played the course,” Porter said. “I had some wonderful hits. I feel I’m playing more consistent. My swing is down. It’s just my aim and mental game that I’ve got to work on.”
Carlee Payne (109) and Nicole Echeto (111) made up the rest of Reed’s scoring contingent. Jessica Wilson (117) and Abby Oliphant (124) turned in non-counting scores for the Raiders.
Both Spanish Springs and Reed wrap up their regular season next week in the final HDL tournament of the fall season. Reed will host the event at D’Andrea. Tee times for the tournament begin at noon.