Spanish Springs posted a two-day total of 684 to outclass the field at the Northern 4A Girls Golf Championships, hosted Monday and Tuesday at Red Hawk Golf Club, the Cougars’ home course. Spanish Springs put up a 346 Monday to lead the field by eight strokes, but blew the tournament open with a 338 Tuesday, its lowest one-day team total this fall.
Second-place Carson had a 354 Monday, but fell off the pace with a 360 Tuesday. Still, as the top two Northern 4A team finishers, both the Cougars and Senators advance to play at next week’s 4A State Championships, which will be hosted by Reno’s Hidden Valley Country Club.
“It was outstanding,” Spanish Springs coach Victor Sherbondy said. “It was a great effort. Top to bottom it was solid. We went out yesterday and shot 346, which was a pretty good number. But we knew we could do better. Then we went out and did it today with the 338. It all came together at the right time.”
The Spanish Springs scoring was paced by Tess Jones. The senior followed up her 79 Monday with a 77 Tuesday, the low round of the day. Her two-day total of 156 was good for second overall.
“Tess was unbelievable,” Sherbondy said. “She had never posted a number below 80 in a high school tournament. To do it two days in a row, under the extreme pressure of playing against the best players in northern Nevada, shows she’s just an amazing senior leader.”
Douglas High’s Bethany Wurster was the individual medalist thanks to her (73, 79) 151.
Spanish Springs got a balanced effort from its team. Christina Kralich, one of the top players in northern Nevada a year ago, transferred into Spanish Springs from Elko and her presence has paid dividends throughout the fall. Kralich had an 80 Monday and 82 Tuesday for a two-day total of 162, good for fourth overall.
Freshman Trae Jones (93, 96-179) and junior Devan Gaddis (94, 93-187) comprised the rest of the Cougars’ scoring contingent.
You can bet the Cougars were thrilled to play the regional tournament on their home course this week, but Sherbondy said it would not have mattered where the team played.
“I think the girls played so well, that we would’ve played well on any course,” he said. “I just attribute the win to hard work and what our coaches did to prepare the girls ... We talked a lot about different scenarios the girls could find themselves in and I think having the answers to those, really helped the girls be calm and confident, to trust their swings and have fun doing it. That was the most important thing.”
•The Rail City’s other 4A school, Reed, was also in action at the regional tournament. The Raiders finished seventh overall with a (384, 395) 779. The RHS squad finished two strokes out of sixth place.
The top five individuals from a non-qualifying state team also advance to state play. Reed’s Carlee Payne finished sixth on that list, just out of state contention. Payne carded an 86 Monday, but could not replicate that Tuesday, settling for a 93.
“It was a bummer, but she was OK,” Reed coach Danielle Fleiner said. “She came in hoping to give herself a chance and she did that. She is already looking forward to next year.”
Jocelyn Motter (93, 92-185) Nicole Echeto (104, 106-210) and Abby Oliphant (109, 104-213) made up the rest of the Raiders’ scoring group.
Reed had on put together a team total below the 400 mark in any of the HDL’s six regular season tournaments, but found a way to get it done twice in regional play. For that, Fleiner was ecstatic over her players’ efforts.
“Monday’s 384 was our lowest total in four years,” she said. “Even finishing seventh, I can’t be happier with the girls. I think next year will be our strongest year yet. I’m excited to see what the girls will have.”