INDIANAPOLIS — New Palestine’s girls golf team used team depth to complete its season trifecta Saturday at Old Oakland Golf Club.
The Dragons, who already have won county and conference crowns this season, captured the Mt. Vernon Sectional with a team score of 358. The win gives New Palestine back-to-back sectional titles — the only two in program history.
Sophomore Mackenzie Black led the Dragons with an 81 on the day. Each of New Palestine’s top-four scorers broke 100, with seniors Cassie Rooks (88) and Carly Jones (92) and junior Cassidy Harp (97) shooting solid rounds.
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“It feels good, I wanted the girls to defend the title from last year,” Dragons head coach Gregg Greene said. “I knew that we should be able to if they applied themselves.
“This week I made sure we had a chance to come out here twice. I felt better about it after that.”
Although New Palestine’s top golfers have been consistent, the battle at the back of the pack has led to the team’s overall success.
“We’ve been able to go deep all year,” Greene said. “Even my five, six, seven and eight are very close to being in that spot (top four). There’s a lot of competitiveness in our practice. They want to go and get that next spot, so they push each other.”
The top-five individuals on the day were all from Hancock County. Freshman Charley True carded the day’s lowest round (74) for medalist honors while her Mt. Vernon teammate, senior Molly Yee, was second with an 80.
Senior Makenzie Fisk of Greenfield-Central followed Black with an 83 to advance as an individual, while Rooks was fifth overall, tying Briley Wills (88) of Mt. Vernon.
The Marauders trio has played well all season and that continued Saturday as the team finished runner-up with a 371 to advance. Veterans Yee and Wills have combined with the newcomer, True, to form a strong 1-2-3.
“What a spectacular day, the top three girls did what they have been doing all year,” Mt. Vernon head coach Caleb Zelencik said. “Molly was solid and Charley, what an unbelievable round. She hits some great shots and the last couple weeks she’s been putting so well.”
However, Caleb Zelencik was proud of how his four and five golfers, Eva Hampton (129) and Savannah McKemie (132), battled on the back nine after struggling on the front.
Greenfield-Central got the short end of the stick Saturday on a tough course. Five strokes separated them and a trip to the Lapel Regional.
Whiteland tabbed the final team spot with a 380 for third. The Cougars were fourth with a 385. Pendleton Heights (401) was fifth and Greenwood finished sixth (413). Eastern Hancock finished 11th with a 535 led by junior Abby Fout’s 117.
According to coach Russ Wiley, Greenfield-Central had a winning season for the first time in several seasons.
“We had a good season,” he said. “This is the toughest course we’ve seen all year. Makenzie really helped us the whole year. That (her score) really got us there today.
“Our other scores were probably higher, but that was the same for all the teams today (Saturday).”
Fisk advances to regional play for the fourth year in a row. She went with her team as a freshman.
“It feels really good to advance, but I wish my team was going with me,” Fisk said. “I started off not playing very but played like 10 holes in a row through the middle pretty well. I think I stayed pretty decent the whole time.”
Megan Garner played well at No. 2 for the Cougars and missed the cut by one stroke, finishing with a 94. Lindsey McCord was third on the team, tallying a 99 while Kimberly Miles shot a 109.
Also for Eastern Hancock, Logan O’Neal finished with a 129 while Emiley Carlton carded a 144. Emma Lewis was right behind with a 145 and Alexis Young shot a 154.
The Lapel Regional will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Edgewood Golf Course. The top-three teams, as well as the top-five low individuals without a team will advance to the state finals Oct. 2 and 3.
1. New Palestine, 358
2. Mt. Vernon, 371
3. Whiteland, 380
4. Greenfield-Central, 385
5. Pendleton Heights, 401
6. Greenwood, 413
7. Shelbyville, 420
8. Southwestern, 476
9. Knightstown, 502
10. Triton Central, 533
11. Eastern Hancock, 535
1. Charley True, MV – 74
2. Molly Yee, MV – 80
3. Mackenzie Black, NP – 81
4. Makenzie Fisk, G-C – 83
5. Cassie Rooks, NP – 88
5. Briley Wills, MV – 88