Eight holes were enough.
With the threat of a severe lighting storm closing in fast from the west, the Hancock County Girls Golf Tournament was shaved down from nine to eight holes Tuesday evening.
The extra hole score wouldn’t have kept the New Palestine Dragons from achieving their first of three season goals.
The Dragons posted a combined score of 150 to win their third consecutive Hancock County girls golf team title. Mt. Vernon finished second at 184 and Greenfield-Central was third with a 186. Teams and players were awarded inside the clubhouse as the skies overhead turned pitch black.
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“It was the right choice. We have to keep the girls safe. One more hole wouldn’t have made a difference,” New Palestine head coach Gregg Greene said. “Possibly Mt. Vernon and Greenfield-Central might have flipped. Who knows? But the safety of the girls is first and foremost.”
Eastern Hancock was fourth overall with a 230, led by Abby Fout and Lucy Cochard, who both scored 53.
Medalist honors went to New Palestine freshman Annaliese Fox. The newcomer shot a 33, coming in one stroke better than her teammate and last year’s top-golfer Mackenzi Black (34).
“We push each other a lot,” Fox remarked on her relationship with Black. “We played together in the summer, and we really like that a lot. We definitely pushed each other, especially at practice.”
Joining the two on the all-county team were teammate Izzy Gray with a 41. Mt. Vernon’s Charley True was third overall with a 36, missing out on her first medalist honor this season. Greenfield-Central’s Lindsey McCord was fourth at 41.
The Dragons posted a 168 in last year’s county victory after tallying a school-record 155 in 2014.
Earlier this season against Greenwood, the Dragons nearly challenged their record mark with a 157. New Palestine is 5-0 in dual matches this year and haven’t lost a tournament, winning the New Castle Invitational and their own invite Saturday.
Despite their success, coach Greene and the team haven’t slowed their pace. They have a three-fold agenda this fall.
“This is one of those that we wanted to defend,” Greene said. “We wanted to this, we want to defend conference and sectional. When we were at team camp this summer that was what we stressed as far as team goals.”
Winning the Hoosier Heritage Conference team title was a substantial feat for the program, which made a run at state as a team two years ago.
All five golfers shot below 50 during county, with Cassidy Harp at 42 and Payton Hill with a 47.
“Every day we want to get a little bit better at something,” Greene said. “Yesterday, we backed them up and basically went back to Day 1 on their short game. From what I could tell, it proved that it was a good choice.”
Fox put the extra practice to use with five pars and one birdie. Black had four pars and a birdie.
True scored par on the final three holes before the fifth and final group was called in due to the storm before teeing off on the ninth hole. She finished with four overall.
Greenfield-Central’s Megan Garner and Amanda Edwards both carded 44s while Mt. Vernon’s Ava Hampton came in with a 44. Marauders Freshman Katie Davis had a 48 as one of 11 golfers which shot sub-50 eight-hole rounds.
2016 Hancock County Girls Golf Tournament
Team Scores (8-hole totals): New Palestine 150, Mt. Vernon 184, Greenfield-Central 186, Eastern Hancock 230.
Medalist: Annaliese Fox, New Palestine (33)
All-County Team: Annaliese Fox (NP), MacKenzi Black (NP), Charley True (MV), Lindsey McCord (G-C), Izzy Gray (NP)
New Palestine: Annaliese Fox 33, MacKenzi Black 34, Izzy Gray 41, Cassidy Harp 42, Payton Hill 47.
Mt. Vernon: Charley True 36, Ava Hampton 44, Katie Davis 48, Lily Hampton 56, Savannah McKemie 56.
Greenfield-Central: Lindsey McCord 41, Megan Garner 44, Amanda Edwards 44, Phoenix Breese 57, Rose Gerard 60.
Eastern Hancock: Abby Fout 53, Lucy Cochard 53, Emiley Carlton 62, Lucia Alberione 62, Alexis Young 66.