DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Two days after upsetting fifth-ranked Carmel, the Center Grove girls golf team picked up another impressive win.
Behind strong performances by senior Sydney Abbott and junior Shelby Shier, the 12th-ranked Trojans easily defended their Johnson County Tournament championship at Hickory Stick Golf Club.
Abbott earned medalist honors with an even-par 72, and Schier fired a 76 to help Center Grove outdistance runner-up Whiteland, 315 to 327.
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Greenwood was third with a 368, followed by Indian Creek (381), Franklin (395) and Edinburgh (437).
“Things are really starting to come together for me,” Abbott said. “I was hitting a lot of fairways, and my ball-striking and my putting was a lot more consistent. I’ve been working really hard on my game, and it’s been so much better in the last couple of days, so that really helps.
“When we’re posting those low scores, that’s going to work in our favor, especially as we head to the conference (Metropolitan Interscholastic) tournament next week.”
Center Grove coach Jim Williams said the team’s work this week has boosted everyone’s confidence.
“That’s what they’re starting to feel,” Williams said. “They were thrilled with the win over Carmel and Lawrence Central, and coming back today, they did a really great job.
“Our lineup has been solid, and I’m particularly proud of the efforts of (senior Breanna) Davis at the No. 4 spot and Lucy (Young), our young freshman, at No. 5.”
Junior Hannah Wilson shot an 81 for the Trojans, followed by Davis with an 86 and Young with an 87.
For Whiteland, senior Savannah Craven led the way with a 3-over- par 75.
“I was just trying to keep it together out there. I was kind of all over the place, but my recovery shots really saved me,” Craven said. “This kind of day really boosts my confidence.
“It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, and this is only the second time this season I’ve been in the 70s, so it was a very good day.”
Freshman Bri Harwell finished with an 84 for the Warriors, and junior teammate Audrey Eckart had an 85.
For Indian Creek, senior Hannah Johnson, a regional qualifier last year, had an 88. Junior Jessi Button was next with a 96, and sophomore Olivia Parsley had a 92.
Senior Melanie Hughes led Greenwood with an 84, and junior Julianna Lamey shot an 89.
For Franklin, junior Avery Auton carded a 90, junior Kristina Young a 93, and senior Katelyn Margason, a regional qualifier last year, had a 95.
Sophomore Vanessa McManaway scored an even 100 to lead Edinburgh, and senior Mariah Weddle had a 107.