Coming into the high school girls golf season, a young Center Grove team had plenty of unanswered questions.
They’ve been answered.
Led by an even-par round of 71 from Lucy Young, the Trojans pulled away from the field for a comfortable victory in the Center Grove Sectional on Monday at Hickory Stick.
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The Trojans finished with a team score of 330, 15 strokes up on runner-up Roncalli. Franklin totaled a 349 to seal the third and final spot in Saturday’s Roncalli Regional at The Legends, edging Perry Meridian (355) and Whiteland (357).
“The kids have been doing a good job of coming on week after week,” Center Grove coach Jim Williams said, “and we’ve just gotten a little bit better and a little bit better. You could just see it coming.”
Young was one of just two golfers to break 80 on the day (Whiteland’s Bri Harwell was the other with a 77), giving the Trojans a cushion that they were able to maintain for the entire afternoon.
“My approach shots were getting pretty close to the hole, so I was able to make a lot more putts today,” Young said.
Halle Booher and Maddie Heineman added rounds of 84 and 85 for Center Grove, and Hope Davis rounded out the team scoring with a 90.
The Rebels moved on thanks largely to rounds of 81 from Annie Sullivan and Kathleen Ameis. Franklin was led by an 84 from Liv Parramore and an 85 from Avery Auton.
The Grizzly Cubs then had to wait for the Falcons and Warriors to come in, hoping their score held up.
“That was the most nervous I’ve been at a golf tournament ever,” Franklin coach Chris Kacarab said. “It was definitely an exciting finish.”
Though the Warriors came up short of moving on as a team, Harwell was solid throughout and easily secured an individual bid.
“I just thought about how much I wanted to make it to regionals,” the junior said of her round, “and I put that into determination and fuel to get me going.”
Johnson County also will be represented at two other regionals Saturday.
In the Bloomington North Sectional at Cascades Golf Course, Indian Creek shot a team score of 388 Monday to finish third and advance to the Washington Regional at Country Oaks Golf Club.
Also keeping its season alive is Greenwood, which punched its ticket Saturday with a second-place finish at the Mt. Vernon (Fortville) Sectional. Maecee Terhune fired an 81 and Laila Stein added a 96 for the Woodmen, who finished with a team total of 387. They will play in the Lapel Regional at Edgewood Golf Course.
Williams is encouraged by the Trojans’ recent performance and likes his team’s chances heading into Saturday.
“As young as we were, we’re beyond that now,” he said. “Now, the kids should have enough confidence that they can play with anybody.”