TRUCKEE, California – Through 18 holes of the Division 3A state girls golf tournament, the Elko Lady Indians and the Spring Creek Lady Spartans have a little ground to make up on the leaders.

Elko finished in third place with a score of 399, trailing Pahrump’s 375 by 24 strokes and second-place Boulder City (389) by 10.

Of the five teams in the state tourney, Spring Creek finds itself in fifth but only four-strokes back of third – the Lady Spartans closing the first round with a 403.

The 3A North is a tight pack, regional-champion Lowry currently ranking fourth with a smooth 400, one stroke from Elko and three-strokes ahead of Spring Creek.

Playing at Schaffer’s Mill Golf Club – a daunting task – both Elko coach Jeff Sarbacker and Spring Creek coach Don Smales felt like their squads posted solid rounds.

“That’s a tough course, but I think the girls did a good job. They grinded and battled and shot right around our season average,” Sarbacker said.

“We played a good round. Those are good numbers for that course. All season, we have tried to stay right at or break through 400,” Smales said. “By far, that’s the toughest course we have played all season.”

Elko junior Sarah Sarbacker led the way with a 91, sophomore teammate Gabby Bement closing the round with a 93.

Spring Creek junior Emalee Ingram topped Spring Creek’s roster with a 95, senior teammate Elise Thiesen taking a 95 to the clubhouse.

Junior Caresse Basaraba gave the Lady Indians their third score and stayed under the century mark with a 99, the number matched by senior Courtney Tournahu for the Lady Spartans’ third card.

Spring Creek senior Aintzane Alt rounded out the team scoring, posting triple-ones at 111.

“Aintzane has the flu really bad, so I think that cost her at least a couple strokes,” Smales said. “I think we have all the potential in the world to shoot in the 300s in the second round and really challenge for third place.”

The Lady Indians capped their qualifying total with a 116 by junior Chilz Negrete.

Senior Caitlyn Kay shot a 115 for the Lady Spartans’ fifth score, Elko’s fifth coming on a 117 by senior Blaikley Alcorta.

Sophomore AJ Anthony finished out Elko’s roster with a 127, the final card for Spring Creek serving as junior Rachel Merwin’s round of 135.

The second and final round of the Division 3A Nevada State Girls Golf Championship will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, at Schaffer’s Mill, in Truckee, California.

*Side note

The highlight of the day was provided by Fernley’s Jenna Kollar, who drained the first hole-in-one of her career on the par-3 seventh hole.

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