WINNEMUCCA – Fittingly, the most-dominant girls golf teams in the Division 3A North each had something to celebrate on the final day of the league season.
Lowry reclaimed the regional championship Wednesday on its home course – ending a two-year reign by Elko – but the Lady Indians matched their season low with a 373 on back-to-back days, winning first place on Winnemucca Golf Course.
The Lady Buckaroos finished in second place with a team score of 388, followed in third place by Spring Creek’s total of 416.
Along with regional-champion Lowry and runner-up Elko, the Lady Spartans booked the third and final position in the year-end standings to advance to the Division 3A state tournament. Truckee freshman Ryan Flynn won the Lowry tournament with an even-80, Lowry senior Tatyana Carlson taking second with an 83 and Elko senior Sarah Sarbacker placing third with a round of 85.
Sarbacker was followed by a career-best 86 by junior teammate Caresse Basaraba, while Spring Creek senior Courtney Tournahu also set a personal best and led her team with a 94.
Elko sophomore Gabby Bement closed the day with a 96, junior teammate Chilz Negrete carding her career best for the third time in the last-three tournaments with a 106 – closing the scoring for the Lady Indians.
Spring Creek senior Elise Thiesen posted a 106, senior teammate Caitlyn Kay closing one-stroke back with a 107.
The final qualifying card for the Lady Spartans came from junior Emalee Ingram’s 109.
Sophomore AJ Anthony ranked fifth on Elko’s roster with a 111, and Spring Creek’s team was rounded out by a pair of 115s from senior Aintzane Alt and Rachel Merwin.
Elko’s sixth and final score came on a 125 by senior Blaikley Alcorta.
Lowry, Elko and will Spring Creek will not be the only representatives of the 3A North in the state tournament – as the top-seven individuals from non-qualifying teams will also play in the biggest tournament of the year.
The season averages – taking the golfers’ top-six scores and dropping the bottom two – determined which athletes will play on. Flynn finished with an average of 80.3, followed by Fernley’s McKenna Montgomery’s average score of 101.7.
Truckee’s Annika Thayer followed closely at 101.8, Fernley’s Olivia Victor posting a 105.
South Tahoe’s Jenna Shortridge also scored 105 strokes per round, Fernley’s Jenna Kollar coming in with a 105.8
The final state berth went to Fallon’s Allie Lister, who closed the year with an average of 105.9 strokes.
3A North MVP
For the second-consecutive season, Carlson earned at least a share of the league-MVP honor.
Last year, she split the award with Elko’s Annika Criss.
This year, Carlson won five of the eight league events – placing second in the other three.
She averaged 78.6 strokes per round – including a low of 72 in the Truckee tournament – never posting a score higher than 83.
Flynn – posting the second-best average of the season (82.3) – won three tournaments (including the final two) and never finished out of a medal position, placing second on four occasions and finishing third once.
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She carded her career best of 75 on Tuesday, in Dayton, posting an 80 Wednesday and four rounds of 81 throughout the season.
Sarbacker was consistent, despite missing two tournaments with a knee injury.
In six tournaments, she medaled five times – winning second once and third in five tourneys.
She finished the season with an average score of 87.7 strokes, posting a career-best 82 in Elko.
Basaraba gave Elko its second member of the 1st-Team All-League selections, posting a season average of 95.3 strokes.
She tied for third place in South Tahoe with a score of 91 and finished the season with a bang on her career-best 86 on Wednesday for fourth place.
Bement made the third Lady Indian on the 1st-Team All-League selections, finishing the season with an average card of 96.9 strokes per round.
She came on late in the year, posting her career best of 88 in Fallon (third place) and following with an 89 Tuesday, in Fernley.
Lowry’s Hannah Havens joined Carlson toward the top of the league golfers, averaging 98.6 strokes per round.
She split third place in South Tahoe’s tournament with a season-best 91.
Ingram gave the Lady Spartans their only 1st-Team All-League honor, rounding out the selections with an average score of 100.9 strokes.
Her best finish came in a third-place tie with a score of 96 in South Tahoe, shooting her season-best round of 90 on Tuesday, in Fernley, which was one stroke from her career best of 89 from last year.
Spring Creek placed two golfers on the 2nd-Team All-League selections, Thiesen and Tournahu each receiving the recognition.
Thiesen averaged 102.6 strokes per round, while Tournahu carded an average of 104.5 strokes.
They were joined by Montgomery, Thayer, Lowry’s Angelica Martinez and Shortridge on the 2nd-Team All-League list.
*All-League averages listed were for all eight tournaments throughout the season, without dropping any scores.
Congratulations to Lowry on its regional championship, Elko coach Jeff Sarbacker and the Lady Indians on their runner-up finish and Spring Creek coach Don Smales and the Lady Spartans on their third-place performance and qualifications to the state tournament.
The Division 3A Nevada State Girls Golf Championship will kick off with a 10 a.m. tee time Monday, at Schaffer’s Mill Golf Club, in Truckee, California.
The second and final round will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Best of luck to all teams and individuals on the grandest stage of the year.