DAYTON – Sarah Sarbacker, all the difference.
After playing without senior leader Sarah Sarbacker the past two tournaments due to a knee injury, the Elko girls golf team benefited from her presence Monday.
Elko took fifth and fourth in Sarbacker’s absences, climbing back to a second-place team effort in Dayton.
The Lady Indians shot 412 as a team, trailing champion Lowry’s mark of 397 by 15 strokes.
Spring Creek finished with a total of 419 for third place, holding a five-shot lead over fourth-place Truckee (424).
Individually, Lowry senior Tatyana Carlson won the Dayton tourney with a remarkable round of 78 on what is a very difficult golf course.
Truckee freshman Ryan Flynn took second place with an 81.
In her return to the links, Sarbacker took third place with a score of 89 – a round in which she took just 28 putts and holed-out four times from the edges of the greens.
“Having Sarah back was huge,” said Elko coach Jeff Sarbacker.
Finishing second on Elko’s team was sophomore Gabby Bement, who closed the day with a 97.
“Gabby turned in a really good round. She played much better than she did last year on the same course,” coach Sarbacker said.
The Lady Spartans were led by senior Aintzane Alt, who played her first tournament of the season after a cheerleading injury.
Alt closed the round with a score of 98.
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She was followed by a round of 103 by junior teammate Emalee Ingram.
Elko junior Caresse Basaraba gave the Lady Indians their third-best score with a round of 106, which included a solid recovery following a rough start.
“Caresse shot a 59 on the front nine (holes), but she bounced back and shot a 47 on the back nine,” said coach Sarbacker.
Spring Creek senior Courtney Tournahu finished with a 108, senior teammate Elise Thiesen coming to the clubhouse with a 110 for the fourth and final-qualifying score for the Lady Spartans.
The last card that counted for the Lady Indians was recorded by AJ Anthony, who finished the round with a tally of 120.
Spring Creek senior Caitlyn Kay gave the Lady Spartans a 111, Rachel Merwin’s 119 also coming in a non-qualifying score for Spring Creek.
Elko’s Chilz Negrete carded a 126, Kaitlyn Parker rounding out the Lady Indians’ roster with a 130.
“I’m glad with the way the girls battled and grinded it out, especially on a really tough course,” coach Sarbacker said. “Three of them haven’t played it before, so I thought they handled it very well.”
Lowry’s victory increased the Lady Buckaroos’ lead in the 3A North standings to eight points with 34 for the season.
Spring Creek entered the Dayton tournament in sole possession of second place and is now tied with Elko, each team scoring 26 points.
The Lady Indians began Monday in third place with a total of 20 points and only a one-point lead over fourth-place Truckee, but the Lady Wolverines now trail the third and final qualification to the state tournament by three points.
Standings may change once again, the teams taking part in another back-to-back – tee times set for 11 a.m. Tuesday in Fallon.