FALLON – To say the Elko girls golf team has been dominant would be an understatement.
The Lady Indians wrapped up their seventh-consecutive title in league play of the Division 3A North, taking first Monday in Fallon.
Claiming back-to-back league titles is a mere formality now for Elko.
Lowry shot its second-best score of the season and finished second with a combined round of 414 on Monday, but the Lady Indians lit up the course for a team total of 375 – Elko’s third-best score of the season.
Fallon ranked third on its home course with a score of 444, and Spring Creek fell out of the top-3 for the first time of the year with a mark of 450.
Fernley was hot on the Lady Spartans’ heels with a 453 for fifth place in one of the tightest tournaments of the season.
A major reason for Elko’s success was because all four of the Lady Indians’ scorers each finished with rounds less than 100.
Individually, senior Annika Criss led the way for Elko with an 86, tying for first place with Lowry’s Tatyana Carlson.
Carlson claimed the championship with a par on the par-4 first hole in a playoff, Criss not finishing out as she was laying four when Carlson sank her winning putt.
Elko junior Sarah Sarbacker returned to action after not finishing the South Tahoe make-up tournament and not competing in Lowry’s tournament last week with a knee injury.
She battled through the round and finished in third place with a 93.
“I am extremely thrilled with the way the girls played,” said Elko coach Jeff Sarbacker. “Sarah was a little sore and got tired on the back, but she finished with pars on the last two holes.”
Elko freshman Gabby Bement posted a 98 for her personal best in a varsity tournament, matching the score of sophomore teammate Caresse Basaraba to close the scoring for the Lady Indians, tying the girls for fourth and fifth.
The Lady Indians had such a good round, they were able to throw out the 100 by senior Bridgette Elquist and 105 of senior Riley Harris.
Elquist tied Lowry’s Hannah Havens for sixth and seventh, while Harris’ score rounded out the roster and tied for 11th.
“We traveled down and played a practice round on Fallon’s course Sunday. We have four girls who have never played the course before,” Sarbacker said. “I think it was a good opportunity for them to become familiar with the course and gave them an idea of how to approach to each hole. They took advantage of it. They played extremely well and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Spring Creek sophomore Emalee Ingram and junior Aintzane Alt led the Lady Spartans with matching rounds of 111, followed by a 113 from junior Elise Thiesen.
“Emalee finally started having fun and made up a lot of strokes on the back,” said Spring Creek coach Don Smales.
Junior Courtney Tournahu finished the scoring for Spring Creek with a round of 115.
“Our entire team was 10 or more strokes above their averages. We had trouble making solid ball contact. I think it’s more of a confidence issue than it is mechanics,” Smales said. “The girls are putting too much pressure on themselves. They just need to hit the ball and play golf. I’m just going to tell them to grab their drivers and hit the ball as far as they can.”
Junior Candace Halcrow posted Spring Creek’s fifth-best score with a 125, senior Ana Carter rounding out the Lady Spartans’ roster with a 135.
“The other teams played well, most of the shooting under their average, but we did not play like we are capable of,” Smales said. “We almost fell to fifth, and I think when we’re on our game that we can push for first. The girls quit having fun and they just need to relax and play the game of golf instead of trying to shoot low scores.”
The 3A North season will come to a close with the final tournament, which begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Fernley.
Following the conclusion of the round, the league champion team will be crowned, the three teams will be designated to represent the North in the state tournament on Oct. 18-19 at Mountain Falls Golf Course in Pahrump, all-league golfers and the MVP will be announced and the girls with the lowest average scores from non-qualifying teams will be chosen to compete at the state tournament.