In recent seasons, it almost has been taken for granted that Lafayette Jeff will win the girls golf sectional.
While the Bronchos took the City/County tournament for a sixth consecutive time on Thursday at the par-72 Battle Ground Golf Club, Central Catholic’s improving program will be eager to take advantage if Jeff stubs its collective toes on Saturday at this year’s sectional, which is at Coyote Crossing.
Central Catholic defeated the Bronchos by one stroke during a regular-season dual meet, finished second to Twin Lakes in the Hoosier Conference tournament and was second to Jeff in the City/County. The Knights finished dual-meet action 11-1, losing only to Twin Lakes.
While McCutcheon’s Hailey Harris was the City/County medalist with a 2-over-par 74, Central Catholic sophomore Morgan Brown and Jeff junior Abbie Carlsen shared second place, each with a 75.
Brown, who was Hoosier Conference medalist with a 70, says CC is excited about its Lafayette Sectional opportunity.
“We’ve probably had one of our better seasons ever,” Brown said Thursday. “We’ve put a lot of work into it, and that helps. If you look at it, our whole team has contributed to all of our wins. We don’t just rely on one or two people to shoot great scores. We have other people behind us.
“If one person messes up, somebody else will have your back that day. That definitely has helped us this year. Now, Coyote will be a challenging course, but it will be fun to play and to see how it plays out. You have to keep your head in it and play your best.”
CC senior Christine Mintert shot 87 in the City/County, and fellow seniors Riley O’Bryan and Shelby Hicks each shot 92. The Knights finished with a 346, second to Jeff’s City/County record 322 — three strokes better than the Bronchos shot in 2010.
Mintert said it will be important Saturday that CC remembers it has beaten Jeff this season.
“It’s kind of a question of confidence in our ability, because we did beat Jeff before,” Mintert said. “We know we can do it if we just keep a cool head and just play golf. For us (in the sectional), we have to forget about the bad shots. Coyote is a slightly more difficult course than Battle Ground.”
Jeff’s Carlsen, whose City/County 75 is her finest competitive 18-hole reound ever, believes one element will decide who wins Saturday’s sectional.
“The key is the short game, placing the ball where you need to,” Carlsen said. “At Coyote, it’s about ball placement. All the teams have improved this year, and we already know CC is tough.”
Jeff also got a 77 from senior Lindsey Burklow Thursday. Reigning sectional medalist Samantha Hatter struggled to an 81.
Harris, Brown, Carlsen and Burklow were the only City/County participants to break 80.