By Jeff Robison Flyer correspondent
---- — Starting the first IHSAA postseason for the 2013-14 school year, the Ben Davis and Covenant Christian girls’ golf teams played in Friday’s IHSAA Golf Sectional at South Grove Golf Course. The Giants finished second and advanced to the regional, while the Warriors missed both the team and individual cuts, despite reaching some preseason team goals along the way.
The tournament was completed despite rainy conditions.
Ben Davis, led by third-place individual Claire Thompson’s 77, shot a 339. While just beating teammates Gabrielle Neff and Sarah Gaither on the front nine, Thompson was the lone Giant below 40 on the back to lead her team in holding back third-place Guerin Catholic by a stroke.
Neff and Gaither carded solid rounds of 82 and 83, respectively. Danielle Fishburn added a 97 to complete the Ben Davis team score, while Aminah El-Abiad played her round at 106.
But none of the teams were a match for No. 2-ranked Carmel as the Greyhounds carded all four individuals below 80 for a combined 298.
Despite a seventh-place finish, Covenant Christian coach Sean Lampton was proud of his team. The Warriors shot 197 on the first nine, before slowing the back against the rain. Still, the Warriors’ 398 proved a strong finish for the year.
“I was very, very proud of the girls,” Lampton said. “On the first nine, they all shot or equaled their best performance of the season. We had a season goal of breaking 200 over nine holes, and our best of the season had been a 207. Then we finished with a 201 in the rain.”
Lone Warrior senior Mary Tingle paced her team with a 91, missing the regional cut for individuals without team advancing by one position and just three strokes.
Lampton noted that Covenant did not have a girls’ golf program until Tingle came along.
“I loved seeing Mary perform the way she did in her last match,” Lampton said. “She was predominantly the reason Covenant has a golf team today. At the end of her sophomore year, she asked the AD about starting a team. Last year was the first time we had a program in seven years. She was a trailblazer.”
Lauren Murphy (96) was a strong second for the Warriors. Covenant’s other three golfers were tightly packed with freshmen Emma Cooper (105) and Sheldon Robinett (106) completeing the team scoring. Madison Moes (107) rounded out the scoring.
Ben Davis will move on to the Roncalli Regional, to be played at Smock Golf Course on Saturday morning.