Rowland’s state hopes dashed in playoff
Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]
Hardly any clouds touched the skies as schools from throughout Southern Indiana converged on Country Oaks Golf Club in Montgomery for the Indiana High School Athletic Association girls’ golf regional. Eighteen schools from six sectionals gathered, all vying for one of the top three spots in order to qualify for the upcoming state final at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel.
Evansville North posted a combined 293 en route to the regional title. Upon hoisting the regional trophy, the Lady Huskies recorded their 10th consecutive regional victory, surpassing the legendary ’90s Martinsville golf squads for the state’s longest regional streak. The Lady Huskies’ latest hardware came courtesy of capturing the top three spots in the individual rankings, led by Faith Johnson’s 3-under 69 to secure the solo crown. Sister Chloe Johnson and Reagan Sohn followed with second- and third-place scores of 72 and 74, respectively. Columbus North’s Gwen Anderson followed with a 75 to lead the Bull Dogs and secure fourth place individually.
After finishing last week’s sectional with its ninth consecutive title at Corydon’s Old Capital Golf Club, Floyd Central came to Country Oaks on a mission. Behind freshman Paige Giovenco tying Castle’s Ashley Kirkland for fifth place individually with a 77, the No. 9 Lady Highlanders finished third with a collective 322.
Giovenco’s 77 was only the peak of an overall successful regional for the Lady Highlanders. Sophomore Trinity Bramer and freshman Chloe Cook both finished closely behind Giovenco with 80, while seniors Sophie Cook and Audrey Giovenco finished their final regional with scores of 85 and 88, respectively, to secure the Lady Highlanders’ first state final bid since 2013.
Corydon Central had a decent showing at its first regional since 2018, finishing 14th with a collective 407. After winning the Lady Panthers’ first-ever individual sectional title a week earlier, freshman Emma Rowland had a slightly tougher time at regional, finishing in a three-way tie for fifth in the individual rankings.
The remaining Lady Panthers had to compete as best as they could in such a large competition, especially considering they were playing shorthanded after junior Abby Russel could not make the trip due to illness. The senior trio of Chloe Cannon, Ivy Smith and Gracelynn Anderson all put up decent numbers, finishing their high school careers with scores of 97, 101 and 121, respectively.
Along with Rowland, New Albany’s Kennedy Lee and Evansville Mater Dei’s Emily Gagnon both finished with 82, forcing a three-way playoff to decide the final individual qualifier for non-advancing teams. Converging on Hole 18, Rowland came close to notching a birdie on the putt but had to settle for a par. While Gagnon’s putt was hit a bit hard for her liking, it mattered little as it bounced into the cup for a birdie, sending her to Prairie View in the process.
That puts an end to what has been an excellent season for the Lady Panthers. Despite the end result and the graduation of three seniors, Rowland will undoubtedly lead what is sure to be a young Lady Panthers’ squad next season.
Team Scores (Top 3 advance to state):
1. Evansville North 293 (Faith Johnson 69, Chloe Johnson 72, Reagan Sohn 74, Destynie Sheridan 78, Emma Seits 94)
2. Castle 312 (Ashley Kirkland 77, Hailey Kirkland 78, Samantha Lawrence 78, Lydia Bauersfeld 79, Abbey Johnson 98)
3. Floyd Central 322 (Paige Giovenco 77, Trinity Bramer 80, Chloe Cook 80, Sophie Cook 85, Audrey Giovenco 88)
4. Columbus North 351 (Gwen Anderson 75, Ella Wilks 80, Macy Euler 95, Ritisha Rashmil 101, Erin Hopkins 108)
5. Columbus East 355 (Harley Grant 81, Peyton Meier 86, Carter Grant 89, Lillian Steinwedel 99, Katie Hong 104)
6. New Albany 361 (Kennedy Lee 82, Sarah Jefferson 89, Elizabeth Brogdon 94, Madison Daniel 96, Abigail Reavis 96)
7. Jasper 362 (Halle Knies 85, Elizabeth Ackerman 87, Avery Bartley 93, Anna Schmitt 97, Ainsley Pierce 98)
8. Gibson Southern 369 (Hillary Humbaugh 84, Jessie Irvin 92, Vanessa Schmitt 96, Kristen Spindler 97, Madilyn Sperling 98)
9. Evansville Mater Dei 371 (Emily Gagnon 82, Kelly Blair 83, Grace Phillips 102, Katelyn Goebel 104, Grace Rohleder 108)
10. Vincennes Rivet 380 (Maddisyn Halter 86, Jacqueline Steininger 98, Cadence Mills 98, Alicia McGuire 98)
11. Martinsville 382 (Alex Clark 87, Brianna Payne 88, Molly Hixson 99, Katie Fulkerson 108, Lydia Piercefield 123)
12. Bedford North Lawrence 385 (Chloe McFaddin 91, Samantha Biel 97, Ellie Horton 98, Nora Howat 99, Kenley Craig 104)
13. Seymour 393 (Lainey Jackson 91, Phoebe Skidmore 99, Elizabeth Studkwisch 99, Katherine Cottrill 104)
14. Corydon Central 407 (Emma Rowland 82, Chloe Cannon 97, Ivy Smith 107, Gracelynn Anderson 121)
15. Brownstown Central 427 (Payton Ault 100, Lexie Satterthwaite 105, Hannah Hackman 111, Gracie Reynolds 111, Emma Hughbanks 112)
16. Southridge 428 (Sidney Layton 103, Ana Hewitt 104, Emma Marley 106, Mollie Birchler 115, Kelly Evans 119)
17. South Knox 432 (Trinity Dubbs 79, Bethany Williams 100, Selena Dellinger 113, Eliza Dellinger 140, Emily Provines 152)
18. Pike Central 438 (Sophie Camahan 101, Sydney Loveless 106, Brailey Mills 112, Nevi Lemond 119, Chloe Williams 121)
State qualifiers from non-advancing teams: Gwen Anderson (COLN) 75, Trinity Dubois (SKN) 79, Ella Wilks (COLN) 80, Harley Grant (COLE) 81, Emily Gagnon (EMD) 82**
** Won playoff for final individual state qualifier