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Season comes to abrupt end at regional for Lafayette Jeff girls golf
October 2, 2013Lafayette Jefferson High School
BATTLE GROUND — It wasn’t supposed to end this way for the No. 9-ranked Lafayette Jeff girls golf team.
The Bronchos, coming into the Lafayette regional as the defending champion, found the going rough on the back nine at the Battle Ground Golf Course and finished with a 335, one shot behind third place and No. 13-ranked Lake Central (334) and out of a return trip to the state golf tournament next week.
It was a stunning reversal of fortune for Lafayette Jeff, which seemed to be cruising after the first nine holes with a score of 159, two shots behind Chesterton and three shots ahead of No. 3-ranked Valparaiso.
Jeff’s No. 3, 4 and 5 golfers — Abbie Carlsen (81), Emily Barrick (85) and Gretchen King (92) – all posted better 18-hole scores Saturday than the Valparaiso and Chesterton golfers in the same positions. Valparaiso eventually won the tournament with a 328, followed by Chesterton’s 330.
But the Bronchos’ No. 1, Samantha Hatter and No. 2, Lindsey Burklow, who have been the team’s stalwarts all season long, finished at 83 and 86, respectively, after both shot 40 on the front nine.
“Samantha and Lindsey were just a little bit off today,” Lafayette Jeff coach John Hatter said, trying to hide his disappointment. “From a team perspective, we were just a couple of shots short and didn’t get it done.
“This is my best team in the past seven years,” Hatter added. “They scored better than any team I ever had. It’s my best from top to bottom, but that’s golf. Here, it’s one and done, and if you don’t get it done on that day, it’s over and you start all over again next year.”
Carlsen will be Jeff’s lone state representative, making it out as one of the top five individuals. Central Catholic sophomore Morgan Brown shined, firing a 78 to finish second behind Valparaiso’s 2012 all-state golfer Harley Dubsky, who shot a 71. It will be Brown’s second straight trip to the state tournament.
“I’m as proud as a father for Abbie Carlsen,” Hatter said. “She played great for us today.”
Benton Central’s Tessa Brouillette and McCutcheon Hailey Harris, who both shot 81, advanced to state as individuals after entering the tournament in the same position. Brouillette and Harris had to wait nearly three hours to learn their fate as the other golfers finished their rounds.
The two high-fived each other on the driving range when they found out they finished in the top five and would not have to take part in a playoff.
“It’s awesome, being about to go to state your senior year,” Harris said. “It’s a great way to end your sport. The wait was horrible. I was trying to be calm about it, but Tessa was freaking out. I had time to chill out.”
Brouillette, who had advanced to regionals for three straight years, said she was worried if her score would hold up, but said she felt prepared to compete.
“Words cannot explain how happy I am,” Brouillette said. “On the front nine I was up and down, but I felt pretty good about the back nine. During the entire week I was practicing, I just had this feeling I was going to state. I really did.”
Central Catholic finished with a score of 352 (fifth place) and Harrison shot a 370 (eighth).
“For our first time in regionals, I thought we played pretty well,” said Harrison coach Dave Schneider. “This was a good experience for them to know what it takes to get out of regionals and onto state. Emily Lewellen had a little bit of hiccup with an 85, but she was solid, and Ally Ross shot an 88 as a freshman, so that was pretty good.”
In other regional action, Seeger’s Kiley Swisher also advanced to the state finals by firing an 80 at the Roncalli Regional in Indianapolis.