AVON LAKE — The Avon Lake Shoregals did what they’ve done all season during Wednesday’s Southwestern Conference golf tournament — shot in the 330’s and dominated the competition.
With sophomore Paighton Masterson leading the way with a 2-over 74 on the Legacy at Sweetbriar course, the Shoregals won the SWC crown with a team score of 333, easily outpacing runner-up Avon (356) and third-place Westlake (363).
“I’m very happy with the girls’ performance today,” Shoregals coach Krystine Frisch said. “We had a team record of 330 earlier this year so playing in the rain with all the noise and the distractions that come along with the conference tournament, 333 was a really good score.”
Avon Lake had three of the top five finishers with Emma Davies finishing third with a 7-over 79 and Abby Hawkinson scoring an 81 to come in fifth.
It was Davies’ best round of the season, one stroke better than her previous low of 80 on the same course at the Magnificat Invitational earlier in the season.
“I guess there’s something about this course,” the sophomore said. “I really like it. The greens are nice. Now I’m going to be a little more confident going into sectionals.
The Division I sectional tournament will be contested on the same Legacy course Oct. 4.
“I think we are all excited for sectionals now. Everyone did really well today so we know we can actually do it and put good scores up,” Davies said. “Last year we finished second in the SWC, so it’s a big deal for us to finish first this year.”
One of the biggest differences between this year and last was the play of Masterson, who shaved 18 strokes off the score she put up in her freshman year.
“I was striking the ball well and my putts were falling,” Masterson said. “I was playing smart.
“I’ve played a lot more golf this year and I’ve gone to GolfTEC and worked with my coach a lot more than I did last year. Everything is really starting to fall into place. It’s really nice, I love it.”
Frisch credits the maturity of her players and their work ethic with the success the team has had this season. She mentioned how it’s hard to get Masterson away from the golf course.
“Paighton plays all the time,” the coach said. “She’ll come to practice, go home and eat and then come back and hit balls or come back and putt. And it’s not just her, everyone is putting in the time. They play a lot and they are really committed to golf.”
Liz Thieken rounded out the Shoregals scoring with a 99.
The two returnees from Avon’s 2015 SWC championship and state qualifying team — Annika Neumann and Danielle Austinson — finished in the top six Wednesday with scores of 80 and 82.
“I started out solid and I was even par after the first nine, and then I hit the second nine and just kinda fell apart a little bit,” Neumann said. “I was hoping to be in the 70s so it really wasn’t that bad, but after the first nine I know I could have shot way better than I did. Everyone on the team shot pretty good today so if we can all shave off a couple of strokes by next week, I think we can have a decent chance of making it out (of sectionals).”
Senior Emily Fankhauser led the Demons with a 6-over 78, the second-best score of the day.
North Olmsted’s Rachel Sladky (87) and Olmsted Falls’ Samantha Torres (88) were the only other golfers to break 90.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEAM STANDINGS: Avon Lake 333, Avon 356, Westlake 363, Olmsted Falls 402, North Olmsted 410, Amherst 449, North Ridgeville 453, Berea-Midpark 464
Medalist: Paighton Masterson, Avon Lake 74
Top Individuals: Emily Fankhauser, Westlake, 78; Emma Davies, Avon Lake, 79; Annika Neumann, Avon, 80; Abby Hawkinson, Avon Lake, 81; Danielle Austinson, Avon 82.
Amherst (449): Elena Zaborniak 93, Rosalyn Friend 114, Nina Ruiz 114, Lauren Wisniewski 130, Emily Eischen 128, Juliana Gillete 128.
Avon (356): Annika Neumann 80 , Danielle Austinson 82, Alyssa Matrona 96, Julia Porchetta 98, Darby Slunski 129.
Avon Lake (333): Paighton Masterson 74, Emma Davies 79, Abby Hawkinson 81, Liz Thieken 99, Maggie Owen 101, Taylor Hubert 103.
Berea-Midpark (457): Ceclia Hiros 106, Madeline Hiros 119, Hayley Swinnerton 111, Cameron Kolesar 129, Lisa Martin 128, Madyson Lecompte 121.
Lakewood: Courtney Ribar 103, Erin Mullen WD
North Olmsted (410): Rachel Sladky 87, Kaitlyn Kwiat 114, Grace English 102, Alyssa Kell 120, Natalie Ellis 107, Layla Ruben 137.
North Ridgeville (453): Olivia Sycz 113, Deziray Hockenberry 106, Izzy Geraci 125, Kayleigh Shafer 116, Heather Gerome 120, Kolby Duke 118.
Olmsted Falls (402): Samantha Torres 88, Gabby Zemaitis 103, Lindsay Rowe 112, Abby Boenig-Dombek 108 , Kayla Kippes 103, Alyssa Ververka 109.
Westlake (363): Emily Fankhauser 78, Bethany Hartman 92, Suzanne Button 102, Sophia Peck 96, Charlotte Button 97,Alexa Prexta 100.