LAGRANGE — Avon Lake took the first step to another Southwestern Conference title Tuesday.
Along the way the Shoregals crushed the competition.
Led by senior Paighton Masterson, a University of Cincinnati commit who took medalist honors with a 3-over 75, Avon Lake recorded a 324 in the 18-hole SWC Preview at Grey Hawk Golf Club,
The Preview is one of three elements, along with dual-meet record and the results of the season-ending conference tournament to determine the league champion.
Four of the six best scores of the day came from the Shoregals — Emma Davies shot an 8-over 80, while Liz Thieken and Maggie Owen carded 84 and 85.
“I am quite pleased with these scores. I know the girls aren’t as familiar with this course as they are with some of the other ones in the area,” Avon Lake coach Krystine Frisch said. “These girls take their skills with them wherever they go. We want to go further in the postseason this year but we always have to be focused on the matter at hand and take it match by match.”
Westlake (349) and Olmsted Falls (383) were the only teams to come within 80 strokes of the Shoregals.
All season Davies has been one of Avon Lake’s most consistent golfers but nothing came easy for her on Tuesday despite the fact she was still able to put up a low number.
“I had a lot of double bogeys but I made them up with a lot of birdies,” Davies said. “My putting was either really good and sharp or it was really off. The greens are really fast and hard to read but it’s a nice course and it’s really pretty.”
Davies finished with five double bogeys and six birdies.
This was the first year the SWC held the Preview at Grey Hawk and Masterson feels like the experience of playing the course will help the team in some of the tougher tournaments later in the year.
“It’s a lot drier here and the ball will roll out more off of your driver. It’s really windy and the greens were insanely fast. You really had to take your time and focus on every shot,” Masterson said. “We play some other tough course so this is probably good prep for Canterbury (Golf Club), which is a super tough golf course, and we’re playing Medina Country Club and at the Independence (Blue Devil) Classic.”
Masterson was happy with both her individual performance and the efforts of the team.
“I kinda had a couple unnecessary bogeys but I finished strong with two birdies,” she said. “I’m so excited and very proud of my team. We’ve been doing so well, all the way back since freshman year to now.”
Avon (405) and Amherst (410) finished fourth and fifth. The Eagles were led by Michaela O’Hara and the Comets were led by Rosalyn Friend, each of whom shot 94.
Midview didn’t have the best day on the scoreboard, finishing ninth, but it was still a big day for the Middies, a first-year program competing in their first SWC tournament.
“It’s exciting to have the first team and to be able to come out on a course like this. You just don’t want to see the girls get discouraged,” Middies coach Troy DiFranco said. “A lot of our girls are beginning golfers. The girls are excited to be a part of the first Midview team but these girls are also competitive and I see them getting frustrated at times. All six of our girls have the ability to hit some good shots. Now we’re just working on consistency.”
Team results: Avon Lake 324, Westlake 349, Olmsted Falls 383, Avon 405, Amherst 410, North Olmsted 441, North Ridgeville 451, Berea-Midpark 489, Midview 502
Medalist: Paighton Masterson, Avon Lake, 75.
Top individuals: Emily Fankhauser, Westlake, 79; Emma Davies, Avon Lake, 80, Liz Thieken, Avon Lake 84, Sam Torres, Olmsted Falls, 85; Maggie Owen, Avon Lake, 85; Lauren Akers, Westlake, 88; Charlotte Button, Westlake, 89.
Amherst (410): Rosalyn Friend 94, Ayalis Vicens 104 , Melissa Wright 114, Cece Iliff 98, Addisyn Spakes 127.
Avon (405): Michaela O’Hara 94,Julia Parchetta 109, Kavita Nanda 99, Makayla Lawrence 103, Amanda Hohzman 111, Emma Wagner 120.
Avon Lake (324): Paighton Masterson 75, Emma Davies 80, Maggie Owen 85, Liz Thieken 84, Maggie Masterson 96, Marissa Hall 97, Keely McGinty 95, Lauren Hawkinson 112.
Berea-Midpark (489): Samantha Parker 117, Mackenzie Haneberg 120, Kailee Carlson 127, Kaitlyn Carlson 125.
Midview (502): Bailey Chatham 126, Emilee Cruz 131, Riley McCaffery 124, Lauren Difranco 126, Callie Bradley 126.
North Olmsted (441): Alyssa Kell 98, Savannah Porter 113, Natalie Ellis 105, Layla Ruben 128, Lauren Willis 125, Natalie Delaney 135.
North Ridgeville (451): Heather Gerome 108, Sam Simko 111, Kayleigh Shafer 114, Zoe Monyak 118.
Olmsted Falls (383): Sam Torres 85, Alyson Veverka 98 , Kayla Kippes 93, Alyssa Veverka 120, Braelyn Gerchak 118, Becca Abbott 106, Claudia Schuh 120.
Westlake (349): Emily Fankhauser 79, Charlotte Button 89, Lauren Akers 88, Kayla Schuemann 93, Sophia Peck 105, Alexa Prexta 105.