Southern Wayne advances to first state championship
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on October 23, 2007 3:02 PM
Southern Wayne is going where no other women's golf team has ventured before in program history -- to the state finals.
The Saints assured themselves of that distinction with a sixth-place finish in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Classes 1-A/2-A/3-A Eastern Regional contested Monday afternoon.
The quintet of Taylor Scott, Jordan Hill, Taylor Reaves, Alyssa Bradshaw and Darian Edwards compiled a team score of 280 during the 18-hole round at Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course. They'll compete next Monday and Tuesday on the challenging Longleaf Country Club layout in Pinehurst.
County rival Eastern Wayne, which posted a third-place score of 258, will join the Saints. Wilson Fike fired a 226 and claimed its fourth consecutive regional title, while Cameron Union Pines ended up nine strokes back.
Southern Lee (270) and Topsail (279) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to round out the team qualifiers.
Joining the Saints will be county rival Eastern Wayne, which posted a third-place score of 258.
Individually, Fike's duo of Amy Otteson and Mallory Warrick joined Union Pines' Laura Kinsman in recording a tournament-best 73 for the 18-hole course. Otteson then prevailed in a playoff to capture the individual title.
Jasmine Reeves -- last week's winner at the Eastern Carolina 3-A tournament -- ended up tied for sixth overall at 80.
"Today was pretty good, but once again I struggled off the tee," said Reeves. "I managed, though, to get it all together. My shots 100 yards and in, my chipping and putting I did my best at."
Reeves led a strong showing by the Warriors, who put three of their players in the top 15. Erica Freeman turned in a career-best 87, good for 11th place and Paula Webber recorded a 91 to finish tied for 15th.
"My putting was really good today," said Freeman. "I only putted once or twice on the greens. Now, I'm excited about going to states."
Another area of excitement for the 55 girls who competed was the weather. Playing in the unseasonably warm, 80-plus degree temperatures was a drastic change from last year's sub-50 temperatures and high winds.
"It probably made the girls at least eight shots better," said Eastern Wayne coach Scott Waller. "It definitely made a difference."
The Saints also took advantage of the warm conditions by putting together a history-making performance.
"It began to sink in last week that we had an opportunity to take these girls to state and accomplish something that's never been done before here at Southern Wayne," said Southern Wayne coach Michael Wiggs. "I want to commend all the girls. They put forth the effort all year long. We had several that played well today."
Scott turned in her second straight round of 91 to lead the Saints and finished tied with Webber and Princeton's Christi Mileski for 15th overall.
"I didn't putt very good, but everything else was good," said Scott. "I kept the ball in play."
Hill, who had been having a rough season to date, turned things around. The Southern Wayne senior finished tied for 18th with a 94 -- a score which would've been a stroke higher had it not been for well-timed breeze.
On the 17th hole, Hill putted from 15 feet away. Her ball rolled towards the cup and dangled on the edge. As Hill turned away in frustration, the ball dropped in the hole.
"I was mad it didn't go in because it was on the edge," said Hill. "Then, I turned and looked at my parents and heard it drop in. That was great."
Reaves placed 20th with a 95 to cap the Saints' scoring and the trip to Longleaf.
"I think this means great things for the program," said Wiggs. "Hopefully, this gets some girls involved at school that want to give this sport a chance."
Women's Eastern Regional Golf Tournament
1. Wilson Fike 226
2. Union Pines 235
3. Eastern Wayne 258
4. Southern Lee 270
5. Topsail 279
6. Southern Wayne 280
7. South Brunswick 282
8. Havelock 295
9. West Carteret 299
10. Wilson Hunt 326
11. Richlands 335
1. x-Amy Otteson (Wilson Fike) 73
2. Mallory Warrick (WF) 73
3. Laura Kinsman (Union Pines) 73
4. Amanda D'Ostroph (UP) 78
5. Kathryn Rand (Topsail) 79
t6. Jasmine Reeves (Eastern Wayne) 80
t6. Casey Narron (WF) 80
8. Kari Heimbecker (Southern Lee) 83
9. Samantha Gilder (UP) 84
10. Jennifer Crow (Havelock) 85
t11. Erica Freeman (EW) 87
t11. Krista Johnson (South Brunswick) 87
t11. Brooke White (T) 87
14. Taylor Frazer (SL) 90
t15. Taylor Scott (Southern Wayne) 91
t15. Paula Webber (EW) 91
t15. Christi Mileski (Princeton) 91
t18. Jordan Hill (SW) 94
t18. Maggie Hodges (West Carteret) 94
20. Taylor Reaves (SW) 95
21. Katie Gay (SL) 97
21. Molly Gore (SB) 97
x -- won playoff
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