Back at full strength for the first time since early in the season, the Lady Hound golf team maintained ownership of the Class 1 District 8 title, winning it for the fifth year in a row Tuesday at Fairview Golf Course in St. Joseph.
Maryville shot 366 as a team—an improvement of 33 strokes from the MEC Meet— and finished 59 strokes ahead of second place finisher Savannah.
Both teams, along with Tarkio, advanced to the Class 1 Sectional 4 Meet Monday at Mozingo Lake Golf Course. Other teams in contention were Lafayette, Tarkio, Bishop LeBlond, Albany, Stanberry and King City.
"I knew if my girls played their game we should win handily," said Maryville head golf coach Brenda Ricks. "I've just got a real solid team. I think it sunk in once we got into the van that they did a pretty darn good job."
The Lady Hounds were the only team in the field to shoot under 400. Three players finished in the top five and all five were among the top 12, giving them an entire lineup of district medalists for the first time in Ricks' tenure.
Senior Megan Shell put together a round of 87 (+15) to finish third overall. She was two strokes back of first place finisher Hannah Ingram from Savannah and one stroke behind second place finisher Kaydrie Bergner of Lafayette.
Shell's 39 on the first nine holes was the lowest in the field by three strokes over Bergner. She slipped to a 48 on the back, allowing Ingram and Bergner to overtake her for first and second.
"She just got in trouble a couple different places," said Ricks. "It's tough when everything is rolling along, going good and then it's not all the sudden. She got a triple-bogey on No. 10 and that kind of hits you in the gut. She had some health issues, too, with her stomach so she was very limited in what she could eat. She might have gotten tired."
Senior Meghan Klaas landed in fourth place with an 89 (+17) which ranks as her best career district finish. Klaas also improved five spots from the MEC Meet where she finished ninth.
"She commented after MEC that she'd rather play bad today than districts," said Ricks. "That's exactly what she did. She came in strong when she needed to."
After sitting out for the last month, senior Jessica Pfost shook off the rust to finish fifth with a score of 90 (+18). Pfost was the only Hound player to navigate the back nine better than she did the front, going from a 47 to a 43.
"We're talking about 18 strokes (better) with having her back," said Ricks. "And she was glad to be back. She had a rough start and she hasn't played in competition for a month. Then she settled down and played well."
Page 2 of 2 - Mollie Holtman gave the Hounds a fourth top 10 finisher, placing seventh with a round of 100 (+28).
Holtman followed a 48 on the front with a 52 on the back.
Older sister Cassie Holtman shot 54 on both sides and finished 12th with a 108 (+36).
Savannah shot 425 as a team and had two of the top 10 finishers.
Ingram won the individual title with an 85 (+13) and Madison Dillon tied for 10th with a 107.
Lafayette shot a team score of 459 and also had two of the top 10.
Bergner, the MEC champion, finished second with an 86 (+14) and Kaylee Kneale tied for eighth with a 104. Both will represent the Irish at sectionals.
Tarkio finished in fourth place with a 462 but advanced all five players to sectionals. Hadley Barnett led the Indians with a sixth place finish, shooting a 96.
Other sectional qualifiers were Gentri Staten (14th place), Jade McAdams (17th place), Cassidy Bothwell (23rd place) and Elizabeth Bennett (24th place).
Fifth place finisher LeBlond shot 478 and had two sectional qualifiers, Kiersten Haertling (8th place) and Morgan Steele (10th place). Albany, the sixth place team, had four of the final 10 sectional qualifiers led by Destiny Wilmes (14th place) and Hannah Payne (16th place).
Advancing from Stanberry was Katrina Osborn (18th place).
Worth County's Taylor Causey made it with a 24th place finish. Hope Gibson from Benton grabbed the final qualifying spot.
The sectional meet will include teams and players from District 7 and 8. Smithville (387), Richmond (404) and Maysville (408) were the qualifying teams out of District 7.
The top two out of Maryville, Savannah, Tarkio, Smithville, Richmond and Maysville advance to the Class 1 State Meet.
"You never want to say that you got this in the bag," said Ricks. "But with the home course advantage, I'm thinking we should be OK if we just play our game like we did today. We should have no trouble as long as we keep our head in the game."