MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

May 9, 2014

Hilldale repeats in 4A

Hornets take 4A ahead of FGHS; Eufaula denied in 3A

Hilldale graduated its top two golfers off last year’s state champion and had no seniors on this year’s squad.

Not that it mattered.

Make it two straight for the Lady Hornets, who with a 351 on Thursday at Lake Hefner State Park’s South course gave them a 698 score  to become back-to-back champs, waiting out an hour rain delay then holding steady in the stretch.

“Based on what the Clinton coach had it figured, we were four down going to the last four holes,” Hilldale coach Oren Sikes said. “We stayed within ourselves and didn’t panic and things just came apart for them.”

Clinton slipped to a 361 (702 overall), after owning a six-shot lead after one round. Fort Gibson had the day’s best round, a 346, to finish second, three back of Hilldale at 701. Emilee Rigsby shot a 76 for a 5-over 151, two shots behind Poteau’s Hannah Ward, who rallied from third place to win her third consecutive state championship.

Hilldale’s Katie Kirkhart shot 8-over 81 and at 13-over 159 overall, stayed in the fourth spot she occupied on Wednesday. Paige Snyder dropped five strokes with an 88 to end up at 181. Kennedi Puckett shot 90 to finish at 179, as did Shelby McGlothlin with a final-round 92. Zoe Jones shot 101 to finish at 201.

Snyder’s rally from Tuesday was big.

“I knew what I had to do,” she said. “Pretty much this whole season I’ve struggled, but I kept my head today. My wood game and hitting off the tee wasn’t good but my approaches, my chipping and my putting were really good. I think I three-putted once today.”

She also finished with a birdie, missing an eagle putt by 10 inches.

“I didn’t know where we were teamwise at that point. I just knew I wanted to finish strong for us.”

Snyder, a junior, is the oldest. Kirkhart, Puckett and Jones are sophomores and McGlothin is a freshman.

“Three-peat is what this means,” Kirkhart said. “It’s out there for us to achieve, God willing.”

Fort Gibson coach Gary Hendrix was proud with his team’s finish on a day when the wet surface broke balls that seemed to run forever on drier ground Wednesday.

“I thought we could have played better Wednesday but we played well (Thursday) and everyone kind of slid back toward us,” he said.

With Ward out of the way after this year, Rigsby, a sophomore, knows she put a lot of attention on herself, being the highest finisher who can return.

“I feel pretty good about it but Katie (Kirkhart)’s right there,” Rigsby said. “I’ve just got to stay focused and work on lowering my score.”

Kadrian Shelton was sixth overall and as one of the top 10 seniors, made All-State. She shot a 78 after a first-day 86. Her 18-over 164 put her sixth overall.

Savannah Gray (96, 193), Abby Tsomas (96, 193) and Shelby Phillips (101, 202) all matched their first-day scores for Fort Gibson.

Poteau (705) was fourth followed by Cache (712), Catoosa (761), Elk City (762), Seminole (765), Muldrow (779), Harrah (796) and Ada (811)  Wagoner’s Ryann Jacobson shot a 95 and her 189 total led the Lady Bulldogs, who wound up last among 12 teams at 813.

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