PIKETON — For the second consecutive season, the senior-laden West Lady Senators are playing golf in October.
Only this year, the junior-stockpiled South Webster Lady Jeeps join them —as well as Valley sophomore Sidney Jones.
That’s because, based on performances from Monday’s wind-driven Division II girls golf sectional tournament at Big Beaver Creek Golf Club in the heart of Pike County, the Lady Senators and Lady Jeeps both advanced as full five-lady teams.
So too advancing, although on an individual basis, is Jones —who shot a consistent 53 on the front, followed by a 51 on the back for an 18-hole total of 104.
The top five teams and top five individuals not on a qualifying team advance to Monday’s Southeast District meet, as West will return there —after successfully defending its Southern Ohio Conference championship last week, and punching its first-ever girls golf district tournament ticket last season.
Actually, West and Ironton tied for third in the team totals with a pair of 441s —as the top four individual scores count towards the team tally.
The Fighting Tigers took the third-place spot and West was fourth, as Ironton’s fifth-best tie-breaking card —courtesy of Emily Weber with a 123 —was six strokes better than the Senators’ fifth team score.
But both fourth-place West, with four seniors, and the fifth-place Lady Jeeps, with a foursome of juniors, were solidly in the top-five field — as South Webster was right behind Ironton (441) and West (441) with a 448.
The sixth-place fivesome featured Federal Hocking, whose team total was 157.
Last season, when the sectional took place at the flatter Franklin Valley Golf Club just outside of Jackson, West finished fifth —as Lexi Deaver, Charlie Jo Howard, Sydni Callihan and Sara Campbell combined to shoot a 463 on a sun-soaked morning and afternoon.
This season, and only late last week when it was confirmed the sectional site switched from Franklin Valley to Big Beaver Creek, the Pike County layout likely played much tougher —given the length, the number of hills, and perhaps most importantly the weather conditions.
The wind, at times, was howling on Monday —as temperatures were cooler and crisper, and the skies showed more clouds and less sun.
Still, the course played the same for all 82 entrants —as West did lower its stroke total by 22.
The senior Deaver, who tied junior Jordan Blaine of Gallia Academy a year ago for medalist runner-up honors with a 92, dialed a 96 at Big Beaver Creek —finishing fifth after a 49 on the front and a 47 on the back.
Speaking of Blaine, she was the match medalist this time with an 83 (42-41) —and was the only golfer to break 90 on Monday, as unfortunately none of the ladies managed to shoot 40 or lower for one side.
Gallia Academy actually three-peated as sectional champions, capturing the title by a massive 40 strokes —as the ever-dominant Blue Angels fired a team total of 373, and actually matched their team tally from a year ago.
Waterford was the runner-up at 413, but the Blue Angels’ four counting cards all shot 101 or better —and all finished among the top-11 individuals, including a three-way tie for eighth.
Leah Ryan of Waterford, another junior, was the medalist runner-up with a 90 —as last season’s medalist, Gallia Academy senior Maddi Meadows, posted a third-place 91.
The Blue Angels’ only other senior, Addison Burke, was seventh with a 98.
Just ahead of Deaver’s fifth-place 96 was Ironton junior Sidnea Belville with a fourth-place 95, as the next three Fighting Tigers tallies were 112, 115 and 119.
The remaining four for West were the senior Howard with a 106 (53-53), sophomore Rylee McDermott with a 110 (60-50), and seniors Callihan and Kyli Osborne each with a 129 (both shot 61-68).
Howard was 14th and McDermott tied for 17th, as Ava Messer of South Webster will return to the district meet —and incredibly for all three times in her sectional round she shot a 101 (53-48).
Last year, Messer made it out individually with a 101 at Franklin Valley — the same number she turned in two years ago in fact.
Messer was tied for eighth after a 15th-place performance last year, as she joined Madison Hiener of Waterford and Emma Hammons of Gallia Academy at that spot.
But this October, the junior Messer will represent as one of five Lady Jeeps —which also includes sophomore Dru Hall (109) and fellow juniors Lexi Smith (111), Grace Baker (132) and Hunter Slack (127).
Hall was 16th individually and Smith tied for 19th, as they finished in the top quarter of the entire field — with Slack as the only other Lady Jeep sectional returnee.
There were 16 teams which fielded at least four golfers —including 10th-place Valley with a 488, 12th-place Minford with a 501, and 16th-place Northwest with a 543.
For Valley, Jones’ 104 was its low round — followed by a 113 from junior and 24th-place Leah Abbott, a 121 from senior Madison Montgomery, and a 150 from fellow senior Cassidy Montgomery.
Jones actually improved her sectional score by a whopping 35 shots, as Abbott also returned for the Lady Indians in the sectional —and lowered her 18-hole round by five.
Jones (104) — who tied for 11th individually with Vinton County senior Jaya Booth and Waterford junior Parker Powers — joins Booth, Federal Hocking sophomore Addison Jackson (97), Wellston sophomore Sarah Shea (108), and Federal Hocking junior Stella Gilcher (110) as individual qualifiers.
Minford fielded four freshmen —Riley Kasee (119), Madelyn Bennett (121), Lainey Howard (131) and Danica Clarkson (134) —as Northwest was made up of sophomore Kaylee Johnson (125), and seniors Grace Moore (130), Hannah Kellemeyer (136), Halli Kellemeyer (152) and Hannah Young.
River Valley featured three golfers, Coal Grove a pair and Wheelersburg one —that being freshman Kaleena Adkins with a 114 (55-59).
Adkins, in fact, tied for 25th-place —with Gallia Academy’s fifth card Kyra Collins.
A complete list of results can be found at www.baumspage.com.
The Lady Senators, the Lady Jeeps and Jones will now play in the 10-team and 10 other individuals Division II Southeast District tournament —which is set for Monday morning at Pickaway Country Club near Circleville.
Teeoff time is set for 9 a.m.