Bloomington South’s Madeleine Stanik follows through on a drive during the IHSAA girls’ golf sectionals Monday at Cascades Golf Course in Bloomington.
One stroke here and two strokes there.
That was all it took to determine who advanced and who didn’t at the Bloomington North girls’ golf sectional on Monday at Cascades.
No such thin margin was necessary for first-place Martinsville (324) and second-place Bloomington South (364), but the third and final advancing team spot, as well as the top three individuals not on an advancing team were a much different, much more dramatic story.
For the better part of an hour, the host Cougars appeared poised to grab the third team spot, in with a 390, while the trio of Edgewood’s Kailea Covey, Brown County’s Ashley Masteller and Indian Creek’s Lauren Parsley seemed headed to a playoff for at least one of the three individual regional berths tied at 95.
But when Indian Creek’s fifth player came in with a 103, seven strokes better than the 110 the Braves had been counting, everything was turned upside down.
Suddenly, IC had a team score of 388, and North was on the outside looking in as a team. That bumped the Cougars’ top two results â Lauren Stallsmith with 88 and KD Drummond with 94 â into the individual mix, and they joined the 92 of Owen Valley’s Mariah Summers as the three advancing scores.
In turn, that left Covey and Masteller one shot out of an individual playoff.
“It’s not very fun,” Stallsmith said of her individual advancement. “I’d rather be there with my team.”
Drummond shared her teammate’s sentiment.
“It was probably one of my worst rounds of the year,” the freshman said. “Many holes I could’ve improved a few strokes on, so I definitely feel like we could’ve had our team going.”
The Cougars needn’t look further than the first hole to see where things went wrong, playing No. 1 in a combined 17-over par with a variety of penalty strokes for out of bounds and unplayable lies.
“It’s a disappointment because we felt we should’ve advanced, but it didn’t work out,” North coach Brian Muehlhaus said. “I don’t know if we even played average. We should’ve played significantly better. They all tried as hard as they could, but it just didn’t work out.
“The first hole was disastrous for us.”
There was plenty of disappointment to go around.
“I thought (Kailea making a playoff) was a stretch but you have to wait and see how it goes,” Edgewood coach Garry Lee said. “Typical golf, this hole and that hole, all that kind of stuff. She had a really good second nine with a 43 there, just had to get over a poor start.”
The Mustangs, who don’t have a senior on the roster and finished seventh as a team at 425, do have reason for optimism, including a 101 from freshman Madi Deckard in her first postseason.
Brown County, on the other hand, is graduating four seniors, including three from the sectional lineup that shot 412 to finish, but Masteller, a junior, was their best hope to get out of the sectional.
“It would’ve been nice for her to get out,” BC coach Brad Baughman said. “Trying to get out with a 95 is risky. We were looking for something in the low to mid 80s, and that’s certainly what she’s capable of, and that just didn’t happen today.”
A triple bogey on Masteller’s 18th hole did happen, one of several big numbers that hurt her cause.
Summers finished far better with pars on Nos. 17 and 18, and that was the difference for the Owen Valley senior.
“I set four personal goals this year â two were to beat my dad and get in the 30s, then there was to advance to regionals and make all-conference, which I did,” Summers said. “So it’s a big accomplishment for me, especially being my senior year. I was pretty excited, but super nervous at the same time.”
Bloomington South didn’t have to deal with any of those nerves once its top two scores came in.
Madeleine Stanik fired an 81 to finish third overall, while Caroline Conrad followed with an 84 that was good for fifth, putting the Panthers well on their way to the Washington Regional Saturday.
“Tremendous golf from Madeleine and Caroline, both personal bests, so way to come back and do it in the sectional,” South coach Dustin Carver said. “For them to shoot that is pretty impressive.”
The formula for both was pretty simple.
“I just got to the greens in less shots, stayed focused and tried to have fun,” said Conrad, a senior.
Stanik, a junior, concurred.
“I was hitting more greens in regulation, and I was getting up and down pretty well â chipping pretty well,” she said.
Bailey Duncan came in with a 98 and Lauren Conner a 101 to round out the scoring for the Panthers, who advanced to the regional for the sixth straight year.
“All we had to do was go out and take care of business, not worry about what others were doing, and things would be fine,” Carver said. “I’m proud of them, excited for them and I hope they realize the accomplishments of this year and the past.”
BLOOMINGTON NORTH SECTIONAL
Bloomington South 364
Indian Creek 388
Bloomington North 390
Brown County 412
Owen Valley 450
Individual: 1. Emily Bennett, M, 76; 2. Erin Bennett, M, 78; 3. Madeleine Stanik, BS, 81; 4. Emma Keller, M, 83; 5. Caroline Conrad, BS, 84; 6. Skylar Hauk, M, 87; 7. â Lauren Stallsmith, BN, 88; 8. Jenna Bowman, M, 89; 9. â Mariah Summers, OV, 92; 10. Caitlyn Snyder, IC, 93; 11. â KD Drummond, BN, 94.
Other Bloomington South: Bailey Duncan 98, Lauren Conner 101, Carlie Williams 104
Other Bloomington North: Lexie Floyd 104, Ruby Sloan 104, Erin Lillis 110
Edgewood: Kailea Covey 95, Madi Deckard 101, Claudia Koontz 113, Gracie Turner 116, Samantha Fleener 119
Brown County: Ashley Masteller 95, Allison Stogsdill 101, Meghan Cassiday 107, Lauren Burker 109, Jessica Taylor 109
Other Owen Valley: Kelsey Potts 112, Kristine Arnold 117, Cally Wardlaw 129, Zoe Marrow 135
â advancing as individual