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Lady Braves improve with practice

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By Ryan Naus

The Grant County girls’ golf team has been busy.

The girls have played in five tournaments and two matches in the last two weeks.

The girls began their season at the Beechwood Invitational on Aug. 3, finishing third out of 11 schools. The girls finished behind Scott County and Henry Clay.

The team then played in the Lady Rebel Invitational on Aug. 5. The team came in third behind Sacred Heart and Notre Dame, but defeated Owen County and Villa Madonna, two regional opponents.

The girls followed with the Lady Rocket Invitational on Aug. 8 where they came in seventh out of 18 teams.

On Aug. 11, the girls played in the Notre Dame Invitational, finishing sixth out of 18 teams, closing in on Notre Dame by placing seven strokes behind the Lady Pandas.

The girls took a break from tournament play as freshman Sarah Kellam helped lead the team to a win over Owen County in their first match of the season on Aug. 13. With a 35, Kellam was one shot under par and paced the team to a nine-hole score of 161.

On Aug. 15, the team played their best golf of the season in the Villa Madonna Invitational, shooting a 161 on the front nine on their way to a final score of 341. This time, the Lady Braves were only four strokes behind Notre Dame.

“Our front nine was outstanding, but the back nine is so much more difficult with the way it’s set up,” coach Marcus Camacho said. “We beat the teams we needed to beat and we continued to get closer to Notre Dame. I feel like the girls have a lot more confidence in themselves and they’ve been working on their short game and their putting.”

The girls’ continued to play well as they defeated Villa Madonna in match play on Aug. 19.

“I would consider Notre Dame the top team in the region and we’ve had a bulls eye on them for three years,” Camacho said. “Our girls are focused on getting them this year. I consider the top four teams in the region to be Notre Dame, Villa Madonna, Owen County and us.”

Kellam has led the team in scoring with an average score of 42. Kodi Hall follows with a 43, Katie Harrison with a 45, Emily Puckett with a 47, Chandler Smith with a 53 and Macy Wright with a 59.

“We’re consistent and it makes it easier,” Kellam said. “We will have to keep working hard and making sure we continue to improve to make it to state. We’re learning from our mistakes last year and improving on it this year.”

“I like them pushing each other,” Camacho said. “They have done well so far and have all improved in their scoring average from the start of the season. The girls know that there is only one tournament that matters and that’s the regional tournament. These matches and tournaments give them experience and teach them how to recover from adverse situations.”