The Lady Buffs were going to see it to the end.
McAlester fought to the rainy finish in the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Class 5A Girls Golf State Tournament, with the Lady Buffs powering to the end and Aubrey House placing in the top five individually.
“We had a team experience, and everybody was pulling for each other,” coach Justin Bond said. “It was a tough two days, pretty tough.”
The Lady Buffs combined for a team score of 390 in the first 18 of 36 holes of competition to put themselves in seventh. Individually, House finished with a 71, followed by Emily Shelton with a 103, Abigail Brown and Taylor Fox with a 108 each, and Katie Limore with a 132.
House’s score put her in the sole lead heading into the second day, making it a narrow lead over those close behind her. Durant’s Mikaela Karanja shot a 72 to finish the first day in second, followed by Natalie Bolnien from Altus with a 73, and Duncan’s JJ Gregston and Durant’s Scarlet Sturch rounding out the top five with 74 each.
That set up a dramatic race to the finish on the second day on Thursday, with golfers leaving it all out on the course. There would be a delay of more than an hour around midday due to a sudden thunderstorm, with golfers eventually returning to action around 2 p.m.
The Lady Buffs kept battling, looking to improve their personal scores while making their mark at the state’s top tournament. House finished the second day of play with a 78, Brown finished with a 117, Shelton scored a 100, Fox finished with a 104, while Limore scored a 135.
“Aubrey had a great first day, and her second day, she gave it everything she had,” Bond said. “We’re proud of all our girls top to bottom for qualifying and getting here…and we’re looking to get back (to state) next year.”
House scored a two-day total of 149 to finish fourth, Brown with a 225, Shelton finished with a 203, Fox finished with 212, and Limore with a 267.
The Lady Buffs as a team finished the second day with a 399 for a 36-hole total of 789 to finish tenth in the tournament. And now that they've been there, Bond hopes it fuels the drive next season.
“For the four girls coming back, that experience is going to be crucial,” Bond said. “Keep them going and motivated, and now they see what it is. They’ve had a little taste of it, and hopefully they get hungry for it."
Contact Derek Hatridge at firstname.lastname@example.org.