‘Average’ performance sends Miami East girls golfers to district tournament for fourth time in five years

By Rob Kiser

Piqua Daily Call

WEBSTER — Sometimes being average is just fine — or even better.

Miami East girls golf coach Bruce Vanover has preached that to his girls all season.

And his point was proven over the last week at Stillwater Valley Golf Club.

After what the team would admit was a disappointing performance last Thursday at the CCC tournament there, East returned to the same course Wednesday for the D-II sectionals, with a much different result.

East finished second with a 397 score to earn a trip to next week’s district tournament at Pipestone Golf Course. Ben Logan won with a 363.

“I am always talking to the kids about being average,” Vanover said. “They don’t like hearing that. Who wants to be average. If we had hit our average at the CCC tournament, we would have won.”

One person he doesn’t have to sell being average to is senior Paige Lawson.

Lawson led the Lady Vikings with an 85. She tied for the third best score on the day and was just two strokes behind National Trail’s Makenna Jones, who was medalist with 83. She was a picture of consistency with a 43 on the back nine, before coming in with a 42 on the front.

“It was just exciting to see everyone coming in with scores around their average or better,” Lawson said. “It is great to be going on to the district tournament. The important thing is the team moving on, but no matter what, when you shoot one of the top scores of the day in a tournament, that is exciting.”

And Lawson showed what she was made of on the seventh hole.

Despite hitting a ball out of bounds, she came away with a bogey.

“That just shows you about Paige (Lawson),” Vanover said. “That is a stroke-and-distance penalty and she still made bogey. Not all kids have that kind of toughness, but Paige does.”

Kearsten Kirby was next for East with a 94.

She rebounded from a 52 on the tougher back nine with a 42 on the front coming in.

Erin Baker and Katie Pottorf both had 109 and Olivia Patton added a 125.

“We didn’t quite hit our average, but we were right around it,” Vanover said. “You play the right round on the right day, anything can happen. If you play the wrong round on the wrong day, you are going home.”

Covington finished tied for 13th with a 525.

Sarah Slusher just missed qualifying for district with 103.

It took 101 to advance to district.

Other Lady Bucc scores were Katie Hembree 115, Emma Elson 148 and Vanessa Ashburn 159.

Now, East will make its third straight trip to the district tournament and fourth in five years.

“Winning the CCC is always a goal,” Vanover said. “We wanted to win it. But, if you ask me if I would rather have that or a trip to the district tournament, I will take the trip to the district tournament. We still have some things to clean up, but we are going to district. At least, we have that opportunity.”

And on this day, being “average” equated to an A-plus for the Lady Vikings.

Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at rkiser@aimmediamidwest.com.

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