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Tigers narrowly remain unbeaten in MBC

St. Croix Central's Hanna Wehausen is shown striking a drive during last Wednesday's Middle Border Conference match hosted by Prescott. Katie Davidson / RiverTown Multimedia

The unbeaten streak of the New Richmond girls golf team in Middle Border Conference remains alive, but just barely.

In the MBC match played at Pheasant Hills Golf Course last Friday, the Tigers received their biggest scare of the season. The Tigers shot a 188, with Ellsworth finishing just three strokes behind them.

Tiger coach Neal Ziller tried to not overreact to the score. Two days earlier, in an MBC match at Clifton Highlands Golf Course, the Tigers won by 21 strokes over Ellsworth.

New Richmond produced the medalist in both MBC matches this week. On Wednesday, junior Jessica Hagman shot a 42 to take that honor and on Friday it was senior Maggie Veenendall shooting a 40 to take the top spot. Currently, Veenendall is the top player in the conference, with Hagman ranking third and freshman Lanie Veenendall ranking fifth in the individual scoring.

Ziller said he hoped Friday's close call was a learning experience for the Tigers. He said some of the girls got away from what they do best.

"They just have to play our game, hitting it long and hitting their irons well," Ziller said.

A bright spot for the Tigers Friday was the play of freshman Sydney Nolan. She shot her best competitive round, finishing at 52. Ziller said Nolan is getting better at managing her game, staying out of situations that would cause her to get a high score on any hole.

St. Croix Central and Somerset continue to battle for the third and fourth spots in the conference race behind New Richmond and Ellsworth. On Friday, the Panthers shot a 203 to finish third, with Somerset two strokes behind them in fourth place. On Wednesday, Somerset moved up to third place with a 219, while Central had an off day, placing fifth at 227.

Junior Haley Myers and senior Cora Adkins have become a solid 1-2 grouping for Somerset at the top of their lineup. On Friday, Myers shot a 44 and Adkins a 50. Adkins led the Spartans in their third place finish on Wednesday by shooting a 52, with Myers finishing at 53. Mackenzie Weeks also played well for the Spartans on Friday, finishing with a 53.

One of the key reasons Central was able to take third on Friday was the play of Hannah Schwechler, a first-year senior on the team. She had a career-best round of 49.

"She really put together a fantastic round and was hitting the ball better than I've seen all season so far. This was her first round in the 40s and 20 shots better than her previous 9-hole conference match," said Central coach Logan Kimberly.

Central had a well-balanced top four on Friday with Parker Chladek at 50, Hanna Wehausen at 51 and Sally Vangsness at 53. Vangsness did this in her second varsity round.

In the fifth place finish at Prescott on Wednesday, Chladek and Wehausen led the Panthers by each shooting a 52.

There are two MBC matches scheduled for this week. The golfers will be competing at Amery on Tuesday, before returning to Pheasant Hills on Friday.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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