North Tahoe golf | Haley Packard, Laker girls win 2A state championship
Coach Bill Freeman figured his No. 1 golfer would take care of business when the pressure mounted most.
What he didn’t foresee was just how clutch his entire North Tahoe girls’ team would play during the 2A State Championship tournament this past Monday and Tuesday at Eagle Valley Golf Course in Carson City.
North Tahoe senior Haley Packard captured the individual 2A state title, while her Laker team earned the school’s first-ever state championship in golf and#8212; girls or boys.
and#8220;We knew Haley would do well, and then it came down to how well number two, three and four would do as a team. And the girls really came through, all of them,and#8221; said Freeman, who had just four golfers all season, the minimum required for a team score. and#8220;It was a total team effort.and#8221;
Packard shot an 84 on Day 1 and an 85 on Day 2 to win the title with a combined score of 169 and#8212; a year after finishing third at state as a junior. She ran away with the title this year, finishing 17 strokes in front of runner-up Grace Dolan of Incline, who posted a 186 on the 5,348-yard, par-72 course.
and#8220;Haley was absolutely dominant and phenomenal,and#8221; Freeman said. and#8220;And she’ll tell you she could have done even better, just because that’s the type of person she is. Her personal best down there is an 82, so I think she probably felt like she didn’t do as well as she could have.
and#8220;But she did well enough to beat the number two by (17) strokes, so that’s pretty great.and#8221;
Packard had help achieving the team championship, which the Lakers earned by a 58-stroke margin over second-place Yerington, 875-933.
Senior Jess Daniels posted personal-best scores at the Eagle Valley course on both days to finish third overall in a field of 37 golfers. Daniels shot a 95 and a 92 for a combined score of 187, just one stroke behind Dolan. She edged Yerington’s Haley Richardson, who had an identical score, by way of a scorecard tiebreaker.
and#8220;That was a clutch performance on her part,and#8221; Freeman said.
Then there was North Tahoe junior Shelby Crawford, who finished with a two-day score of 252 to place 19th individually, and first-year sophomore golfer Zoe Thompson, who shot a 267 to place 25th. Both performances were crucial to the Lakers’ win, said Freeman, explaining how the Lakers did not have the luxury of throwing out their highest score, such as teams with five or six golfers.
Crawford shaved 10 strokes off her Day 1 and Day 2 scores, following a 131 and a 121.
and#8220;Her second day she just came back strong, took 10 stroked off her first day’s performance and hit well below her average,and#8221; Freeman said.
Thompson, who wasn’t feeling up to par physically, particularly on the second day, gutted out a solid performance for a first-year golfer, Freeman said. She shot a 130 and a 137.
and#8220;That’s clutch for a No. 4 spot. For somebody who’s new to golf, it was unbelievable,and#8221; Freeman said. and#8220;All in all, it was just a real clutch, phenomenal performance by all of them. I’m really, really proud of them.and#8221;
Longtime Incline head coach Joe Humasti, whose Highlanders have won four state titles in the past decade, said he was happy to see the title go to a friendly rival. He also complimented the manner in which Packard conducted herself during her title run.
and#8220;Haley is a great competitor. I was really impressed with how she played and handled herself,and#8221; Humasti said. and#8220;It’s a tremendous honor to win a state title, and North Tahoe is very deserving of it. It’s nice to see the trophy stay in the (Tahoe) Basin.and#8221;
In the team scoring, Round Mountain was third with a score of 948, followed by Pershing County (960), White Pine (961), Battle Mountain (1,076) and West Wendover (1,097).
Incline and Wells did not have enough golfers to record team scores.
In addition to their 2A golf championship, the Lakers also were announced academic state champions for earning the highest collective GPA in the state, at 3.69.
and#8220;I shouldn’t have been surprised, because they’re all very intelligent, but I had no idea we were in the running for the academic state championship,and#8221; Freeman said. and#8220;I think it lends real credence to the sometimes misused term of student-athlete. I was almost as proud of them for that. Actually, I should probably be more proud of them for that.and#8221;