By: Dan Stickradt
GIRLS GOLF: Stoney Creek wins fourth regional title; Rochester, Lutheran Northwest advance
BY DAN STICKRADT
OAKLAND TWP. — After losing a late season dual match to Troy Athens, Rochester Stoney Creek made a statement at the Division 1 Twin Lakes regional.
The Cougars, 18th at last year’s state finals, captured their fourth regional title in eight seasons with a play-five, count-four team score of 354, winning the crown by 15 strokes.
The effort was more than redemption for Stoney Creek, who had to share the league crown with Athens after that heartbreaking loss. It marked the sixth time in nine years that Stoney Creek qualified for the state finals.
Defending state champion Rochester and Utica Eisenhower both shot 369 to advanced to the D-1 state finals at Grand Valley State University’s The Meadows, with Rochester earning second overall on a fifth-man tie-breaker.
“This was our fourth regional title. We felt that we had a chance going in based on the scores we saw from the other schools in our regional,” said Stoney Creek coach Tony Lafferty. “We had four girls that put up respectable scores and it was enough for us to win by 15 strokes. Winning did not surprise me, but winning by 15 strokes sure did.”
Junior Tennessee transfer Domitille Champion carded an 81 and tied for fifth overall with sophomore teammate Sophia Ubaydi to lead Stoney Creek to victory. Junior Hailey Kelley finished 12th (93), freshman Lucile Chambon was 21st (99) and sophomore Paige Kole did not finish her round, leaving it up to the other four players to compile the Cougars’ team score.
Stoney Creek also claimed regional titles in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Rochester graduated its top three players, all whom were All-State players last season, and entered the year in a rebuilding campaign. The Falcons saw vast improvement with its second lowest team score of the campaign to reach the state finals for the 17th time in 22 seasons — best in Oakland County.
“I am very pleased because we had the sixth-best team average in our regional,” said 12th-year Rochester coach Jeff Haney. “But we played one of our best rounds of the season and made it through. We only had two golfers back from our top five from last year. But we’ve had some other girls really improve this season and that made a difference. We knew it would be close for us. Athens was missing one of its top golfers and Eisenhower had someone that didn’t finish. But our No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 gave us enough to sneak in.”
Junior Martha Kuitula (103), junior Sydney Kohman (107) and senior Kyra Shaw (111) also competed for Rochester.
Rochester was paced by sophomore Savannah Hague (79) and senior Keri Yang (80), who were third and fourth, respectively, for the Falcons.
Troy (372) and Troy Athens (376) led the teams left on the outside looking in of the state finals picture. Athens had one of its top golfers miss the tournament for undisclosed reasons.
Macomb Dakota (392), Utica Ford (402), Romeo (419), Sterling Heights Stevenson (457), Macomb L’Anse Creuse North (NTS), and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (NTS) rounded out the team scores.
Eisenhower freshman Ariel Chang was medalist with a one-over round of 73.
Athens’ Shikha Ja was second with a 76 to become one of the three individual state qualifiers. Troy’s Jennifer Liu (seventh, 83) and Macomb Dakota’s Haley Jennings (eighth, 85) also made the cut.
MORE DIVISION 1
Rochester Adams finished fourth at the Division 1 Farmington Hills Golf Course regional, putting together a 377 team score at the 10-school regional.
Clarkston (322), Bloomfield Hills (346) and Lake Orion (350) grabbed the three state qualifying spots for the D-1 finals at Grand Valley State University’s The Meadows Golf Course.
Adams’ Emma Ni was one of the three individual state qualifiers not on qualifying teams. North Farmington’s Alana Jones (76), White Lake Lakeland’s Hannah Brown (87) and Adams’ Ni (88) all made the cut.
Lexi Boldan (89), Katie Schipperijn (97), Lindsay Densmore (103) and Carly Ortwine (103) also competed for the Highlanders.
Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest qualified for the state finals for just the second time, finishing second at the Division 4 Eagle Crest regional in Ypsilanti with a play-five, count-four score of 424.
Almont won the regional crown handily with a 366, total, while Ann Arbor Greenhills shot 429 to grab the third state qualifying spot.
Gabriella Scopone of Livonia Ladywood was medalist with an 81.
Northwest was paced by runner-up Grace VanDellen’s round of 82. Rebbecaa Baughman shot a 95 to finish eighth overall, while Jenna Reinert (122), Kaylee Siebert (125) and Joy Craig (145) also competed for the Crusaders.