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Saugus' 'A'-game not enough versus Indians

Prichard leads with 1-under 32 as Hart wins Foothill League season opener

Posted: September 23, 2008 9:44 p.m.
Updated: November 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Not even Saugus High's second-best score ever at Vista Valencia Golf Course could do it Tuesday.

Not even career-best rounds by four Saugus girls at the course could do it.

Heavily favored Hart High still prevailed in Foothill League Girls Golf Match No. 1.

The Indians boasted three rounds at or below 35 on the par-33 nine-hole course, led by a 1-under 32 medalist-round from Nikki Prichard and Hart trumped Saugus' outstanding day with a team score of 181 to the Centurions' 195.

West Ranch came in third place with a 210, led by Sarah Kang's 39.

The Centurions were led by senior Tiara Wells' and Sophie Valentine's 37s.

"I think that we played almost as well as we could," said Saugus head coach David Stradling. "Maybe we could have got four or five strokes, but we still would not be in Hart's vicinity."

Sophomore Brenna Carlson and freshman Kendall Dusenberry turned in 35s, while defending Foothill League Most Valuable Player Amanda Corr contributed a 37.

"I'd say we're improved a lot," said Prichard of her team, last year's Foothill champs. "We had three freshmen last year (Prichard, Corr and Carlson). Now we know what we're doing. And we have Kendall, who's doing really well."

But Prichard outshined everybody Tuesday.

Her closest competitors were her teammates who shot 35s, three strokes behind her.

Prichard, who practiced with a new golf instructor over the summer and grew mentally, came out strong in the first league match with two birdies and one bogey.

"I think I was mentally focused - that's what I've been working on," Prichard said. "Last year, I'd start losing my focus toward the ninth hole. Now I block things out and pretend it's just another hole."

Saugus, though, made it as close as it could.

Nicole DeFrancisco and Catherine Walgamuth turned in 38s and Katie McCants added her best - a 45.

Yet Hart, a huge favorite to win league and then some this season, was still too strong, despite Stradling saying the Indians didn't have their best.

And no, the door isn't open, he added.

"If Hart decided to all blow up on the same day and we had our best, it would be tight," he said. "But in reality I think we could have played as well as we could today and I would expect Hart to be in the 170s."

Valencia took fourth place with a 261, led by Sue Chung's 43.

Golden Valley received a 39 from Brittany Suarez and finished in fifth with a team score of 302.

Canyon shot a 306, led by Katie Mulvihill's 49.

Foothill League play resumes Oct. 1 at El Cariso Golf Course in Sylmar.


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