The last time a Northview girls golf team had the opportunity to celebrate a sectional championship, the current members were just entering elementary school.
It had been so long that none of the five who took part in Saturday’s blustery, yet warm, sectional at Forest Park had seen it take place.
But this year, they not only witnessed it, but they were a part of it. The Knights, with a score of 339, cruised to their first sectional title since 2006-07 putting a huge smile across the face of coach Josh Trout when asked about it.
“It’s exciting,” Trout said. “It’s difficult to win these, especially when you’re competing against 10 teams. North and South are always strong competition, but I really thought overall, if we brought our A-game that we could do this.”
Northview had been atop the leaderboards throughout the regular season, thanks in part to the well-rounded play of each member, but also because of Brooklee Bussing in the No. 1 slot.
Bussing, who Trout said battled the wind towards the end of her day, quickly got acclimated to it, leading to a round she’ll never forget. Her score of 77 earned her low medalist honors, as well as the big scorecard that’s posted for all to see as a memento for her achievement.
“She was on it right from the get-go. She was focused and in the zone from hole one and on. She couldn’t have played any better, even with the wind that picked up,” said Trout of Bussing.
Northview received plenty of help from its other four golfers, too.
Karsyn Kikta (86) and Abby Drake (87) finished with scores that had them just outside of the top three finalists, while Kyia Fox (89) and JoJo Allen (92) rounded out the Knights with solid scores of their own.
“Every girl put up a solid score,” Trout said of his team’s performance. “Every girl did their part.”
Terre Haute South (362) claimed second place, advancing the Braves on to next week’s regional at Smock Golf Course in southern Indianapolis.
Grace Kidwell had some motivation coming into Saturday’s sectional after last week’s Conference Indiana Invitational. South coach Cara Stuckey said she used it to her benefit, which led to a score of 79 and a second overall finish.
“Grace really stepped up for us today. I think she was disappointed she was one shot away from making All-Conference,” Stuckey said of Kidwell. “For her to shoot her best round and break 80 and step up and lead our team today was a huge accomplishment for her.”
Terre Haute North (373) snatched the third and final team slot to advance to next week’s regional behind Nikki Bonilla’s round of 80.
“That was a good round for her,” North coach Brent Mier said of Bonilla. “She shot a 38 on the front [nine] and got a little high there on the back [nine], but she was straight off the tee. And when she’s straight off the tee, she scores well.”
The Patriots, like the Braves, didn’t have anyone else break 90, but put together low enough scores to escape the sectional round nonetheless.
“It’s one of those things, kind of like the NCAA tournament, you survive and advance,” Mier said. “It wasn’t a glistening performance, or our best by any means, but it will get us out to the regional.”
North and South were both missing one of its top two golfers in Claire Thrift (North’s No. 2) and Sophie Boyll (South’s No. 1) due to illness and a car accident, respectively. Both are unlikely to return this season.
Even if two of the top golfers in the area were available, Mier said he wasn’t sure whether or not the Patriots of Braves would have been able to overcome the way the Knights played Saturday.
“I’m not even sure, and this is kudos to Josh and his girls this year, either one of our teams, if we were at full strength, would’ve gotten them today. He’s really got them playing well,” Mier said.
Cloverdale’s Sammie Shrum (90) and South Putnam’s Alex Steffy (91) and Drew Steffy (92) each qualified for next week’s regional as individuals from non-advancing teams.
Girls Golf Sectional Results
Northview (339) — Brooklee Bussing 77, Karsyn Kikta 86, Abby Drake 87, Kyia Fox 89, JoJo Allen 92.
Terre Haute South (362) — Sailor Myers 93, Grace Kidwell 79, Tatum Hill 92, Abi Haller 98, Amanda Martinez 112.
Terre Haute North (373) — Nikki Bonilla 80, Gabriela Bonilla 90, Ally Cockrell 109, Morgan Adams 94, Karson Hart 114.
South Putnam (394) — Drew Steffy 92, Alex Steffy 91, Kate McCammack 107, Kortnee Starks 104, Megan Arnold 123.
Cloverdale (412) — Sammie Shrum 90, Gayle Baugh 98, Grace Leonard 105, Sarah Baker 120, Michaela Nees 119.
Clay City (417) — Stella Harrison 99, Makenna Blakenship 96, Hayley Walton 114, Demi Wolfe 108, Kelly Culver 124.
Parke Heritage (420) — Amanda Girdler 103, Hunner Shirley 106, Karlee Jefferies 105, Gillian Jeffers 113, Anna Kiefner 106.
South Vermillion (434) — Allison Schawitsch 94, Bailey McCormick 107, Ashlyn Daniels 118, Mallory Morgan 115, Shay Winkler 130.
Greencastle (434) — Molly Ramey 94, Kadence Shaner 110, Allison Scott 109, Rain Minartz 138, Jennifer Scott 121.
West Vigo (444) — Isabella Miler 108, Aliya Orten 111, Emily Noe 103, Jenna Minor 122, Ashton Stewart 138.
*— individual qualifier for regional
77 — Brooklee Bussing (Northview)
79 — Grace Kidwell (Terre Haute South).
80 — Nikki Bonilla (Terre Haute North)
86 — Karsyn Kikta (Northview)
87 — Abby Drake (Northview)
90 — Sammie Shrum (Cloverdale)*
91 — Alex Steffy (South Putnam)*
92 — Drew Steffy (South Putnam)*