Howard County golfers in chase for state titles
Lions’ Cherry, Hawks’ Gold navigate wind, fast greens
The opening day of the state golf tournament is all about positioning, and for two of Howard County’s best — Howard’s Jacqueline Cherry and River Hill’s Derek Gold — that mission was accomplished Monday at Maryland.
On a day when fast greens and windy conditions elevated scores, Cherry shot a 75 (4-over par) to put herself in a tie for first in the girls individual competition with Churchill’s Lena Capoccia, while Gold posted a 74 (2 over) to sit two shots behind Nick Roberson of Bethesda-Chevy Chase.
In all, 10 Howard County golfers between the 3A-4A classifications competed Monday. Cherry’s strong round did not end up being enough to help Howard make the cut as a team, as the Lions (342 combined strokes) finished 10 short of the number needed to make the final round Wednesday.
Churchill (318) is the team leader and Northern (323), Sherwood (330) and Walt Whitman (332) also made the cut.
The 1A-2A schools and individuals are scheduled to compete today, with no individual cuts being made until after that round is completed.
“I’ve put myself in a good position to score better and I don’t have to make up strokes on Wednesday,” Cherry said. “I can just focus now on trying to play well.”
Only three other girls — Richard Montgomery’s Alyssa Cong (77), Northern’s Elizabeth Coffren (78) and Churchill’s Aine Kenwood (79) — ended up breaking 80 on the day.
Other Howard County notables for the girls were Centennial’s Isabel Trojillo (86), along with Howard’s Harper Lurie (92) and Alex Abrams (95).
The boys side saw similar premiums on low rounds, with only three players shooting rounds of 74 or better. Last year there were eight boys players between the 3A-4A classifications to shoot 74 or better on the opening day and four of them shot under par.
This year, Roberson’s even-par score of 71 was the best of the bunch. His round featured four bogies and four birdies and was an improvement over his qualifying score of 81 at Districts.
Of the 17 total players that broke 80, the only other boys player from Howard County in that group was Centennial’s Kenneth Chaplain. He bounced back from a rough start that saw him sitting at 6-over through his first eight holes to play his final 10 holes in just 3-over.
Atholton’s Branden Nguyen and Howard’s Shashank Gupta each fired rounds of 83 and figure to be right around the cut line. Glenelg’s Hayden Mikk (86) and Howard’s Brett Pool (89) will likely find themselves missing the final round.
The qualifying players will return for a 9 a.m. shotgun start Wednesday to determine this year’s champions.
WINTERS MILL D. SOUTH CARROLL, 3-0: Jess Bollinger acknowledged that the Falcons have had their ups and downs with communication on the court this fall, and trying to correct that has been a focal point.
Winters Mill (6-6, 3-3 Carroll County) looked in sync with a straight-set victory over the Cavaliers, 25-13, 25-13, 25-23 — their fourth straight-set victory this season.
Ashley Bobnar, Kristin Vaeth, and Bollinger each had four kills, and Vaeth added 12 aces.
“We’ve had our issues with communication and talking,” Falcons coach Kari Totten said. “As the season has gone along, we’ve gotten a lot better and they know they play so much better when they’re talking and having fun.”
Malia Henry had five kills and six blocks, senior Claudia Taylor had four blocks, and junior outside hitter Mackensie Walker went 9-for-9 on serves and notched 21digs for the Cavaliers (2-10, 0-6).
NO. 4 ST. PAUL’S D. JOHN CARROLL, 3-0: Jala Tucker had 25 kills on .444 hitting, Monet Peoples added seven kills and Morgan Hill had 30 assists to lead the host Gators (12-1-1, 11-0 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) to a 25-20, 25-12, 25-18 win over the Patriots (5-12, 2-9)
NO. 14 MARYVALE 4, MOUNT DE SALES 2: Annie Milwicz had a hat trick and Ally Furnari added a goal to lead the host Lions (10-1-1, 8-0 IAAM B Conference) over the Sailors (13-5, 6-2).
Lindsay Kelly and Mackenzie Bell scored for Mount de Sales.