District Golf: Lady Cats take 42-stroke lead into second round

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

March 25, 2008 - PARIS - The Sulphur Springs girls came away from Paris Golf and Country Club on Monday not only with a big lead after the first round of the District 11-4A tournament but they also have an ace in the hole.

The Lady Cats posted three of the top four individual scores on the opening 18 holes of the 54-hole tournament, and opened up a 42-stroke lead in the team standings.

Not only that, but the second round will be played on their home course, Sulphur Springs Country Club, on Monday.

"We're over 40 strokes ahead of the second-place team right now, so we're in good position," said SSHS coach Linda Rankin. "We're in district, we're in the lead, and they have the confidence and are pushing to get better. We have the comfort zone of playing at home next week, so I feel like we're in really good position."

Sophomore Miranda Conway fired the best score of the first round, shooting an even 100 to lead the medalist standings. She was followed closely by junior teammate Britney Cheatham, who shot a 101 to tie for second with Mount Pleasant's Katy Webster, and SSHS junior Kaitlyn Potts carded a 102.

Freshman Kaley Perry is in 12th place after the first round with a 120 and Dani Johnson shot a 124.

That gave the Lady Cats a 425 total, which put them 42 strokes ahead of Mount Pleasant (467) in second place. North Lamar was two strokes back of MP in third. The top two teams qualify for the regional tournament along with the top two individuals not on the advancing teams.

The Sulphur Springs boys team, made up entirely of freshmen and sophomores, was in sixth place after shooting a 349. SSHS coach Ross Funk did not have individual scores tallied, though sophomore Adam Perry was listed as tied for seventh in the medalist standings after shooting a 78.

Funk said he would have the scores by Tuesday.

The boys team standing was topped by Lindale, which carded a 305, followed by North Lamar at 311 and defending district champion Texas High in third at 314.

Lindale's Stetson McMillan and Texas High's Cabe Preiskorn tied for the medalist lead at even-par 72. Perry is tied with three others for seventh.

While the boys standings are tight, it's not that way in the girls division as the Lady Cats look poised to defend the district title they ran away with last season.

"The girls still aren't playing as well as they feel they should be, but overall as a team, we are in first place," Rankin said. "They did well, especially looking at the course overall and the rest of the scores as they came in."

The morning was cool and blustery, though the day warmed up and the winds calmed some in the afternoon.

"The greens were a little fast, and we picked up a few extra strokes there, but the course was in good condition," said Rankin. "Coming home next week will be a benefit. Knowing the course, knowing where the hazards are, having that familiarity relaxes them a little bit and gives them a little bit more confidence."

The final district round is scheduled for Monday, April 7, at Hide-A-Way Lake in Lindale.

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