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Central's McQuinn takes medalist honors

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SHEETS: Clinton Central’s Addy Sheets chips onto the green during Thursday’s tri-match with Clinton Prairie and Western Boone. Sheets finished with the second-lowest individual score at 47 behind teammate Hannah McQuinn, but Western Boone prevailed to take first in the team standings.
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WAITING GAME: Clinton Prairie and Clinton Central No. 2 players Porter Kelley and Addy Sheets await their turn on the sixth tee during Thursday’s match with Western Boone at Deer Track Golf Course.
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PRICE: Clinton Prairie’s Emma Price tees off on the fifth hole at Thursday’s tri-match with Clinton Central and Western Boone. Price led the Gophers with a 52 for nine holes.
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MEDALIST CHIP: Clinton Central’s Hannah McQuinn chips onto the fifth green during Thursday’s tri-match with Clinton Prairie and Western Boone at Deer Track Golf Course. McQuinn took medalist honors with a 44, just off the school record for nine holes.

BY ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

Clinton Central senior Hannah McQuinn threatened the school record for the nine-hole low round with a 44, but her and teammate Addy Sheets’ 47 were not enough to overcome the balance of Western Boone in a tri-match with the Stars and Clinton Prairie at Deer Track Golf Course on Thursday.

Western Boone took first overall with a 210, with the Bulldogs (220) and the Gophers (228) finishing out the standings.

“For our first match, I thought we did pretty well,” Clinton Central head coach Kim Deck said. “We took first and second, but just didn’t have enough depth to make it work. For the first match of the season with less than a week of practice, I can’t complain. They did really well.”

Kallie Burnette shot a 63 and Kenna Amos carded a 66 to complete the Bulldogs’ scoring, with Yari Figueroa shooting a 68 that wasn’t included in the team score.

Senior Emma Price led Prairie with a 52, with senior Porter Kelley carding a 58 and senior Maddie Swinford and sophomore Tatum Nash shooting 59 to complete the Gophers’ score. Sophomore Nissa Freestone finished with a 66 and classmate Abby Price with a 67 that were not included in the team score.

Despite the third-place finish, Prairie head coach Jim Cullom was pleased with his team’s effort, noting the short game was what hurt the Gophers.

“They looked like they were hitting the ball well off the tee and from the fairway,” he said. “There’s still a little bit of work around the green and with putting. … If we could improve our putting, we probably could cut five or six shots off our scores.”

Cullom noted that Price, his No. 1 player, wasn’t “happy with some of her shots, but she played pretty well overall” and he was happy with the play of No. 2 Kelley “but she wasn’t happy with her putting.

“Our sophomores, I was pretty happy with their play,” he added. “One (Freestone) had a personal best.”

Deck expected more match experience to help her other players.

“Our other three golfers are all relatively new, even though they played last year they didn’t get much varsity exposure,” Deck said. “They all carded in the 60s resulting in us getting second.

“Addy and Hannah both have taken lessons this summer and you can see it in their scores,” she added. “It’s done wonders for them.”

A few Bulldog players were absent due to involvement at the Indiana State Fair.

It looked like Sheets might be the one to challenge the school record of 42 for nine holes, but she made the mistake of finding out her score from her coach.

“Addy had a birdie last night on No. 9 that she was pretty excited about,” Deck said.

“They started on 3 so once she finished 9 she still had to play 1 and 2,” she added. “I didn’t get to see (the birdie), but when I came down the hill she’s like ‘Kim you’ve got to see this’ and she’s all excited and the girls in her group are excited and telling me about it.

“She says ‘look at how good I’m playing’ (showing Deck her scorecard) and she had a 36 or maybe it was a 34 and I said it out loud,” Deck noted.

Sheets struggled on the final two holes, but still managed her 47 for second place.

“After the match, her mom and I were talking and she was like ‘she never adds her score up’ (during a match),” Deck said.

She sees both McQuinn and Sheets challenging the school record before the season’s end.

“They were really close to the school record for nine last night,” Deck said. “I could see either one of them getting it this season and maybe a back-and-forth kind of thing.”

Central was to play Taylor and Logansport on Friday at Coyote Crossing Golf Club in West Lafayette before visiting Western on Monday starting at 4:30 p.m.

“I was excited and the girls were happy,” Deck said of the Bulldogs’ first match. “This is a good start.”

Clinton Prairie next hosts Taylor and Elwood at Deer Track on Wednesday with a 4:45 p.m. tee time before playing Frankfort and Tri-West on Thursday starting at 4:30 p.m.