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Prep golf: Salisbury finishes second in state

By Bret Strelow
bstrelow@salisburypost.com
Salisbury’s girls golf team settled for a second-place finish at the 1A/2A/3A state tournament in Southern Pines.
The Hornets, who led by eight shots halfway through the 36-hole event at Longleaf Golf and Country Club, ended up with a 518 total. West Henderson, led by medalist Kayla Sciupider (74-75ó149) ó finished first at 509 on the par-71 layout.
“They came out and played real well,” Salisbury coach Dale Snyder said. “There’s a few things here and there we could have done better ó we could have putted better all day ó but in general we played great (Monday) and we played pretty good today. It just wasn’t good enough. Nothing to be ashamed of here.”
Madison Kennedy (80-84ó164) tied for ninth place to pace Salisbury. Lily Yatawara (85-84ó169) tied for 12th, and Amber Lyerly (85-100ó185) tied for 37th.
Three other county players participated. West Rowan’s Katie Knepp (96-86ó182) finished 31st, and Alex Mills (101-97ó198) was the Falcons’ other representative. East Rowan’s Samantha Haviland (104-96ó200) was also in the field.
Salisbury posted a 250 on Monday, and its 268 in the second round was the fifth-best team total. West Henderson followed a 258 with a 251.
“We’re never going to finish second again hopefully,” Yatawara said. “It’s kind of a bummer, but I’m still really proud of my team. Now our goal is to win next year.”
Sciupider captured the individual title by three shots over Ashbrook’s Megan Burnham and Providence Grove’s Andrea Robbins.
Anna Padgett (82-88ó170) also scored on both days for West Henderson. A 102 from Carly Jackson didn’t count toward the team total Monday, but she contributed with an 88 on Tuesday.
The Hornets lose senior captain Catherine Parks, but Kennedy and Lyerly are both juniors. Yatawara is only a sophomore.
“We played well all year, and we came into this thinking we had a chance,” Snyder said. “(Monday) our hopes got up pretty high after what we did. It just didn’t work out for us. We’ll be back stronger than ever next year.”
Kennedy just missed out on qualifying for the state tournament last season, when she fired a 99 at the regional and lost a tiebreaking playoff with two other competitors.
Tied for seventh place after her state tournament debut Monday, she struggled to a 7 on hole No. 9 and closed with a 41 on the back nine.
Kennedy achieved her individual goal of finishing in the top 10.
“I was hitting the ball really well, but my putting was beyond terrible,” Kennedy said. “My putting was half my score.
“I was excited to be here, and second place is good for that, but winning would have been really nice.”
Kennedy and Yatawara, who made the turn in 40, tied for the 11th-best round of the day as the Hornets edged third-place Topsail by three shots in the final team standings.
Yatawara and Lyerly were tied for 13th after one round, and both players joined Kennedy in saying they putted poorly.
“Monday I set myself a goal that I’d try to two-putt every hole, which I did the majority, and I kept my confidence,” Lyerly said. “Today it went downhill a little bit.
“My team, we struggled, but we’ve still done good when we struggled, which is good.”

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