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PONTOON BEACH – Madison County high school girls golf teams got together for the season’s first major tournament Tuesday afternoon when the Madison County Girls Golf Championship was held at The Legacy Golf Course in Pontoon Beach, hosted by Granite City, on the par-71, 5,119-yard course.

Edwardsville won the large-school competition on the day, shooting a team 320 (the top four scores were counted on the six-person teams), with Collinsville taking second with a 396, Alton a stroke behind at 397 and Granite City firing a team 413. Marquette Catholic won the small-school tournament with a team 354, followed by Civic Memorial with a 388 and Triad with a 438; Roxana only had two golfers taking part and did not have a team score, with Olivia Stengler (101) and Sarah Floyd (123) competing as individuals.

Edwardsville freshman Riley Lewis won the overall medalist honor for the day by firing a 3-over 74, much to the pleasant surprise of Tiger coach Abby Comerford. “She has been really well the entire season so far,” Comerford said. “I know we just started, but it’s amazing to see a freshman coming out - she shot a 74, which is great.”

Sydney Sahuri followed up with 7-over 78 for the day. “That’s great too; she’s been playing really well lately,” Comerford said. “The girls are finally starting to click and get into the rhythm of the season starting and moving forward.”

The Explorers had an outstanding day from Grace Piar, who turned in an 8-over 79 to win small-school medalist honors on the day. “I think we had a strong showing; we had six strong players out here today,” said Explorer coach Deb Walsh. “We have two brand-new freshmen on the team who did well (Piar and Audrey Cain, who fired a 14-over 85); they did both did really good.

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“I had two returning juniors in Annie Kane and Katy Kratschmar and I had new senior joining our varsity squad, Grace Yost; all of them had good days today. It was a long round, but that’s OK; the greens were good, the fairways were good and the course played very well today.”

Walsh was happy with how things went for her team on the day, but is hoping to see some improvement as the season goes on. “I hope our season improves a little bit from what we had today,” Walsh said. “I think we’re moving in a great direction – we’ve got some good additions to the team that’s helping out.”

Alton coach Carey Cappell was happy with how the Redbirds fared on the day; Jenna Fleming turned in a 17-over 88 to lead the team while sophomore Natalie Messinger, along with Mariah Bolling, had equal 102s for AHS. “Jenna Fleming had a fantastic day,” Cappell said. “We have a lot to improve on, but I’m impressed with (Fleming’s) round; we were hoping for mid-80s, but she can get down into the 70s, I have no doubt about that.

“With this group, they’re very competitive, so they’re going to be ready to get out there (for their scheduled dual against Marquette at Spencer T. Olin Golf Course today and for their next tournament Saturday at Rolling Hills in Belleville).”

Winning the county title is important to Comerford. “It’s the county,” Comerford said. “It’s a great tournament to get going (for the season).”

The Kahoks were led on the day by Claire Rendleman’s 15-over 86, followed by Destiny Johnson’s 16-over 87; Caroline Reynolds led Granite City with a 23-over 94 and Alexis Schmidtke with a 24-over 95 on the day. Sophie Blagone led CM with a 19-over 90, with Maisy Watson firing a 25-over 96 and Reagan Walters turning in a 28-over 99 for the day, while the Knights were led by Amyer Davis’ 28-over 99.

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